The Nebraska baseball team took down Utah on Sunday afternoon for the second time in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. The Huskers (5-3) defeated the Utes 7-4 at Kansas City Royals Practice Field No. 6.
Senior RHP Matt Warren made his second start of the season on Sunday, and notched his first win in 5.2 innings of work.
“He pounded the zone and he was mixing well,” Nebraska coach Darin Erstad said in a post game interview on the Husker Sports Network. “I thought he had great command. He was in control of that game pretty much the whole time. Just got up and got tired in that (sixth) inning, but another nice effort by Matt on the mound.”
Warren gave up two runs, one of those earned and struck out five batters. Last Sunday in a 5-3 win over Washington State, Warren tossed five innings and struck out four batters in a no-decision.
Fellow senior Jake Hohensee earned his third save of the season against Utah with a shutout ninth inning on Sunday. He also got a save in Friday’s 4-2 win against Utah; a game which went to 10 innings.
Senior lefty and Friday starter Luis Alvarado wasn’t as explosive early on, but still managed to toss six solid innings in Friday’s win over the Utes.
“It didn’t look like he was going to last very long with how his stuff was up there,” Erstad said. “He just didn’t look like he had the same explosion on his fast ball. He was working from behind in the count, but boy he dug down and found a way to get to the sixth (inning) and that was pretty impressive.”
Redshirt freshman Paul Tillitson got the win on Friday night, tossing three scoreless innings of middle relief. Tillitson missed all but two games last season due to injury, and stepped up in a timely moment, especially with junior reliever Robbie Palkert being out for the season.
Nebraska split the four games between Thursday and Sunday, losing to Oregon State on Thursday afternoon (9-1) and Saturday evening (10-3).
The big story of Saturday’s loss to the No. 2 Beavers was junior starter and left-hander Jake McSteen leaving the mound with no outs in the fourth inning. McSteen’s diagnosis is not yet known, but he was seen pointing to his left elbow; his throwing arm.
Erstad said after Saturday’s game that they’re just “hoping for the best” for McSteen. Local media should get an update sometime this week. McSteen gave up nine hits and six earned runs in Saturday’s loss. He also struck out three and walked one, and his season record dropped to 1-1.
The Huskers visit Wichita State this weekend for a three-game series beginning on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.