Huskers Rally for 8-5 Win
Lincoln – Trailing 4-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Nebraska baseball team (10-15, 4-1 Big Ten) took advantage of three Northwestern errors to score five runs on four hits. After the Wildcats knotted the game, 5-5, in the top of the eight, the Huskers added three runs in the bottom of the eighth to power their way to a series win over the Wildcats (10-8, 2-3 Big Ten) in front of 4,003 fans at Hawks Field.
Saturday's win marked the 2,000th victory in program history, dating back to the team's first season in 1889.
Northwestern starter Luke Farrell kept the Husker off balance through the first six innings, allowing no runs on eight hits, but was knocked out of the game in the seventh when his defense committed three errors behind him.
With Farrell gone, the Huskers feasted on the Wildcat’s bullpen with seven hits in less than two innings off the relievers. The Huskers totaled eight hits through the first six innings of the game and then exploded for nine combined hits in the seventh and eighth innings.
Six Huskers notched multiple-hits on the afternoon, including a game-high four hits from sophomore Pat Kelly. After going 0-for-9 in Friday night’s 16-inning marathon, the Red Wing, Minn., native responded with a 4-for-5 day at the plate, including a leadoff double in the eighth inning.
Chad Christensen and Blake Headley each drove in a pair of runs, with Christensen driving in the game-winning run for the second-straight game.
Nebraska starter Ryan Hander was tough on the mound early, as the 6-3 righty hung zeros on the board through the first three inning by retiring the first eight Wildcats he faced before giving up a two-out single in the third to Walker Moses. Following a Northwestern run in the fourth and one run in the fifth, the Wildcats knocked Hander out of the game and Brandon Pierce came to the mound with a runner on first and one out.
The Wildcats welcomed Pierce with three straight singles that scored a pair of runs to push Northwestern’s lead to 4-0. Pierce sat down Jack Havey and Scott Heelan in order to end the rally.
Pierce lasted 3.0 innings, as he was replaced by Tyler King in the eighth after loading the bases with a pair of one-out walks. King came on and got consecutive fly balls to end the innings, but the first fly out was deep enough to score a run to tie the game, 5-5.
After the offense posted three runs in the bottom of the eighth, King got the first out in the ninth, but then gave up a single and double to put the game-tying run at the plate. Head Coach Darin Erstad went to sophomore Aaron Bummer, who hit the first batter he faced to load the bases. The 6-2 lefty came right back with a strikeout and a groundout to strand three runners on his way to his first career save.
The Huskers go for a sweep of the Wildcats tomorrow at Hawks Field, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Following the game, kids are encouraged to take part in an Easter Egg Hunt at the playground area behind the right-field wall.