WICHITA, Kan. — A pair of grand slams was more than enough to power unbeaten Wichita State past a struggling Nebraska offense in a 9-1 blowout to open a three-game series Friday afternoon at Eck Stadium.
Junior Mason O’Brien sent a jolt into a sleepy contest when he swatted a first-pitch offering from Nebraska starter Luis Alavarado over the right-field wall with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Omaha Roncalli grad Alec Bohm matched the feat in the seventh, nearly sending the ball onto the street just past left field.
O’Brien finished 3 for 3, adding a two-out RBI single in the sixth to chase Alvarado and help the Shockers (7-0) maintain their perfect record. The weekend tilt resumes Saturday at 2 p.m.
Alvarado retired 10 of the first 11 hitters he faced — allowing just a two-out O’Brien single in the second — before WSU responded with the biggest scoring output against Husker pitching in an inning this season. Bohm, the third baseman, reached on a fielding error in center field, then a single and walk set up the big blow.
A power righty and first-year NU starter, Alvarado struck out six, walked two and surrendered four hits across 89 pitches. Freshman Keegan Watson gave up three runs in two third of an inning, with all crossing home when classmate Andrew Abrahamowicz came on to face Bohm with the bags juiced in the seventh.
Meanwhile, Nebraska (5-4) had no answer for Wichita State freshman right-hander Codi Heuer, who scattered four hits and four walks in a career-long six innings. The Huskers stranded doubles in the first two frames, then managed just a Zac Repinski leadoff single — the senior’s first hit of the season — in their next three times at bat. Heuer fanned five while regularly hitting 95 mph on the radar gun and corners of the strike zone.
The biggest Big Red threats came with the game well out of reach. Heuer left after Jaxon Hallmark singled and Jeff Athey walked to open the seventh, and reliever Clayton McGinness delivered a pitch that Luke Roskam scorched to third base for a 5-4 double-play lineout. McGinness induced a slow roller to second to squash the potential threat.
In the eighth, Angelo Altavilla and Mojo Hagge started with singles, but netted just one run on a Jesse Wilkening RBI groundout.
Nebraska finished 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position while the Shockers went 4 for 6.