LINCOLN, Neb. – For the first time in 40 years, Nebraska has lost its home opener.
Freshman right-hander Taylor Dollard retired all seven batters he faced, five via strikeout, and freshman first baseman Tate Samuelson and senior outfielder Colby Barrick both drove in three runs as Cal Poly scored 10 runs in the final three innings to turn an 8-4 deficit into a 14-8 victory over Nebraska on Thursday afternoon inside Hawks Field at Haymarket Park.
The Huskers had not lost a home opener since 1978 when St. Cloud State posted a 15-6 victory.
The Nebraska streak of 39 consecutive wins in home openers came to an end when Cal Poly scored five times in the seventh inning to erase the four-run deficit and added two more runs in the eighth and three in the ninth.
Samuelson hit a solo home run in the second inning, his second as a Mustang, grounded out in the fifth for another RBI and singled to knock in a third run in the ninth.
Barrick drove in a run in each of his final three plate appearances – singles in the seventh and ninth innings and a hit by pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth.
With the win, Cal Poly improved to 6-7 on the year. Nebraska fell to 6-6. Temperatures were in the low 40s with little wind and sunny skies.
But Nebraska tallied three runs of its own in the bottom of the second and eventually built an 8-4 lead through six frames.
In the top of the seventh, Cal Poly scored five times to take the lead for good. Barrick's RBI single and DiCarlo's bases-loaded walk made it 8-6 and, with the bases loaded and McKenna at the plate, Nebraska committed two throwing errors on McKenna's grounder to shortstop, allowing all three base runners to score for a 9-8 Mustang advantage.
Cal Poly pulled away with two runs in the eighth – Barrick hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Dylan Doherty's grounder – and three in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Marinconz and RBI singles by Samuelson and Barrick.
Dollard (pictured above), who struck out Zac Repinski, 4-for-4 with two RBI at the time, with the potential game-tying run at second base, ending the seventh frame, fanned four more Huskers over the final two innings for his first save.
Mike Waldron (0-1), the fourth of six pitchers used by Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad, suffered the loss, giving up the last two runs in the seventh that gave Cal Poly the lead for good.
Samuelson went 3-for-6 at the plate while Marinconz, Barrick, Doherty and DiCarlo all had two hits each as Cal Poly outhit Nebraska 13-12 en route to just its second win over the Huskers in 11 tries.
Repinski was 4-for-5 with two RBI and catcher Jesse Wilkening 3-for-5 with three RBI for Nebraska.
Cal Poly's five pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts while the half-dozen Nebraska hurlers issued 10 walks.
Second game of the four-game series will be played Friday at 11:35 a.m. PST with senior southpaw Trent Shelton on the mound for Cal Poly.