What a difference a day makes.
Nebraska wasted no time in recovering from Tuesday’s 6-3 loss to Northern Colorado. Jesse Wilkening doubled in a run and Luke Roskam followed with a two-run single in the bottom of the first inning, and Scott Schreiber hit a grand slam, to center field, in the second as the Huskers defeated the Bears 14-2 at Hawks Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Schreiber also lined a two-run home run to left in the sixth.
The home runs, both on 2-1 counts, give Schreiber a team-high four for the season and 30 for his Husker career. The two-home-run game was his fourth at Nebraska.
“Today was just a day where I’m seeing the ball well,” said Schreiber, who went 3-for-4 for the second day in a row to raise his average to a team-high .348.
“I was just disciplined and . . . able to get pitches I could drive.”
Consistency is “huge in hitting,” Schreiber said. “You’re going to go through your ups and downs in hitting. Before, the guys had me when I was struggling and now I’ll be able to pick up a few guys when I’m going well . . . definitely you try to be as consistent as possible.”
The Huskers added five runs in the eighth for good measure.
Roskam walked in a run, his 17th run-batted-in on the season, and Jaxon Hallmark followed with a two-run single. Nebraska’s final runs scored on a Northern Colorado error.
“We were kind of flat yesterday, (but a) good response today,” Coach Darin Erstad said.
His team is “still going through some growing pains . . . we’re not to that point where they’re just on cruise control and they’re going to come and get after it every day,” he said. “I’ve got to find a way to get those guys ready to play. They’re good at responding. They’ve been great at that.
“Just the first games of (a) series it hasn’t been that sharp, and I’ve got to do a better job of getting them ready.”
On Tuesday, Nebraska batters struck out 11 times. On Wednesday, the Bears went down on strikes 12 times, against five Husker pitchers.
Mike Waldron, who started and was credited with the win, wasn’t projected as a pitcher. The junior right-hander from Omaha Westside pitched 1.1 innings in three appearances as a freshman and didn’t pitch at all last season. He started 10 games at third base.
Because of injuries to the pitching staff “we basically had to have him put the bat down to build him up pitching-wise,” said Erstad. “He can pitch. In college baseball, if you can mix your pitches and throw strikes with two pitches, and if you have three going for strikes, you’re going to be successful. He has that ability. He actually has five pitches that he could throw.
“Now it’s just fine-tuning him and getting him strong. I think he has a chance to help us.”
The Huskers, now 10-7, are scheduled to finish a nine-game home stand with a three-game series against Northwestern State (Natchitoches, Louisiana) at Hawks Field this weekend.
Erstad said he had yet to settle on his starting rotation for the series.
“We’re going to look at some things,” he said.
Mike is in his 40th year covering Husker athletics, after seven years of community-college teaching. He has written and edited a dozen books, all on Nebraska football except one, a brief history of Husker basketball. He previously wrote for the Lincoln Journal and Star and Huskers Illustrated. He enjoys music, from the Grateful Dead and Jack Johnson to Van Morrison, Bob Wills, Glenn Miller and pretty much anyone else.