LINCOLN — A pair of first-inning home runs were more than enough for Nebraska in an 8-1 victory over Northern Colorado that capped a sweep of the two-game midweek series.
Aaron Palensky finished with five RBIs — including a three-run bomb in the opening frame — and Spencer Schwellenbach also went yard early as the Huskers led 8-0 after three innings. Freshman Quinn Mason picked up the victory with three scoreless stanzas as the first of five Huskers pitchers to shut down UNC.
A Palensky two-run double in the second and Jaxon Hallmark two-run single in the third provided all the offense Nebraska (7-8) would need against the Bears (4-13), who cycled through six pitchers.
“When we’re not trying and searching out the pull-side homer, we’re pretty good,” NU coach Will Bolt said during his postgame radio interview. “I felt like especially the first four innings of this game, we were locked in offensively.”
NU was also error-free for a ninth time in the last 11 games.
Mason, a Gretna grad making his first career start, struck out a pair and allowed one hit and one walk across 54 pitches. Navigating their first NU mound appearances of the spring were Hallmark (one scoreless inning, two strikeouts) and freshman Kyle Wisch (two innings, one run, two strikeouts). Freshman Ethan Bradford — in his second career outing — fanned four in two shutout frames. Tyler Martin threw a scoreless ninth.
“I thought there were a lot of good signs over the course of this entire home stand with guys,” Bolt said. The Huskers shut out UNC 1-0 on Tuesday and finished 5-1 at Haymarket Park in their Haymarket Park debut.
Nebraska travels to Wichita State (13-2) for four games this weekend beginning with a Friday matchup at 3 p.m. The Shockers have won 12 straight while NU has taken three straight and six of its last seven.
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