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Disastrous 1st Inning Dooms Nebraska Baseball

Huskers comeback falls short, 6-5.

Aaron Rastovski

How do you solve a problem like Nebraska Baseball’s mid-week games? It seems like every time the team takes the field on a week night, they come out completely flat. Luckily there is only one and a half of them left.

In fact, if you’ve been attending games in Lincoln, the last time you saw the Huskers not get down multiple runs right off the bat, was the last time this North Dakota State team came to Haymarket Park on March 28th. Even then, they still picked up the 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

What’s the last time the Huskers scored first in a midweek game in Lincoln? A 10-6 loss to Omaha on March 14th. All season, there was only one mid-week home game that the Huskers scored first, and won. That was the home opener vs Northern Colorado, on March 7th.

Nebraska is going to have to get this weeknight thing figured out. Their only ticket to the NCAAs lies in a Big Ten Tournament Championship, and last time I checked, a whole lot of those games are on weeknights.

Game Recap

As for the game tonight, Super Senior Kyle Perry took the mound for the Big Red and it was clear from the word “Go!” that he just didn’t have his stuff tonight. Each of the the first 6 players reached base, with the big blow being a 3 run home run by Bison left fielder, Drew Sackett. Add to that back to back RBI sacrifice flies, and it was 5-0 before most people had found their seats.

The Bison would add another run in the 3rd off of reliever Drew Christo, as former Husker Jack Steil led off the inning with a single. Then, as the inning went on, he advanced to second on a wild pitch, then third on a passed ball, and finally came home on yet another wild pitch. That pushed the Bison lead to 6-0.

NDSU had switched their rotation around this past week, and so former weekend starter, Max Loven took the mound. He had the Huskers in fits swinging at his big-breaking, slow curveball. He struck out 4 Nebraska hitters in his 3 innings pitched. It took until the 3rd inning for Nebraska to break through, and it did so in a fairly big way. Back to back solo home runs by Cole Evans and Brice Matthews cut the lead to 6-2 after 3 innings.

In the 4th, Griffin Everett hit a solo home run himself, just barely sneaking it inside the left field foul pole, to make it a 6-3 ballgame. After that, the bullpens for each team dominated. Jackson Brockett calmed things down on the mound for Nebraska, tossing a scoreless 4th inning. Brett Sears pitched 3 perfect innings, and to close it out, Corbin Hawkins added 2 perfect innings of his own.

In the bottom of the 9th, Brice Matthews came through for Nebraska again, hitting his 2nd no doubter of the day, a 2 run home run, to make it a 6-5 ballgame. But the Huskers would fail to score any more after that.

The Huskers will now travel to College Park, Maryland to take on the first place Terrapins in a 3 game series starting Friday.

Other Notes

  • The Huskers have 76 home runs on the season, the most since 2003. The school record is 93 in 1985.
  • Brice Matthews has 17 home runs to retake the team lead, and with his 1 banked from the unfinished Creighton game, ties Scott Schreiber’s 18 for the most by a Husker in the Big Ten era. 1 more puts him in the top 10 for a season. The school record is 25.
  • Max Anderson is 1 home run away from tying for 10th all time in career home runs. He currently has 33.