(Photo – Kenny Larabee)
The Husker bats were hot again in their Wednesday win over Air Force at Haymarket Park. Unlike Tuesday’s game, the Huskers handily defeated the Falcons 12 to 3. Nebraska combined to score 17 runs in their brief, two game midweek series.
Things began to unravel right away for Air Force. Falcon’s starter John Byrnes got yanked in the bottom of the first after walking Aaron Palensky with the bases loaded. Byrnes did not record a single out, walking three of the four batters he faced. By the end of the frame, NU led 3-0, taking advantage of one error and four total walks.
Freshman shortstop Spencer Schwellenbach exited the game in the bottom of the 2nd, picking up an injury as he tried to run out a hit at first base. He would be replaced by Cam Chick. Angelo Altivilla shifted over to short on defense the next half inning. Chick took up third base from Altavilla.
After the injury, the Huskers would load the bases up for the second consecutive inning, however they could not capitalize, leaving three base runners on to end the inning.
The third would prove to be more lucrative for Nebraska. They scored four runs on three hits to put a touchdown up on the scoreboard, leading the Falcons 7-0 at the end of third.
Air Force did get one run across in the 4th, but Kyle Perry prevented the Falcons from making it any worse for the Big Red. The freshman threw nine strikeouts on 82 pitches.
Ethan Frazier got Nebraska through the next two innings, allowing one run and one hit in his relief appearance. In the bottom of the 6th, Keegan Watson hit his third career home run, which was also his third career hit. Altavilla and Mojo Hagge each drove in a run apiece to make it 10 to 2, and effectively put the game out of reach for Air Force, if it wasn’t already.
The Falcons did score one more run on the day, but the Huskers held off the Falcons in the 8th and 9th to seal their 12-3 victory.
Next, Nebraska will open up Big 10 play with a three game home series against Michigan State.