Evanston, Ill. –(NU Athletics)– The Nebraska baseball team (24-18, 13-8 Big Ten) produced 12 hits in a 6-4 win over Northwestern at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park on Monday afternoon.
Senior right-handed pitcher Reece Eddins, making his ninth start of the season, went 6.0 innings and allowed one run, while recording six strikeouts and only walked one batter. Robbie Palkert threw 2.0 innings before Colby Gomes tossed the final 1.0 inning to pick up his team-high ninth save of the season.
In the opening frame, Nebraska took the early lead when Aaron Palensky smashed a leadoff home run. The Huskers left one runner stranded after Joe Acker drew a one-out walk. The Wildcats left two runners on in a scoreless frame.
Luke Roskam drew a one-out walk before Angelo Altavilla hit a two-out single to put two runners on, but a fielder’s choice ended the inning. Northwestern left one runner on base in a scoreless inning, as Nebraska retained a 1-0 lead.
The Huskers went down in order in the top of the third. Northwestern managed a single, but couldn’t drive in the run in the bottom of the third.
Nebraska was retired 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth with three groundouts. Eddins retired all three Wildcat batters in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth, the Huskers plated one run to extend its lead to 2-0. Colby Gomes hit a leadoff single before Altavilla drove him in with an RBI double. Palensky drew a walk before Cam Chick reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Back-to-back strikeouts and a fielder’s choice kept Nebraska from adding any more runs. Casey O’Laughlin hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fifth to cut the score to 2-1 before three consecutive outs.
Nebraska added two runs in the top of the sixth to build a 4-1 lead. Jaxon Hallmark ripped a leadoff triple before scoring on Altavilla’s two-out RBI double. Palensky continued the hitting barrage with an RBI single to drive in Altavilla. Chick was hit-by-pitch and Acker singled, but both runners were left stranded. In the bottom of the sixth, Northwestern left two stranded in a scoreless frame that featured one hit and one error.
The Huskers extended their lead to 5-1 with one run in the top of the seventh. Mojo Hagge smashed a leadoff double before Hallmark singled. Gomes was hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Altavilla’s groundout drove in one run before a flyout ended the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Palkert retired all three Wildcat hitters he faced.
Chick drew a leadoff walk in the top of the eighth before stealing second base. He also stole third and scored on the play when the Northwestern catcher overthrew the third baseman. Hagge singled and Hallmark walked, but both were left stranded. Northwestern trimmed the deficit to 6-3 with two runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth.
In the top of the ninth, Altavilla was hit-by-pitch with one out and advanced to third on Palensky’s base hit. They were each left stranded after back-to-back strikeouts. The Wildcats scored one run in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough.
The Huskers welcome Arizona State to Hawks Field this weekend for a three-game series, starting on Friday at 6:35 p.m. (CT) on NET.