Nebraska (21-11, 10-2 Big Ten) didn’t have much time to dwell on Tuesday night’s loss to Kansas State. The Huskers hit the road on Wednesday for a matchup with Nebraska-Omaha at Werner Park in Papillion.
The quick turnaround was probably a beneficial one for the Huskers to regain any confidence that was lost the day before. Nebraska did just that too, bouncing back with an 8-5 win over Omaha.
It was clear that a win wasn't going to come easy either. The Mavericks came into the matchup with a 21-9-1 record and the first place spot in the Summit League. Nebraska is also in first place in the Big Ten, meaning it was a night where all the little details added up to a very competitive game.
The game featured a lot of in-state players and familiar faces on both sides. One of the featured matchups of the night was between the Palensky brothers. Nebraska sophomore outfielder Aaron Palensky faced off against older brother—and UNO senior outfielder—Ben Palensky.
Kyle Perry got the start on the mound for the Huskers but it was a rough go for the freshmen. Perry didn’t make it out of the first inning, giving up four walks, one hit and three runs. This scenario is also something Nebraska was looking to avoid. With three games in the next four days, the Huskers did not want to burn through pitchers. Nebraska ended up using seven pitchers on the night against the Mavericks, but were still pretty efficient after the first inning.
It was a game that required contributions from everyone, but one surprise was sophomore Jaxon Hallmark. Hallmark made only his third appearance of the season and stepped up big for the Huskers on the mound. He went for 3.0 innings and gave up zero runs. Freshman Colby Gomes came in to close in the final inning and recorded three strikeouts to seal the win for the Big Red.
Nebraska had better success at the plate on Wednesday, including Spencer Schwellenbach’s first career home run. Several Huskers stepped up as Schwellenbach, Palensky, Joe Acker and Luke Roskam all had two hits or more against UNO.
Roskam has turned things around after struggling early in the year. He went three-for-four against the Mavericks, including two RBIs and a double.
Senior Angelo Altavilla fouled a ball off of his foot late in the game and was in some extreme pain. He played through it and made some big plays on the infield to help close out the win for the Huskers.
Overall, it was a gritty win and a good response from a team that had a bad loss at home the night before. Nebraska got down early against UNO and things could have gone south fast, but the team showed the “fighter” mentality the coaches have talked about all season. It was a much needed mid-week win for the Huskers.
Nebraska will make a quick pit stop in Lincoln before jumping on the bus to Iowa City Thursday evening. The three-game series with the Hawkeyes begins Friday with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. CT.