Nebraska showed some offensive firepower and received a strong pitching performance from Michael Mariot in posting an 8-2 victory over Cal State Northridge Sunday afternoon at Hawks Field.
Jake Mort, Cody Neer and Kyle Bubak all hit their first homers of the year, as Nebraska (10-3-1) rapped out 13 hits and completed a four-game sweep of the Matadors to extend its win streak to five games.
Mariot (1-0) was sharp, scattering six five hits over a career-long seven innings for his first win of the season. The sophomore right-hander fanned four and finished with a flourish, retiring seven of the final eight hitters he faced before leaving after tossing 94 pitches.
“I thought the pitching was outstanding,” Anderson said. “Michael Mariot was great. He got roughed up a little bit last time and it’s good to see him bounce back today.”
Bubak led the Husker attack, going 4-for-4 and scored twice as he recorded his second four-hit effort of the week. Neer had two hits and a pair of RBIs, while Mort provided the Huskers with all the offense they would need, a three-run homer in the second inning off of Cal State Northridge starter Bryan Harper.
Kline, who went 2-for-3 and scored twice, started the second-inning rally with a single to center before Nick Sullivan was hit by a Harper offering to put two on. Mort made the Matadors pay, belting a 2-2 pitch over the fence in right for only the second homer of his career.
One inning later, the Huskers chased Harper with two more runs to take a 5-0 lead. With one out, Neer lined a 2-1 pitch into the berm in right to make it a four-run lead. Kline doubled and scored moments later the Matadors misplayed Sullivan’s grounder for a two-base miscue.
Harper (0-1) allowed five runs on five hits in just 2.1 innings to take the loss.
That was more than enough offense for Mariot, who retired 10 of the first 11 hitters he faced before running into trouble in the fourth. Richards Cates doubled with one out and scored on Dominic D’Anna’s single to pull Northridge within 5-1.
The Huskers would quickly get the run back and then some, pushing across a pair of runs to make it 7-1. Bubak opened the frame with a homer to dead center. With two outs, Jeff Tezak doubled to center and scored on Neer’s second hit of the day, an RBI single to center.
“It was a good weekend, a really good weekend,” Anderson said. “I’m thrilled with the way our offense has clicked this weekend. The last four or five games, we were pretty motivated and had an intent in doing what we wanted to do with our hitting philosophy, and I really like seeing that.”
Nebraska tacked on its final run in the fifth, getting three straight singles capped by an RBI hit from Tyler Farst, who extended his hit streak to a team-high 10 games. One out singles by Bubak and DJ Belfonte put runners on first and second before Farst lofted a single to center, capping a stretch of four consecutive innings where Nebraska put runs on the board.
The Huskers return to action on Friday night, as they open Big 12 Conference action at Texas Tech. The game will be carried across the state on the Husker Sports Network and on Huskers.com.