A 5-for-5 night from senior Austin Darby powered the No. 23 Nebraska baseball team (28-11, 5-4 Big Ten) to a 8-6 win over the Omaha Mavericks (16-17, 9-6 Summit) on Wednesday night at Hawks Field. With the victory, the Huskers took the two-game season series from the Mavs.
Darby’s career-high five hits included three singles and two doubles, while he also added a pair of RBIs. Taylor Fish and Blake Headley each notched three hits on the evening and each drove in a pair of runs. The Huskers needed all 16 hits they got on the night, as the NU defense committed three errors for the second straight game, which resulted in two unearned runs for the Mavs.
The Huskers had to rally late in the game after the Mavericks evened the score, 6-6, in the top of the eighth. The Huskers held a 6-1 lead after the sixth innings, but the Mavs scored four in the seventh before tying the game in the eighth.
Ryan Boldt started the bottom of the eighth with NU’s sixth double of the night and then moved to third on a groundball to the right side of the infield by Jake Schleppenbach. Blake Headley stepped to the plate and put the Husker back on top with a bloop single to left field and then moved into scoring position on a ground ball out off the bat of Ben Miller. Darby added a much needed insurance run with a two-out RBI single that put the Huskers ahead 8-6.
With a majority of NU’s regular bullpen arms not available, the Huskers turned the ball over to freshman Nate Fisher in the top of the ninth with Omaha’s 3-4-5 hitters coming to the plate. In his first save situation as a Husker, Fisher gave up a leadoff single to Clayton Taylor to start the frame. The Yutan, Neb., lefty settled in and got a pop out before getting a game-ending double play off the bat of Alex Mortensen.
Junior Austin Christensen gave the Huskers a strong performance in his first start of the season, going a career-high 5.0 innings. He allowed one unearned run on five hits and a walk, and left the game with a 3-1 lead, but didn’t factor into the decision.
The Huskers continue play at Hawks Field this weekend when they host the Ohio State Buckeyes for a three-game series, with the first game set for 6:35 p.m. on Friday night.