Champaign, Il- The 2018 Nebraska Baseball (24-28, 8-14 Big Ten) team finished their season Saturday with a 11-8 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini. Nebraska for the first time, fails to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament, and ends the season four games under .500.
With Seniors Brison Cronenbold, Scott Schreiber, Zac Repinski, Matt Warren, and Jake Hohensee, the Huskers sent them away as winners.
Warren, started the game and got through five innings while allowing three runs. He was effective, and efficient and provided the Huskers with a chance to win.
Illinois scored the first three runs of the game. Bren Spillane scored on a hit and run single in the first. In the second, Illinois added a pair when Jack Yalowitz hit a two run home run.
Nebraska tied the game in the fourth inning. Angelo Altavilla and Jaxon Hallmark both had hits to drive in a run, while Mojo Hagge had a run scoring groundout.
The Huskers platted two more in the fifth after Warren set down the Illini in the fourth. Jesse Wilkening doubled and scored after a ground out and a sacrifice fly from Repinski. Luke Roskam doubled and scored on Altavilla’s third hit of the day.
Nate Fisher came in for the sixth inning, and Illinois retook the lead. Fisher allowed two hits and a walk to load the bases. A double, sacrifice fly, and another double put the Illini ahead 7-5. Andrew Abrahamowicz relieved Fisher and got the final out of the inning.
Down 7-5, the Huskers batted around, and scored six runs in the seventh inning. The devastating blows were the Repinski two run home run and Keegan Watson hitting a three run home run. Schreiber added the sixth run when he scored on a Wilkening double.
Bren Spillane got his 22nd home run of the season in the bottom half of the seventh inning. Beisdes Spillane, Abrahamowicz got out of the inning without allowing another base runner.
Nebraska brought on Hohensee in the eighth inning. He managed to rack up a pair of strikeouts while posting a zero.
In the ninth, Hohensee allowed a leadoff walk, before a double play brought the first two outs of the inning. On the very next pitch, a grounder to Repinski at second ended the game.
Nebraska fails to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament for the first time ever. The Huskers, a year after winning the Big Ten regular season title now will sit at home, and heal. Nebraska will look at a pitching staff that allowed opponents to batter them all season and hope to find an answer.
While Bill Moos has said that Head Coach Darin Erstad will not be terminated, it remains to be seen how the assistant coaches will look. Does pitching coach Ted Silva get dismissed or will Mike Kerby be shown the door? Moos and Erstad will have plenty of time to figure it out, while the Huskers sit out the postseason.