Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Baseball Beats Omaha 9-1 in 14-Inning Exhibition

September 24, 2022

Nine Nebraska pitchers combined to give up just a single run while the Huskers scored nine in a 14-inning exhibition win over the University of Nebraska-Omaha. 

Most Nebraska pitchers took the mound for two innings, with a few going for just one frame. Among the newcomers, Wichita State transfer Jace Kaminska and freshmen Caleb Clark and Sam Novotny each made two-inning appearances. Junior college transfer Matt Dreher and freshman Austin Berggren pitched a single inning each. 

“Play 14 innings of baseball against a team with a lot of veteran players and give up one run, I mean, you’re doing something right,” Will Bolt said postgame. “I thought outside of maybe a couple of outings on the mound, I thought we were suffocating the strike zone and I thought our defense was amazing.”

On the offensive end, the returners shined. Junior Max Anderson had two hits and three RBIs. Efry Cervantes hit the lone home run for the team on the day, recording a two-run shot in the 11th inning. 

Bolt said the team was competitive on offense, even as what he thought were the team’s best-hit balls ended in outs. 

Nebraska’s offense got going in the opening frame as result of an effort play. With two outs, freshman Dylan Carey hit a slow ground ball to the second baseman and just beat out the short toss to first with a dive. This was followed up by an Anderson walk and RBI single from sophomore Josh Caron. 

While Husker pitchers accomplished the main task of keeping runs off the board, the Mavericks didn’t lack opportunity. Starting pitcher Emmett Olson allowed runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, including bases loaded in the second. However, he still kept either chance from converting into runs for the Mavericks.

The first pitching changes were made in the third inning. Omaha — which had its starting pitcher in for the first two innings then played a different one for each of the final 12 — sent out Harrison Kreiling. He walked a batter and gave up two hits in his appearance, the last being a two-RBI single from Anderson to put Nebraska up 3-0. 

In the bottom of the inning, Kaminska came in at pitcher and shined. He struck out the first batter he faced, then after a single, forced a grounder that turned into a double play. In the fourth inning, he struck out the side. 

Kaminska said he thought he did well, although he wasn’t fully settled in from the start. 

“First inning I was a little nervous because I mean, first real scrimmage against another team and I had to come in from the bullpen,” he said. “When you come in from the bullpen, sometimes your heartbeat gets going a little bit, so I got settled in and was able to work out of it.”

Omaha scored its lone run of the day in the fifth inning after Kaminska’s exit. Eddie Satisky hit a leadoff home run off Nebraska’s Chandler Benson. That was followed up by a double, but Benson got out of the inning and the next one despite runners being in scoring position both times. 

The Huskers had three more innings in which they expanded their lead. In the eighth inning, a walk and a throwing error put runners on first and third, before a wild pitch scored a run. Anderson then hit another RBI single, putting the score at 6-1. 

“Max kind of did what Max does,” Bolt said. “We needed him to pick us up with a two-out RBI and he went backside, used the middle of the field for another RBI. He hasn’t played a single inning at first base this entire fall. We put them over there in the game, and he played well over there. So he’s a baseball player.”

After Cervantes’ two-run homer in the 11th inning, JUCO transfer Blake Mozley added the final run with an RBI single which scored fellow JUCO transfer Daniel Young. 

Bolt said the team’s newcomers have meshed well with the program this fall, and that was reflected in the performance. The team’s second exhibition game will come three weeks from now, and until then, Bolt just wants his team to continue to show up. 

“That’s the message that we’ve always had is just just show up and stack days and this team’s done that this entire fall,” Bolt said. “The competition level’s pretty high with what we got so I’d like to see us just continue to practice that way, and that way, it gives us a chance to play free on game day.”

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