The Nebraska baseball team (15-9, 5-2 Big Ten) delivered a first-inning knockout punch with six runs in the opening frame and pitched a shutout for the second consecutive game, as the Huskers throttled the Boilermakers, 17-0, at Hawks Field on Friday night. It marked Head Coach Darin Erstad’s 250th win at Nebraska.
Senior right-handed pitcher Matt Waldron, making his fifth start of the season, recorded a career-high nine strikeouts in 7.0 scoreless innings. He allowed only four hits and no walks. Waldron surpassed 200 career strikeouts and moved into eighth place on Nebraska’s career strikeouts list with 208 after his performance on Friday night.
The Husker offense smashed 19 hits, as seven Huskers tallied multi-hit efforts. Joe Acker and Mojo Hagge each led the way with three hits apiece, while five other Huskers had two-hit games.
NU scored six runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Acker hit a leadoff single before Aaron Palensky drew a walk. After a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Carter Cross delivered a two-RBI single. Keegan Watson was hit-by-pitch and Angelo Altavilla was walked to load the bases. A wild pitch scored one run. Cam Chick drove in one run with an RBI single before another run scored via wild pitch. Chick scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.
Nebraska added two runs in the bottom of the second to build an 8-0 lead. Palensky smacked a leadoff double before Mojo Hagge drove him with an RBI single up the middle. Later in the inning, Hagge scored on Altavilla’s RBI single.
The Huskers manufactured five more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Chick launched a leadoff home run, the first of his career to start the inning. Seven of the next eight Huskers got on base with four doubles, two singles and a walk. Gunner Hellstrom and Hagge each had two-RBI doubles during the frame.
NU tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth. Ben Klenke pitched the final 2.0 innings and recorded two strikeouts, while allowing only one hit. Purdue falls to 10-18 this season, with a 4-2 mark in Big Ten play.
The Huskers and Boilermakers continue their series on Saturday, starting at 2:05 p.m. (CT) at Hawks Field.