The Nebraska baseball team was back in action Friday evening to play a home game for the first time in 10 days. ‘Mr. Friday’ Matt Waldron got the start again for Nebraska, but Illinois jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning and didn't look back. The Illini marched on to record 17 total hits on the night.
Waldron went for six innings, but gave up a career high 11 hits. He pitched a lot of strikes but Illinois seemed to get ahold of everything. Waldron said after the game that his Friday performance against Illinois can help him going forward to work harder and “not take a day for granted.”
Kyle Perry entered the game in the seventh inning for the Huskers and looked comfortable through 2.2 innings, but gave up six hits.
It was once again a slow night offensively for Nebraska. The Huskers only mustered five hits. Illinois’ Andy Fisher had a big night, pitching 102 pitches in 7.0 innings and recording eight strikeouts.
It was a rough night overall for Nebraska and the Illinois bench was vocal for much of the evening. Waldron said it was tough to endure, but that it will give the Huskers extra motivation and a chip on their shoulder for Game 2.
Coach Darin Erstad spoke highly of his senior pitcher and how he was able to stay composed through adversity.
“He obviously didn't have it tonight but he found a way to pull it together and get through six (innings),” Erstad said. “That is what I love about Matt. He is going to go out and compete no matter what”.
Erstad said he noticed visible frustration and sulking for the first time this season and he wants to make sure that ends immediately.
“It’s not terrible but it is something that I don't want to get out of hand,” he said.
Nebraska will have the opportunity to avenge the Game 1 loss as Illinois returns Saturday for Game 2. First pitch is set for 2:02 p.m. CT.