Nebraska opened Big Ten play Friday night, falling to the visiting Minnesota Golden Gophers by a final score of 5-1. Minnesota outhit Nebraska 9-8, but the dagger was seven walks by Husker pitching while Minnesota only offered up one.
After a scoreless first inning in which both teams stranded a leadoff runner, Minnesota scored first. Cole McDevitt, Ben Mezzenga, and Jack Wassel all singled to start the inning. After a pop up from Riley Smith, Alex Boxwell singled to bring home McDevitt and Mezzenga. Boxwell was caught stealing and Luke Pettersen grounded out to get Luis Alvarado out of the inning.
Nebraska responded with a run of their own in their half of the second. Scott Schreiber doubled to start the inning. A wild pitch, and a Luke Roskam single plated Schreiber to cut the deficit to one.
Boxwell added to the Minnesota lead in sixth after both Mezzenga and Wassel walked to start the inning. After a sac bunt, Boxwell ripped another single to give him four RBI’s for the night.
The Huskers stranded two runners in their half of the sixth. Mojo Hagge and Jesse Wilkening both singled, with Wilkening notching his 100th career hit. Roskam stranded both Hagge and Wilkening by grounding out to end the inning.
Mike Waldron replaced Alvarado and loaded the bases in the seventh. He got out of a nobody out and bases loaded with allowing only a single run on a sacrifice fly.
Nebraska could not muster any more offense in either the seventh, eighth, or ninth. Nebraska falls to 12-10 (0-1 Big Ten) while Minnesota improves to 15-8 with a 1-0 record in Big Ten play. The Huskers and Gophers continue their three-game series on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. (CT).