The Nebraska baseball team (21-14-1, 5-3-1 Big Ten) fell behind early against Creighton and threatened to rally in the sixth inning before ultimately falling to the Bluejays, 5-2, at TD Ameritrade Park on Tuesday night.
The season series between the intrastate rivals is tied 1-1 with the rubber match set for May 10 in Omaha. Nebraska won the first game of the season series by a 14-6 margin on April 4 in Lincoln.
Sophomore pitcher Matt Waldron made his sixth start of the season and threw 4.0 innings. Creighton scored three runs with Waldron on the mound, one of which was earned. Sophomore lefthander Nate Fisher stepped in for a relief appearance, and threw 2.0 scoreless innings. Robbie Palkert and Jake McSteen each pitched 1.0 inning.
Creighton struck first when Michael Emodi’s two-out single in the first inning drove in Isaac Collins. Collins was walked and stole second base before Emodi’s line drive to centerfield. Creighton added a second hit in the opening frame, but a flyout ended the Bluejays’ chance to add to their 1-0 lead.
Nebraska earned its first hit of the game in the third inning when Brison Cronenbold reached on a grounder through the right side. The Huskers couldn’t convert, however, after Jake Meyers flied out to left field and Angelo Altavilla grounded out to the second baseman.
In the bottom of the third, Creighton scored two unearned runs to extend the lead to 3-0. Waldron gave up a pair of hits before Will Robertson advanced to first base on a hit-by-pitch. The Bluejays scored their first run of the inning when Riley Landuyt reached on a fielding error by Altavilla. Emodi scored the second run for the Jays when Bryce Only reached on a fielder’s choice. The Huskers managed a double play during the sequence to end the inning.
Creighton starting pitcher Austin Stroschein retired all three Husker batters in the top of the fourth. Waldron responded in the bottom half of the frame with a 1-2-3 inning of his own.
NU managed a pair of hits in the top of the fifth inning, but Mojo Hagge was caught stealing second base, and Jake Schleppenbach was stranded after a double to left field. In seven career starts against Creighton, Schleppenbach is 10-for-25 (.400).
The Huskers cut into the Bluejays’ lead with two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Meyers and Altavilla each singled before Creighton brought in pitcher Ethan DeCaster. Ben Miller singled to center field to drive in Meyers with no outs. Schreiber flew out to right field, allowing Altavilla to advance to third. Alvarado extended his season-long hitting streak to eight games when he knocked in Miller on a single up the middle.
The two teams each went 1-2-3 in the seventh inning, as Palkert came in for the Huskers. In NU’s first at-bat of the eighth inning, Altavilla reached on a fielding error, but was stranded on first after three straight Huskers were retired.
Creighton added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to build a 5-2 advantage. The Bluejays had five hits during the inning, driving in Emodi and Robertson. Nebraska threatened to score in the top of the ninth, but left two runners on base.
The Huskers journey to Minneapolis, Minn., this weekend for a three-game series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The first game is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. (CT).