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Cal Poly vs. Nebraska baseball, 3/10

Nebraska's Mojo Hagge hits a single against Cal Poly on Saturday at Haymarket Park.

KAYLA WOLF, Journal Star

Baseball and humility often go hand-in-hand.

Try hitting a 90-mph fastball sometime.

However, Nebraska's confidence at the plate should be soaring after the Huskers scored 35 runs Saturday in their doubleheader sweep of Cal Poly at Haymarket Park.

The uprising gives Nebraska (9-6) momentum entering Tuesday's 1:35 p.m. game against Northern Colorado (10-5) at Haymarket Park.

"It can get you a little inflated ego, too, where you think you're better than you really are," Husker coach Darin Erstad said. "We have to remember what got us here."

Nebraska junior infielder Angelo Altavilla — who was 4-for-6 with six runs scored and five RBIs in the doubleheader — seemed unconcerned about a letdown.

"I know we're capable of a lot of things," he said. "We just have to be humble about our work this week, knowing that we could lose a game or two coming up. We just have to stay confident in what we can do.

"It definitely helped to put up a ton of runs. I think we'll be just fine."

Even with the offensive explosion against Cal Poly, Nebraska is hitting just .264 on the season, which ranks sixth in the Big Ten.

Three other Huskers had four hits in the two games Saturday — Zac Repinksi (4-for-8 with six runs scored), Scott Schreiber (4-for-8 with four RBIs) and Luke Roskam (4-for-8 with six RBIs).

Erstad wants his players to "grind out" at-bats and show discipline.

"We've done a really good job of that for the most part this season, especially with two strikes," he said. "We did that (Saturday), and now we're finding some holes doing that — and we're also doing a good job early in the count of getting our swings off."

"It's been there all year," Altavilla added. "It just hasn't really come out in huge bunches like we had (Saturday). It'll be there, and I'm excited with this week coming up."

Northern Colorado comes off a four-game sweep of South Dakota State (2-14). The Bears' pitching coach is R.D. Spiehs, whose 21 wins from 1999-2001 rank eighth on Nebraska's all-time list.

His staff will encounter a Husker team being led offensively by Repinski, whose .405 average ranks fourth in the Big Ten, and Jesse Wilkening, whose 22 RBIs are tied for the league lead.

Altavilla raised his average from .208 to .259 with his big Saturday.

He'll never use cold weather as an excuse for a slow start at the plate.

"Personally, being from Minnesota, that's what you play in," he said. "As far as the team goes, there are other teams playing in this cold weather at the beginning (of the season). Arkansas has to do it. That's a very good team. There are other teams in the Midwest that are really good.

"You kind of have to come out with a chip on your shoulder."

Nebraska and Northern Colorado also will play at 1:35 p.m. Wednesday at Haymarket.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.


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