Three home runs made the difference Tuesday night in Manhattan, as the Nebraska (15-16, 2-6 Big Ten) took down Kansas State (15-18, 2-7 Big 12) by a final score of 11-9. Jesse Wilkening, Luke Roskam, and Mojo Hagge all went deep for the Huskers who snapped a four game losing streak with the win.
Kansas State scored runs in each of the first four innings, as they methodically worked counts against Husker starting pitch Nate Fisher.
Nebraska scored five runs, with two in the second and three in the third to match Kansas State at five early on. Nebraska used a free pass, an error, a wild pitch, and two sacrifices to get on the board in the second. In the third Hagge homered and Wikening and Roskam each had run scoring hits.
After being tied at five, Nebraska got the go ahead run in the form of Wilkening on base via a hit batter. Roskam then hit a line drive over the wall in right for his third home run of the season to put the Huskers up 7-5.
The Wildcats scored one in the sixth and three in the seventh to retake the lead. KSU got the rare two base sacrifice fly after Hagge made a diving catch while running into the wall in right center with the bases loaded. A ground rule double would add another run to make it 9-7 KSU.
Down to their final two at bats, the Huskers rallied in the eighth. Gunner Hellstrom pinch hit and walked to start the inning. Carter Cross was hit by a pitch, and Zac Luckey singled on a bunt to load the bases with no one out. Hagge hit into a double play to make it a 9-8 game with two outs. Scott Schreiber was hit by a 0-2 pitch, and stole second base to put the go ahead run in scoring position. Wilkening then took a letter high fastball over the fence in left for the go ahead three run jack.
After Mitch Steinhoff came into the game and hit the first batter he faced, Nebraska wasted no time in going to Jake Hohensee. Hohensee got the next three hitters in order to put down the Wildcats.
Jake got the Wildcats in order in the ninth to clinch his seventh save of the season. Ethan Frazier picks up the win for the Huskers, his first of the year.
It was not pretty, but Nebraska got the job done. Husker pitchers walked eight on the night, and only struck out four. Nebraska was out hit 12-8 and managed to make three errors against the Wildcats two.
Nebraska will feel good about getting back in the win column, but it becomes no easier with Big Ten rival Iowa coming to town this weekend. Nebraska and Iowa start their three game series with a Friday night matchup set for 6:35.