Husker baseball team humbled as Creighton breaks out early in 10-2 rout
Colby Gomes succinctly described Nebraska’s performance against Creighton Tuesday night.
“That’s baseball. We kicked their ass, they’re going to kick ours,” the NU freshman said after the Huskers lost to the Bluejays 10-2. “The game humbles you.”
Everything the Nebraska baseball team was while winning 11 of its last 13 games, the Huskers weren’t Tuesday night.
Creighton jumped on NU with a first-inning home run, and Nebraska was listless and sloppy throughout at Haymarket Park in its first home loss of the season.
In falling behind 6-0 through five innings, Nebraska (17-10) hit three batters, didn’t cut off a throw from the outfield with a chance to get a runner at second, and slipped, fell, and dropped a foul popup that eventually led to a Creighton run.
Combined with last season’s 12-9 loss to the Bluejays at Haymarket Park, Tuesday marked the first time since the 2009 and 2010 seasons Nebraska has lost consecutive games to Creighton in Lincoln.
A day that started with new men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg throwing out the first pitch to a standing ovation from the crowd of 5,870 ended quietly.
“Unfortunately we wasted a beautiful day at the ballpark with a great crowd, and that stings,” NU coach Darin Erstad said. “I don’t like wasting days.”
With the Creighton softball team beating Nebraska 9-1 a couple hours earlier in Omaha, it marked the first time the Bluejays beat the Huskers in softball and baseball on the same day since April 5, 1989.
Nebraska’s first hit didn’t come until Nebraska-Kearney transfer Ty Roseberry lofted a single into left field with two outs in the fourth inning.
The Huskers finished with just four hits after pounding Purdue for 39 runs in a three-game weekend series just days earlier.
The signs were there from the beginning that it might not be Nebraska’s night.
While fans were still settling into their seats, Creighton’s Isaac Collins shot a single up the middle on the first pitch of the game from NU starter Kyle Perry.
The freshman left-hander then retired the next two Bluejays before CU first baseman Jake Holton blasted a two-run homer to left-center to stake the Jays (17-7) to an early lead.
Perry, one week after a stellar outing at Kansas State, didn’t make it out of the third inning. Creighton loaded the bases in that frame, eventually scoring three runs.
After giving up five total runs in the first four appearances of his career (9.1 innings), Perry gave up five on four hits in 2.1 innings Tuesday.
“I think when they came out and put a two-spot on us in the first inning, that kind of killed our energy a little bit,” Gomes said. “And it wasn’t until the seventh inning where we finally picked it up and scored a couple.”
The Huskers found their only bit of life in the seventh when Roseberry was hit by a pitch and later scored on a double from Gomes. Cam Chick later drove home NU’s second run with a groundout.
“There just wasn’t those consistent at-bats that we’ve been seeing. And the pitches we were swinging at early in the count were weak contact,” Erstad said. “It’s my job to figure out why that is, but I’ve also seen a lot of really good things out of these guys. I know in the game of baseball, crazy stuff happens. So it’s one of those things where you wear it and move on to the next day.”
Freshman Spencer Schwellenbach got the start at shortstop, his first action after missing 11 games with an ankle injury. He finished 0-for-2 before leaving after the third inning.
“Just a couple at-bats to get him moving around a little bit,” Erstad said. “I thought he looked pretty good moving around, which was good to see, and it seems like he came out of it all right, so it’s a positive direction.”