Nebraska (15-9, 5-2 Big Ten) and Purdue entered Friday’s matchup with very similar conference records. Purdue sat at 4-1 in the Big Ten, and Nebraska at 4-2. However, there was little doubt who the better team was on Friday night. The Huskers defeated the Boilermakers, 17-0.
Game 1 is going to be one of those nights that Purdue will want to forget quickly. Nebraska started fast and kept the foot on the gas all night. After one inning, the Huskers built a 6-0 lead.
It was also one of those nights where everyone got in on the action. In fact, every Husker in the starting lineup scored a run. That included the first home run of Cam Chick’s career.
Chick wasn't sure if it was going to make it out of the park. He had only one thought.
“I hope it’s not the warning track because I’ll get so much crap from the guys,” he said post-game.
Joe Acker continued his hot streak, going three-for-five on the night and bumped his batting average up to .382. Mojo Hagge went two-for-four and added three RBIs.
As for Matt Waldron, he may not be human. He has been extremely consistent on the mound as the Friday starter for the Huskers. And Friday’s matchup with Purdue proved to be a historic one for Waldron as he recorded the 200th strikeout of his career.
Waldron lasted 7.0 innings, recording nine strikeouts and giving up four hits and no runs. This has become a pretty typical line for Waldron and the defense behind him is playing with a lot confidence.
Even though he might not show it, Waldron said he still does get nervous. However, playing at Haymarket Park helps.
“It is a lot easier not to be nervous at home,” Waldron said.
It’s hard to pick the bigger story of the night between Waldron and the offensive explosion. If you had to point to one, it would be the performance at the plate. Waldron has shown what he can do for some time and he is someone that has earned a lot of trust.
The offense came alive tonight and that is exciting for Husker baseball. Waldron, Fisher and Eddins have solidified themselves as weekend guys that can get the job done. Last weekend, it was the offense that fell short behind great pitching against Minnesota.
Friday against Purdue showed what Nebraska can do when the pitching and offense come together and feed off of one another. It will be important for this to become consistent as Big Ten play marches on.
And if tonight didn't have enough highlights already, here is another one.
Nebraska and Purdue are back at Haymarket Park for Game 2 on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. CT.