The Huskers and Boilermakers made a decision last night to move Fridays game up to a noon CT start, and it ended up being the perfect decision, as the rain began to fall just as the final strike was called. Then the monsoon happened just as the Purdue baseball team and grounds crew pulled out… the tarp.
Nebraska did jump out to another early lead, as they got a leadoff walk in the 2nd, followed by a single to put runners on the corners with 1 out. A squeeze bunt by Dylan Carey went right back to the pitcher, and Swansen was easily thrown out at home. Ben Columbus delivered with the next at bat anyway, pulling a ball right down the left field line for a stand up 2 RBI double. 2-0 Nebraska.
2 on, 2 out, 2-2 count, 2nd inning, 2 runs scored. pic.twitter.com/1BsX3uOw7n— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) May 19, 2023
Jace Kaminska then backed up that inning with a stellar inning of his own, striking out the side in the 2nd. Kaminska ended up only pitching 4.1 innings in preparation for next weeks tournament, throwing 69 total pitches, but tying a season high 7 Ks in the short outing.
Nebraska struck again in the 4th, as Gabe Swanson led off with a double, and was brought in on back to back singles. It had the looks of a big inning for Nebraska, but 3 straight outs kept it at a 3-0 game.
Kaminska gave up a leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning, and then Purdue pushed across an unearned run as Charlie Fischer was unable to pick up a low throw from Anderson on the next batter, and 2 singles after that brought him around to score. 3-2 Big Red after 4.
Kaminska would leave in the fifth, after striking out a player but allowing a single. Will Walsh was the somewhat surprising pick by the coaching staff to come in to relieve him. Walsh did not seem to have his best stuff as he allowed a 2 run home run in the inning, Walsh also allowed 3 runs to score in the 5th, on 3 singles and and a wild pitch.
The Boilermakers led 7-3 after 5 and would hold that lead for the remainder of the game despite Nebraska putting multiple runners on base, including the leadoff runner each of the last 3 innings.
Purdue still has a chance at making the Big Ten Tournament next week, but their magic number is 1. 1 more win by Michigan State, or 1 more loss tomorrow by Purdue, and they are done. The Spartans upset Indiana last night and play again Friday night at 7pm on BTN.
Nebraska and Purdue meet again on Saturday at 1pm CT at Alexander Field. Nebraska already used Will Walsh, so will have to turn to a new starter for the series finale. You’d have to expect someone in the group of Jackson Brockett, Brett Sears, or a struggling Michael Garza to get the start for the Huskers.