NU Baseball Hangs on Against Hawaii 4-3
Posted By: Sports
Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics
Houston, Texas – The Nebraska baseball team (7-5, 0-0 Big Ten) took a 4-0 lead in to the top of the ninth inning and nearly gave it away after the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (6-9, 0-0 Big West) plated three runs and had the go-ahead run on base, but junior reliever Colton Howell came in with two outs and got a strikeout to earn his first career save in a 4-3 Husker win. Howell saved the win for senior Kyle Kubat, who tossed 6.1 innings of scoreless work to improve to 2-0 on the year.
After failing to score twice earlier in the game in base-loaded situations, the Warriors scored their first runs of the game with two outs in the ninth on a three-RBI double by JJ Kitaoka. Howell came in and intentionally walked No. 3 hitter Eric Ramirez to setup a righty-righty match up and move paid off, as Howell struck out Jordan Richartz swinging to end the game.
The Huskers outhit the Warriors, 9-8, on the day, with eight different Huskers recording a hit, including a single and a double from freshman Luis Alvarado.
The Warriors loaded the bases twice on the afternoon against Kubat, but each time the senior worked his way out of the jam without giving up a run. Hawaii had the bases loaded with two outs in the first following an error, but Kubat responded with his first of six infield pop outs on the day to end the rally.
After the first inning, Kubat went on to retire 10 straight batters, before Alex Sawelson broke the streak with a leadoff single in the fifth. Following a fly out, the Warriors loaded the bases with a single and walk with just one out for their No. 2 and 3 hitters. Kubat dug in and notched back-to-back strikeouts to again escape a Hawaii scoring threat.
Nebraska failed to capitalize on leadoff base runners in both the third and fourth innings, but got a pair of runs in the fifth thanks to a pair of costly Hawaii errors. With runners first and second with two outs, Hawaii starter Tyler Brasheras sailed a pickoff attempt into center field to put runners on second and third. Scott Schreiber then hit a routine ground ball to Kitaoka at second base, who bobbled the ball, allowing two unearned runs to score.
The Huskers added two very important insurance runs in the eighth on a RBI single by Tanner Lubach and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Austin Darby, who beat out a double-play attempt that would have ended the inning.
The Huskers wrap up their trip to Houston tomorrow at 11 a.m. against the LSU Tigers, the first ever meeting between the two teams. Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle will have the call on the Husker Sports Network, while the game will also be broadcast on ROOT Sports Southwest and Cox Sports.