Posted 2 years ago
By John Axtell
Lincoln – With a shot at the #2 seed at the Big Ten Tournament on the line, the Nebraska baseball team (25-28, 15-9 Big Ten) was unable to take care of business on Saturday afternoon at Hawks Field and dropped a 19-9 decision to the Michigan Wolverines (29-25, 14-10 Big Ten).
The Huskers, who’d already clinched the #3 seed, dropped 2 of 3 to the Wolverines…who grabbed the #6 seed to set up a fourth straight game between the teams as they’ll meet in the opening round of the tournament.
They will play the second game of the tournament on Wednesday at 3:35 CT p.m. at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. The tournament opener at 12:05 will have #4 Illinois and against #5 Minnesota.
The Nebraska offense continued to roll Saturday, putting up 9 runs for the second straight game and registering double-digit hits for the fifth straight game with 10, but the pitching faltered.
The Huskers yielded season-highs of 19 runs and 23 hits…the first time all season they’d given up 20 or more hits. Five Wolverines notched at least 3 hits and 2 had 4-hit games.
Nebraska Sophomore Pat Kelly had 3 hits for the second straight game, ending the series 7-for-14 with 5 RBIs. Chad Christensen was the only other Husker with a multi-hit day, giving him 240th hits in his career to tie Alex Gordon for ninth all-time in Nebraska history.
Michigan jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with three runs in the first and a run in the second. The Huskers answered in the bottom of the fourth with a four spot, with NU stringing together three-straight two-out singles.
Needing a win to qualify for the league tournament, the Wolverines combined to score 10 runs over the fifth and sixth inning that put them ahead 14-5. Michigan put the game away for good with five runs in the top of the eighth.
The Huskers never stopped fighting, as NU plated four runs in the bottom of the ninth after entering the inning in a 19-5 hole.
The Huskers will head to Minneapolis on Monday and practice at Target Field on Tuesday in preparation for the league tournament. Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle will have the call of every game of the tournament on the Husker Sports Network, including for free on Huskers.com. The Big Ten Network will also carry every game of the tournament live.