Nebraska (17-10-1, 2-0-1 Big Ten) sailed past Creighton Tuesday night with little trouble. After a 14-6 defeat over the Bluejays, the Huskers were hoping for a similar result against the Omaha Mavericks on Wednesday. It was anything but.
“Last night they found holes,” head coach Darin Erstad said. “Today they didn’t find holes. It was the best crappy game we’ve had all year but we’ll take it and get out of here.”
Erstad sensed there was potential for an interesting night for Nebraska before even the first pitch. During the Huskers’ batting practice, he was getting weather updates on wind, rain, no rain and everything in between. On top of that, his players were batting well in practice, which prompted a raised eyebrow or two.
“I’ll tell you, we took maybe the best [batting practice] we have all year which made me nervous,” Erstad said. “I was like, ‘What’s going on? We’re actually hitting well in B.P., which hasn’t happened all year.’ So my guard was already up when it comes to that and yesterday went so fantastic, there’s no way.”
It looked OK at first as Nebraska jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first. From there, it got a bit dicey.
“We had some inexperience on the field,” Erstad said. “You want to get them some reps so the ball finds them. Funny how that works.”
Nebraska managed to overcome a season-high three errors and hold off the Mavericks, despite Omaha having quite a few shots at taking the lead. By the end of the game, Omaha left 12 runners on base and loaded the bases a total of three times.
As for the Huskers, they simply kept battling and trying to make plays. It paid off in the sixth inning, when a wild pitch by Omaha gave Nebraska a 2-1 lead. And then later in the eighth inning, the Huskers added an insurance run making the game 3-1. Omaha would never recover.
“You make plays, you win,” Erstad said.
It wasn’t as easy of a win for Nebraska as it was Tuesday night, but Erstad took it with a grain of salt. While there will be plenty to improve upon for his team before the weekend, “a win is a win.”
Nebraska will now host the Maryland Terrapins at Hawks Field this weekend for a three-game Big Ten series. The opener is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT on Friday. Saturday is set for 2:05 p.m. CT and Sunday has been moved up one hour to 12:05 p.m. CT.
For a full game recap as it happened, visit our thread on Hail Varsity Premium.