With the second place Michigan Wolverines coming to town, the Huskers look to pad their seeding a bit heading into regionals. All eyes were on the Huskers as in front of a packed house, they took on one of their toughest opponents all year. Already cementing themselves as the Big Ten champs, and with Cade Povich on the mound, the Huskers were booming with confidence heading into the weekend.
With the two team’s top lefties facing off, this was one of the more exciting pitching match ups we’ve seen all season.
The game couldn’t have started off better as Povich started the game off with one of baseball’s rarest feats, an impressive immaculate inning. After a scoreless first three innings with only two hits, the Wolverines threatened a bit with a lead off hit by pitch from Povich. Povich then struck out the next two batters he faced, but with the runner going with a full count and two outs, Joe Acker made an impressive diving catch in the gap to save a run and get the Huskers out of the inning.
The Huskers struck out again in the third. The bats were noticeably quiet on both sides, with zero hits heading into the fifth for Michigan and just two for the Huskers, the pitchers duel we all expected was definitely present. The Wolverines got their first hit after a leadoff walk in the fifth with runners on first and second with no outs. Povich got the next batter to bunt foul for an out and then a fly-out to right. The number nine hitter for the Wolverines Riley Bertrum then hit one up the middle that was snagged by Povich to get himself out of the jam.
The Huskers threatened a little bit in the bottom of the fifth with a two out Mojo Hagge walk, but on an attempted stolen base the inning was over after Gunner Hellstrom was called for an interference on his swing as the catcher attempted to throw him out. Zero-Zero game heading into the sixth..
With a leadoff double in the sixth the Wolverines once again threatened, getting two quick outs to recover the Huskers gave up a passed ball to move the runner to third. Povich then was able to notch another strike out and once again work himself out of a jam.
The Huskers threatened while Schwellenbach hit a two out single and promptly stole second on the next pitch to Luke Roskam. Luke got the job done for the Huskers. The senior first baseman laced a single on the ground right through the left side of the infield to drive in Schwellenbach to put the Huskers up 1-0.
The Wolverines put up two hits against Povich in the seventh, however Tito Lopez was thrown out trying to stretch a double into w triple and the Huskers were able to get out of the inning unscathed. The Huskers failed to do anything in the bottom of the inning.
The following inning Jake Bunz entered the game on the mound for the Huskers, Povich lasted a total of 7 innings keeping the Wolverines to zero runs and four hits. Exactly what the manager ordered.
Bunz came in and shut the Wolverines down in the 8th inning for Schwellenbach to close the door. One run was all the difference in this one as the Huskers take game 1 against the Wolverines.
The defense was error free and the pitching held its end, the Huskers will take on the Wolverines again tomorrow at noon.