With a blustery wind blowing in at Haymarket Park, it appeared that runs would be hard to come by for both offenses at the start of game one of Nebraska and Michigan’s doubleheader. Before the Huskers could plate a run, they had already stranded four runners through the first two innings of action.
The breakthrough came in the third though for Nebraska after Joe Acker hit a grounder to short to bring Cam Chick home to make it 1-0. However, Nebraska didn’t really wake up the bats until the bottom of the sixth inning.
In that frame, a bunt single from Alex Henwood extended NU’s advantage after a wild throw from third to first that was able to bring in Keegan Watson to make it 2-0. Then after Colby Gomes struck out swinging, Jaxon Hallmark smashed a three run shot to left field and Aaron Palensky followed that up shortly thereafter with a homerun of his own, a solo shot that also landed past the left field wall to further their damage against the league leaders. By the end of the sixth, Nebraska led the Wolverines 6-0.
“I think we were having good at bats the entire game but that pitcher (Michigan starter Henry Tommy) on the mound was a good pitcher… I think we just wore him down a little bit,” Hallmark said. “He just started missing more over the plate.”
Tommy was replaced following Hallmark’s homer but that didn’t stop Palensky from going deep or Henwood from scoring in the eighth to go up by a touchdown.
Michigan on the other hand, had no answer for senior southpaw Nate Fisher. In six innings pitched, Fisher allowed just two hits and struck out seven batters in a masterful performance.
“(He’s) just a dog.”Hallmark said following the game. “The ball was handed to him and he had to do something sweet. He did something sweet.”
With a Big 10 championship still in play and it being senior day, Fisher had a lot to process in his final outing at Haymarket Park.
“I tried to keep my emotions in check,” Fisher said. “I just wanted to go out there one last time and just have fun with that is kind of what I was thinking. Just compete.”
Robbie Palkert replaced Fisher before the start of the seventh. Palkert followed up his solid relief appearance on Thursday with another excellent performance on the mound, striking out three batters in two innings pitched. Although it wasn’t a save situation, Max Schreiber came on in the ninth to close things out and end the game to seal Nebraska’s 7-0 win over the Wolverines.
With the win, Nebraska is now 15-8 in the Big 10 conference and still in contention for the Big 10 title. They’ve also likely secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament. On the year, the Huskers are 28-19 overall.
“I know we needed this series. It’s a little weight off our backs,” Hallmark said. “Now we can try and go get the sweep.”
(Photo – Kenny Larabee)