Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad said after his team’s 13-2 win over Cal Poly in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader that the Huskers can’t get too confident in their abilities after such an offensive explosion.
The Huskers (9-7) were humbled on Tuesday, falling to Northern Colorado 6-3 at Haymarket Park in a game riddled with defensive mistakes and missed opportunities.
“We had four lead-off walks and only scored in one of those innings,” Erstad said. “That goes against the grain of what’s supposed to happen. They just played cleaner baseball and took advantage of the mistakes. Like I’ve said many times in college baseball, it’s the team that screws up less that wins, and we screwed up more than they did and they won. They played well.”
The Bears (11-5) won their fifth straight game, and beat Nebraska for the first time since 2014. Northern Colorado scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning with a solo shot home run by senior Cole Maltese. The Bears put up two more runs in the fifth inning to go up 3-0 before the Huskers put up three runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game.
After two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, sophomore Luke Roskam laced a two-run RBI single into right field, and then senior Luis Alvarado grounded out into a double play which allowed junior Angelo Altavilla to score from third.
Northern Colorado took the lead back for good, scoring one run in the the eighth on a sac fly and two more in the ninth to seal the deal. The two runs in the ninth came off an error, a passed ball and a wild pitch. The Bears had six hits through the first two innings, but only two hits the rest of the day. The Huskers committed three total fielding errors, which allowed two unearned runs to score.
“The game has a way of exposing (mistakes) when you don’t (take care of the baseball),” Erstad said. “We still haven’t been consistently good in that regard, and they made us pay today. Credit to them, they made pitches when we had guys on base.”
Senior Scott Schreiber went 3-of-4 at the plate to lead the Husker offense and to record career hit No. 200. He’s only the 26th Husker in history to hit that mark.
As a team, Nebraska had only five hits in the game and stranded ten runners on base.
Paul Tillotson took the loss on the mound, dropping his record to 1-1. In 1.2 IP, Tillotson surrendered one hit, two runs (one earned), three walks and one strikeout. Junior Matt Waldron made his third start on the mound this season and held his own through four innings. Waldron allowed six hits and an earned run, but no walks and he had two strikeouts.
Nebraska wraps up the two-game series Wednesday at 1:35. Junior Mike Waldron will make the start on the mound.