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Nebraska Baseball Drops BIG Tournament Opener

Nebraska blows early lead, bullpen can't hang on.

The Nebraska Baseball team fell to the Illinois Fighting Illini 3-2 in the opening game of the BIG Tournament. Nebraska held an early 2-0 lead but missed opportunities to expand their lead while the Illini capitalized.

Both Chance Sinclair and Kevin Duchene were on their game early as they went pitch for pitch early. Sinclair allowed only one hit through his first five innings.

Nebraska would not be without chances. In the fifth, Scott Schreiber would single to bring up Jake Placzek. Placzek would double in the left center gap. Schreiber would be held at third with only one out. Wes Edrington and Ryan Boldt were both unable to get the job done, flying out and striking out respectively.

The Huskers would break through in the sixth with a pair of runs. Tanner Lubach would double with one out. Luis Alvarado would double to drive in Lubach. Blake Headley and Schreiber would respond with back to back base hits to put the Huskers up 2-0. Nebraska would miss an opportunity to add more when Ben Miller grounded into a double play to end the threat.

Illinois would answer with two runs in the sixth. Three singles sandwiched around a strikeout and a sacrifice fly would tie the game.

Sinclair and Duchene would depart and let the bullpens battle. Nebraska would falter while the Illini got 2.1 scoreless innings. Colton Howell would give up a single and a walk to start the eighth. Howell would then allow a sacrifice and a RBI single. Nebraska would get out of the inning with no further damage.

Nebraska would try to mount a rally against Tyler Jay, a future first round draft pick. Nebraska would go down in order in seven pitches. Nebraska will now await the loser of Maryland and Michigan State, playing in the losers bracket at 1:00 PM tomorrow.