The Nebraska Baseball team are Big Ten Champions! The Huskers routed Penn State 21-0, taking control early and dominating the Lions in an impressive effort. The Huskers win their first Big Ten Championship in baseball, and it’s the first conference title since the Huskers won the 2005 Big 12 Title.
Nebraska used a big first inning to make a statement. The first four Husker batters would reach when Jake Meyers walked, Angelo Altavilla was hit by a pitch, Scott Schreiber walked, and Ben Miller doubled. Combined with a wild pitch, the Huskers were up 3-0. A pair of ground ball outs plated Miller to stretch the lead to 4-0.
Penn State pitcher Eric Mock would then hit the Jesse Wilkening in the head, before hitting Jake Schleppenbach to end his day. Dakota Forsyth would relieve Mock and allowed a single from Mojo Hagge to drive in a run. After Meyers drew his second walk of the inning to load the bases, Altavilla doubled to score two more runs. Schreiber would make the final out of the inning.
After a quick 1-2-3 inning from Meyers in the first, Nebraska plated three more runs in the second. Miller singled through the right side to start the inning. Luis Alvarado and Luke Roskam would single to load the bases. Wilkening was hit by a pitch for the second time to plate Miller. A double play from Schleppenbach plated another, while Hagge singled in Roskam with two outs to make the lead 10-0.
Meyers allowed his first and only hit in the third inning when he allowed a two out single from the nine hole hitter Alex Malinsky. Meyers would strand him with a strikeout to end the inning.
The Huskers plated another pair in the fifth. Altavilla started a rally by reaching on a fielding error. A triple from Schreiber and a grounder from Miller plated another pair, moving the lead to 12-0.
Nebraska tacked on five more runs in the sixth. With one out, Wilkening reached on an error by the center fielder. A wild pitch and a walk to Schleppenbach put runners at the corners. Hagge singled to score Wikening. Another Meyers walk was followed by an Altavilla single to plate two. After a wild pitch, Schreiber sinlged to plate two more and put the score at 17-0. Nebraska had an opportunity to score more, but Schreiber was out on a passed ball that bounced right back to the catcher, and the Huskers left the bases loaded.
Meyers would be replaced by Matt Waldron who pitched a flawless seventh inning.
In the eighth, Nebraska plated four more runs. Miller singled, Alvarado was hit by a pitch, and pinch hitter Alex Raburn singled to load the bases. After pinch hitter Brady Childs struck out, Schleppenbach hit a grand slam to right field. Hagge missed back to back jacks by six feet as he had to settle for a double off the wall. A foul out and a grounder would end the inning.
In the eight, a single off of Waldron would be the second hit allowed by the Huskers all day. Waldron would strand him and we would go to the ninth. In the ninth, Nate Fisher came in, allowed a walk to start the inning and then set down the next two before a double put runners at second and third with two outs. Three straight singles would plate three runs for the Lions. A pop-up would end the game.
Nebraska ends the regular season 34-18-1 (16-7-1 Big Ten). Penn State finishes their season 18-37 (4-20 Big Ten). Nebraska clinches the first overall seed in the Big Ten Tournament, and will face the Purdue Boilermakers next Wednesday at 4 p.m. CST.