FRISCO, Texas — Nebraska arrived at the Frisco Classic looking to discover how it stacks up. The Huskers began the weekend Friday night with a head-turning win over a reigning College World Series qualifier.
Led by starter Matt Waldron, Husker pitchers limited one of the nation’s most potent offenses to four hits en route to a 2-1 victory over No. 3 Texas Tech at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The offense rose up for a two-run seventh and the lead held as NU toppled its highest-ranked opponent in five years.
The Huskers (4-5) return to action Saturday at noon against Sam Houston State in the round-robin tournament.
Nebraska and Tech enjoyed brilliant outings from their starters on a cold Friday night in north Texas. Erikson Lanning allowed just three base runners in five scoreless innings — striking out seven — and exited with a 1-0 advantage. Waldron, in his first start of the season, also fanned seven. The Red Raiders (6-2) plated a run in the third when preseason All-American Josh Jung doubled with two outs and Brian Klein singled him home.
Waldron “just used his experience, really executed well,” Nebraska coach Darin Erstad said during his postgame radio interview. “He moved the ball all over the zone, really elevated his fastball well, was able to pitch inside. He gave us a chance to win; it was a fantastic outing.”
NU — coming off four straight losses to top-10 Oregon State — rallied in the seventh off ace reliever Taylor Floyd. Luke Roskam ended an 0-for-14 skid with a one-out double and Joe Acker followed with a walk. That set the stage for pinch-hitter Mojo Hagge, who pulled an RBI single to right, and freshman Colby Gomes then beat out an infield hit to bring home another run.
Texas Tech entered the day averaging more than nine runs per game but couldn’t muster anything else against Waldron, Chad Luensmann or Gomes. Luensmann worked around four walks in three scoreless frames for the victory. Gomes, a Millard West graduate, converted his first collegiate relief appearance into a memorable save. He shook off a dropped fly ball to the first batter — NU’s only error of the night — and retired the next three batters, including two by strikeout.
“He just seems to thrive in those situations,” Erstad said. “We’ll give it to him.”
Tech, which has reached the CWS in three of the last five seasons, didn’t put its leadoff man on base in an inning until the ninth as its six-game winning streak ended.
Since beating then-No. 1 Oregon State in 2014, the Huskers had been 1-14 against top-15 squads before Friday.
“That is what we have to do,” Erstad said. “Outside of a couple walks, we took care of the ball defensively. Offense wasn’t good, but if you pitch like we pitched and you play defense, you got a shot.”
— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) March 2, 2019
Nebraska at Frisco Classic
Noon Saturday vs. Sam Houston State: LH Nate Fisher (1-1, 6.75) vs. TBA
11 a.m. Sunday vs. Mississippi State: TBA vs. TBA
Radio: KNCY 1600 AM, 105.5 FM