Behind a big inning and Roskam’s bat, Husker offense stays on fire in clinching series against Purdue
One big inning.
That’s what turned a tie baseball game into a rout, as Nebraska clinched the series victory with a 13-4 win against Purdue after a seven-running fifth inning Saturday at Haymarket Park.
“It’s awesome to put up 13 or 15 runs every game,” Husker catcher Luke Roskam said. “Especially sitting next to a pitcher every inning, seeing the load come off them and knowing we’re going to produce; everyone is just swinging well.”
After not being in the lineup Friday, Roskam responded with his best game of the year.
The junior drove in three runs and collected three singles to lead NU.
“Keep working hard, that’s been my main goal this whole season, even though it hasn’t been going the way it’s supposed to in my mind,” Roskam said. “I know it’s going to come back around and it finally has. The past few weekends I’ve been hitting balls hard and trying to stick to my approach.”
Husker coach Darin Erstad was pleased with Roskam’s performance, especially after not being in the lineup Friday.
“I don’t know how you’d classify it (Roskam’s absence from the lineup Friday),” Erstad said. “Physically, he’s fine. I’m just trying to put a lineup together to win a baseball game.”
Roskam and Cam Chick led the Husker attack, but they didn’t produce the biggest hit of the day.
With the game’s outcome no longer in doubt, Ty Roseberry blasted a solo shot to left field for his first home run as a Husker.
Roseberry transferred from Nebraska-Kearney after the Loper program was eliminated last season. He hadn’t played this season until taking his first at-bat against Kansas State on Tuesday, getting a single.
“Our hitting philosophy is just see the baseball up,” Roseberry said. “He (Purdue reliever Austin Peterson) hung a pitch he probably shouldn’t have and I got my barrel to it.”
Chick also homered for the Huskers. The freshman third baseman belted a three-run blast in the seven-run fifth, one night after hitting his first career home run, to blow up Purdue starter Andrew Bohm’s outing.
Bohm surrendered 10 runs, eight earned, and took the loss.
The Huskers started senior left-hander Nate Fisher and he dealt with a blister on his pitching hand early. The blister ended his day after three innings.
“He’s had it and it’s been there, it just started to get a little bigger,” Erstad said. “We just want to be very careful with it. It’s just tough to command your pitches when you have that.”
Mike Waldron came on in relief and picked up the win, his first of the year.
Robbie Palkert earned the save, also his first of the year, with 3.2 innings.
“It was nice to be able to stretch Robbie out there a bit,” Erstad said.
“Get his pitch count up and get him comfortable. He’s had a couple tough breaks when he’s been out there, so it was good to see him get comfortable and make some plays.”
The win moved NU to 16-9 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten Conference a year after winning just eight conference games.
“After not making the Big Ten Tournament last year, it’s safe to say it’s important to win games,” Erstad said, chuckling. “You’re going to have ups and downs in college baseball.”
NU will go for the sweep of the Boilermakers on Sunday at noon.