Huskers Come Up Short in Series Finale at Rutgers
Piscataway, N.J. – The Nebraska baseball team (17-21, 4-9 Big Ten) led 4-2 after the top of the fifth, but Rutgers scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth and never looked back in an 8-4 triumph at Bainton Field on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Matt Warren, who made his ninth start of the season, recorded five strikeouts and allowed three runs in 4.2 innings of work. Jake McSteen threw 0.2 inning of relief before Paul Tillotson pitched 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Nebraska’s first two hitters of the game, Mojo Hagge and Scott Schreiber, each singled before a double play. Luke Roskam and Angelo Altavilla drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. A diving play by the Rutgers shortstop ended the inning and left all three Huskers on base in a scoreless opening frame. The Scarlet Knights went down in order in the bottom of the first.
All three Husker batters in the top of the second were retired. Warren struck out two Scarlet Knights as part of a 1-2-3 bottom of the second inning.
After Hagge singled in the leadoff spot in the third, Schreiber smashed his team-high 13th home run of the season to give Nebraska a 2-0 lead. It marked his second home run of the weekend and 39th of his career. Rutgers tied the game at 2-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. A leadoff single followed by a walk got the first two batters on base. Nick Matera drove in two runs with his bases loaded single.
NU went down in order in the top of the fourth. The Scarlet Knights also went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth.
Hagge walked in the leadoff spot in the fifth. He advanced to second on a wild pitch before scoring on Jesse Wilkening’s RBI single. Roskam doubled to drive in Wilkening, but remained stranded after an inning-ending double play. Rutgers took the lead in the bottom of the fifth at 6-4 with four runs. The Scarlet Knights hit back-to-back home runs during the inning.
Ben Klenke singled in the top of the sixth, but he was NU’s lone baserunner in a scoreless frame for the Big Red. Rutgers scored two runs to extend its lead to 8-4. The first three Scarlet Knights in the sixth reached on singles.
The Huskers went down in order in the top of the seventh with two strikeouts. Rutgers managed two baserunners in the bottom of the seventh, but left both of them stranded in a scoreless frame.
Jaxon Hallmark hit a one-out single and advanced to second on an error in the top of the eighth, but remained stranded as the score remained 8-4. Rutgers had two baserunners in the bottom of the eighth, but couldn’t score either of them. The Huskers went down in order in the top of the ninth.
The Huskers return home to host Creighton on Tuesday, starting at 6:30 p.m. (CT) at Hawks Field. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.