Colby Gomes, Matt Waldron limit UC Riverside to one run, boost Huskers to 3-1

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Nebraska took a shutout into the ninth inning and the offense continued its hot start Sunday in a 7-1 victory over UC Riverside.

Freshman starter Colby Gomes logged four scoreless innings and Matt Waldron went the rest of the way. The pair combined to allow eight singles, one walk and one hit batter while five Huskers drove in runs to help NU win three of four in the series.

“You just don’t know what you’re going to get for the first weekend,” Nebraska coach Darin Erstad said during his postgame radio interview. “I liked the fight. It was there like I knew it was there, but to see it actually work was good to see.”

Nebraska (3-1) returns to the field for a four-game set against defending national champion Oregon State beginning Thursday in Surprise, Arizona.

That matchup takes on more intrigue after NU capped a successful weekend with an error-free flourish. Gomes, a Millard West graduate, escaped a bases-loaded-no-outs jam in the first inning and again eluded damage in the second after two Highlanders reached with one away. He struck out two and gave up six hits.

“It looked like he really settled down,” Erstad said. “He was dropping his arm a little bit, fastball was getting up. But then he got on top of the baseball and was throwing downhill at the bottom of the strike zone. He did a nice job of locking it back in. Very, very happy with his first outing.”

Then Waldron, a weekend starter last season, retired the first 12 he faced — fanning seven — before Riverside manufactured a run in the ninth. The senior picked up the win for his five-inning effort.

Riverside, meanwhile, couldn’t keep down an NU offense that generated 40 runs in its first three games. Aaron Palensky’s RBI hit in the first and Luke Roskam’s two-run single in the third staked Nebraska to a 3-0 lead. Angelo Altavilla’s RBI hit in the seventh extended the advantage before NU added three more in the ninth.

Nebraska (3-1)………….102 000 103 — 7 9 0

UC Riverside (1-3)……..000 000 001 — 1 8 1

W: Matt Waldron, 1-0. L: Priddy, 0-1.