The Nebraska Baseball team, needing to get back to their winning ways after a B1G opening series loss to Iowa, got the performance they needed all weekend long as they took three consecutive games from the Ohio State Buckeyes at Hawks Field.
Kicking the weekend off in style, Nebraska got a complete game victory from Christian DeLeon as Nebraska scored 3 in the bottom of the 8th inning to defeat Ohio State 3-2. DeLeon used 119 pitches to get 27 outs, giving up eight hits and two runs and getting six strikeouts. Friday marked the fourth straight start DeLeon went 7 innings, with 3 of those starts going at least 8 innings.
In the bottom of the 8th inning, the Husker rally started off by Steven Reveles and his HBP. Austin Darby moved Reveles to 2nd base on a misplayed grounder, and Ryan Boldt got both runners to move up 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt. Michael Pritchard and Pat Kelly both had RBI singles to plate Reveles and Darby in back to back At-Bats, tying the game at 2. Two batters later, Ben Miler nubbed a ball down the third base line that couldn't be played, giving the Huskers the lead for the rest of the evening.
On Saturday, it was Chance Sinclair's turn to go the distance for the Huskers on the mound, as he went the distance giving up zero earned runs and seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Even though the defense failed him at times, Nebraska plated three in the ninth inning to move Sinclair's record to 5-1 on the season as the Huskers won 4-3.
In that ninth inning, Blake Headley walked after a Ryan Boldt putout, then was followed by a Christian Cox single. Austin Christensen struck out to put the Huskers in their final at-bat for the day. However, OSU reliever Travis Lakins issues consecutive walks to Ty Kildow and Jake Placzek to score Quinn McGill (running for Boldt), the Buckeyes went to All-American reliever Trace Dempsey to close the deal. Dempsey got Michael Pritchard to a 1-2 count before the Senior Left Fielder shipped it back up the box into Center Field to score Kildown and Cox, giving the Huskers the series win and their third consecutive victory.
To close out the B1G homestand on a Sunday afternoon, it was Aaron Bummer's turn to run 9 innings full as he got two strikeouts as he only allowed five hits and one walk. Combine that with another 9th inning game winning RBI situation converted, this time by Tanner Lubach, the Huskers snagged the sweep with a 2-1 win for their fourth consecutive victory.
The Buckeyes got their lone run in the first inning, when the Buckeyes loaded the bases and Josh Desze got a double play ball that scored Troy Kuhn, who reached on an error in the first at-bat of the day.
Nebraska opened scoring for the home side in the fourth, getting Pat Kelly across the plate as Jake Post, who ended up going the distance as well for the Buckeyes, gave up the first of two RBI singles to Lubach.
In the bottom of the 9th, Post retired the first 2 batters before Blake Headley and Ben Miller snagged singles to get in scoring position. After a visit to the mound where Post was left in, Lubach made the next pitch the last one, as he drove a ball into right-center field, scoring Headley. It was Lubach's second walk-off hit, the last one being the walk-off HR in the B1G tourney last year vs. Indiana at Target Field.
On the weekend, the Huskers used ZERO pitches from their bullpen. It should be noted that the Huskers never got anything more than singles and such, but the pitching held their part of the bargain.
The Huskers are back in action Tuesday, as they take on Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park. Jake Hohensee will go to the mound for Nebraska as Creighton will send Jeff Albrecht to the hill.
Big Ten Standings
(B1G record, Overall record)
1. Indiana 7-1 .875 17-10 .630
2. Illinois 5-1 .833 17-11 .607
3. Penn State 4-1 .800 15-14 .517
4. Nebraska 4-2 .667 19-13 .594
5. Minnesota 5-4 .556 17-10 .630
6. Michigan State 4-4 .500 17-11 .607
7. Michigan 4-5 .444 14-17-1 .453
8. Iowa 3-5 .375 16-11 .593
9. Purdue 2-4 .333 6-21 .222
10. Ohio State 2-7 .222 18-13 .581
11. Northwestern 1-7 .125 4-22 .154
Through games of April 6