The Will Bolt era at Nebraska had an extraordinary beginning, if “extraordinary” expresses it accurately. Maybe there’s a better adjective. You be the judge.
The first five Huskers singled. Seventeen came to the plate, with the first 11 reaching base. And all 11 scored in the first game of Nebraska’s season-opening series at Baylor over the weekend.
Jaxon Hallmark and Luke Roskam each singled twice in the first inning and drove in two runs.
To its credit, Baylor didn’t pack it in on a cool Friday evening in Waco; the Bears would score nine runs. But Nebraska wouldn’t quit scoring, either. The final was 19-9.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the opener was an apparent knee injury suffered by Hallmark, the lead-off hitter and second baseman, in a third-inning collision making a defensive play. The junior from Midland, Texas, is expected to be out two to three weeks.
The loss of Hallmark notwithstanding, the weekend didn’t come apart, really, until late in the second game. After Cam Chick led off the game with a home run, the Huskers rallied from a 6-1 deficit with a five-run fifth inning. The big hit was an Aaron Palensky grand slam.
Nebraska took a 7-6 lead on a Ty Roseberry home run in the sixth, but then the offense was effectively shut down. The Huskers managed only two singles in the four-remaining innings. The game went 10. Baylor won with a lead-off double and one-out single, 8-7.
The third game was similarly frustrating. Nebraska scored runs in the second and third innings for a 2-0 lead. Starting pitcher Cade Povich set down the first seven batters, five by strikeout, before Baylor scored three unearned runs—enough for the victory, though the Bears would add more.
Final score: 7-2. Baylor took the series.
Gareth Stroh was the winning pitcher in the first game. The senior transfer from Purdue went 5.1 innings, allowing eight hits and four earned runs. Sophomore Colby Gomes, the game-two starter, lasted only two innings. Povich, a sophomore transfer from South Mountain Community College, didn’t allow an earned run, struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone in four-plus innings but was charged with the loss. Shay Schanaman, also a sophomore, was the loser in game two.
Roseberry was 5-for-12, scoring five runs and driving in three during the series. Roskam went 4-for-11, with three RBIs and three runs scored. Palensky was 4-for-12, with four runs scored and five RBIs. And Chick, who replaced Hallmark in the lead-off position as well as at second base (moving over from third), was 5-for-16 with four runs scored and four RBIs.
Nebraska used 11 pitchers in the series.
And so the Bolt era began with a big bang, and ended with a . . .
Well, you can pick an appropriate description.
Mike is in his 40th year covering Husker athletics, after seven years of community-college teaching. He has written and edited a dozen books, all on Nebraska football except one, a brief history of Husker basketball. He previously wrote for the Lincoln Journal and Star and Huskers Illustrated. He enjoys music, from the Grateful Dead and Jack Johnson to Van Morrison, Bob Wills, Glenn Miller and pretty much anyone else.