WACO, Texas — Nate Fisher took a no-hitter into the ninth inning, and Nebraska finished off a combined one-hitter for the first time in six years in a 2-0 win over No. 21 Baylor on Saturday afternoon.
The senior left-hander from Yutan was masterful on a warm afternoon against a top-20 offense. He retired the first 16 batters before losing the perfect game on a four-pitch walk to eight-hole hitter Ryan Bertelsman in the sixth.
“Nate Fisher, that was as good as I’ve ever seen him pitch in four-plus years here,” Nebraska coach Darin Erstad said during his postgame radio interview. “He just had some kind of rhythm going, and, boy, that was fun to watch.”
Fisher allowed four base runners in all, including a fielding error at shortstop in the sixth and a hit batter in the seventh. He plunked a Baylor batter to begin the ninth, which prompted pitching coach Ted Silva to pull him after 84 pitches. Reliever Robbie Palkert promptly induced a double play before Davis Wendzel fisted a single to right that broke up the no-hit attempt.
Freshman Colby Gomes came in and earned his second save by coaxing a game-ending flyout.
Nebraska (6-6) scored a run in the fourth when singles by Gomes and Gunner Hellstrom set the stage for a Luke Roskam sacrifice fly. The Huskers, despite striking out 12 times and failing to add insurance in the seventh after loading the bases with one out, extended their lead to two runs with a two-out RBI single from Spencer Schwellenbach in the ninth that drove in Joe Acker.
But the day belonged to Fisher, who came within three outs of NU’s first individual nine-inning no-hitter in 65 years. He worked 11 ground-ball outs and seven more through the air while also benefiting from a variety of strong infield plays behind him. The only Husker pitcher to start each of the first four weekends lasted a career-long eight-plus innings while fanning six.
Erstad said he saw the kind of stuff Fisher had during warmups. When his delivery gets too long, his pitches tend to flatten out. With shortened mechanics, the southpaw’s offerings held extra bite.
“If he can repeat that,” Erstad said, “look out.”
Nebraska’s last combined no-hitter was against Arkansas in April 2013.
The Huskers now have three Top 25 wins. In a series that relocated from Lincoln because of inclement weather, Nebraska will aim for a sweep over Baylor (9-4) Sunday at 12:05 p.m.