Just getting on the field, no matter how brutal the weather, was good enough for the first of the three-game Red-White Husker baseball series Tuesday at Haymarket Park.
“With all the things going on, tutors, classes, labs and all the other things we ask these guys to do in the fall, this was OK,” said Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad.
The Red team, led by catcher Taylor Fish, who tripled in a pair of runs, and one-hit pitching by a combined staff of three, won 4-1 in seven innings before 286 bundled fans.
Zach Hirsch picked up the victory. He allowed just one hit in four innings. Designated hitter Matt Jones added a pair of hits and Austin Christensen hit a sacrifice fly for the winners. Freshman Ryan Boldt, a center fielder, also picked up a hit and a run.
The White team loaded the bases in the fourth with one out on a walk, an error and Blake Headley’s single, the team’s only hit. Hirsch got the next two batters out on a force and a flyball.
“We’ve obviously got a lot of work to do, but I like the energy and the intensity of this team,” Erstad said. “I’m happy with the effort because there is so much beyond baseball asked of these guys in the fall.”
Baseball players usually take 15 hours of classes, including labs, in the fall, and limit themselves to 12 hours and no labs during the season in the spring.
Erstad said catcher Tanner Lubach had successful surgery to help clean up a hip flexor problem and will be back for the season. Erstad said shortstop Wes Edrington will be out six to eight weeks after knee surgery. He tore his ACL in practice when his spikes caught in the turf.
The series continues at 3 p.m. Wednesday and 6:30 p.m. Thursday for seven-inning games. There is no admission fee.
The Husker season opener is Feb. 14 in Tempe, Ariz. Nebraska's home opener is March 4.