It cannot be confirmed whether or not a bet was placed between Matt Waldron and Nate Fisher, but both pitchers put on a show at Haymarket Park on Friday. Waldron and Fisher combined for 16.1 innings and didn't walk a single batter. And Nebraska (10-7) walked away with a doubleheader sweep, with the Huskers taking Game 2, 5-2.
Nebraska’s pitching shined in the conference opener and that set the tone in the first two games of the series. In Game 1, Matt Waldron had the best performance of the year going all nine innings and giving up only one run in a 4-1 victory.
Nate Fisher followed in Game 2 with a great performance of his own. Fisher went for 7.1 innings, five hits and zero runs. Fisher was asked post-game if Waldron’s outing gave him the energy to go out and match his performance.
“I’m always just trying to be like Matt,” he said.
Nebraska did not wait to get the bats going either. Colby Gomes had one of his best performances at the plate. In the first inning, Gomes put the Huskers on the board with a 2 RBI single. He later added an RBI double in the fifth to extend the lead to 3-0.
Aaron Palensky joined the RBI party and ripped a 2 RBI single in the sixth to give the Huskers a 5-0 advantage.
Robbie Palkert came in to relieve Nate Fisher in the top of the seventh inning. Palkert recorded two strikeouts before Colby Gomes came in to close for the Huskers in the ninth inning.
— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) March 23, 2019
So, what does a 2-0 start in conference play do for the confidence of a team like Nebraska?
“It’s a huge confidence booster,” Gomes said. “I mean coming off two wins against Air Force and bringing that into conference play really helped us.”
Coach Darin Erstad isn’t one to get too excited about anything, but he was encouraged with the day as well.
“Every year the conference is an absolute grind,” Erstad said. “Two games can separate you from second place to ninth place for a spot in the tournament so every time we can get a win we’ll take it.”
Judging off Michigan State’s record (the Spartans are now 3-17), this looked like a series that Nebraska needed to take care of business of. The Huskers have done just that so far.
Nebraska and Michigan State are back at Hawks Field Sunday at 1:05 p.m. CT. The series finale was originally scheduled for Saturday but was moved due to forecasted weather in the area.