Not a day for baseball with wind speeds in the teens and temperatures in the 30s?
Nebraska bats warmed up with 20 hits, and 10 Husker pitchers toasted Northern Colorado in the Huskers' 10-5, 5-1 sweep before 1,013 fans Wednesday at Haymarket Park.
Husker senior Kash Kalkowski roasted Bears pitching for five hits and raised his batting average 107 points to .286.
The Grand Island native drove in a run in the second game with an infield hit in the fifth inning and scored three runs with three singles and two stolen bases in the opener.
“It's one of those things where you struggle early and everything is magnified,” said Husker coach Darin Erstad, whose team has won four in a row since an 0-7 start to the season. “It was just a matter of time before you get going. Have a couple of good games and now you look like a great hitter. He (Kalkowski) looked good today.”
Nebraska’s offense, hitting just .238 with 28 runs through nine games, bumped up the team's season batting average 11 points Wednesday.
“We don’t look at numbers but look at approach -- taking the middle of the field,” Erstad said. “The intent of the swings looked better. The intent of our offense was more in line with what we’re trying to do on offense.”
Nebraska's Austin Darby, who had four hits and three RBIs for the afternoon, homered in the first inning of the opener. Corey Stringer, an Omaha Skutt graduate by way of junior college, had three hits and drove in four runs, and Chad Christensen had a hit, walked five times and stole three bases.
The Husker pitching was as strong as the hitting.
Jeff Chesnut, a freshman right-hander from Millard South, gave up a hit, a walk and a run in the first inning of the second game. But he didn’t allow another hit through his four-inning stint.
“My first start and I did not want to give up a hit and a walk,” Chesnut said. “I kept looking to get that groundball and kept my focus on not giving up walks. We ended up not giving up too many walks all day.”
NU pitchers allowed six walks and 10 hits for the doubleheader.
In the second game, Nebraska scored three runs on three hits, including a two-run single by Darby, in the second inning. The Huskers added two more runs in the fifth with the help of an infield hit by Pat Kelly and a single by Josh Scheffert. Five NU relievers each pitched a scoreless inning.
In the opener, Kalkowski and Stringer collected three hits apiece to back the strong pitching of starter Aaron Bummer and reliever Zach Hirsch. Stringer drove in a career-high four runs.
Bummer earned the victory, striking out five and limiting the Bears to three hits in three innings. Hirsch allowed three hits and struck out six in four innings.
NEBRASKA 10, NORTHERN COLORADO 5, FIRST GAME
E--Yamane (3); Love (1). DP-- Northern Colorado 1. LOB--Northern Colorado 8; Nebraska 7. 2B--Sanguinetti (1); Stringer (1). 3B--Christens (2) HR--Darby (1). SB--Banach (2); Park (1); Darby (2); Christens 2(3); Kalkowski 2(4); Lubach (1). CS--Netzel (1); Kalkowski (1).
W--Bummer (1-0). L--Loutzenhiser (0-1). S--none. HBP--Packard; Yamane. WP--Loutzenhiser (1) PB--Lambert (1); Lubach (2). T--2:33.
NEBRASKA 5, NORTHERN COLORADO 1, SECOND GAME
E--Yamane (4); CHesnut (1). DP--Nebraska 1. LOB--Northern Colorado 3; Nebraska 7. SB--CHristens (4). CS--Banach (2), Kildow (1), Darby (1). SH--Packard (1). SF--Miller (1).
W--CHesnut (1-0). L--Tinnon (0-1). S--none HBP-- Peters; Fish. WP--Tinnon (1) PB--Tibbitts (1). T--2:15. A--1,013.