Lincoln - A third-consecutive 9.0-inning performance from Nebraska starting pitcher Christian DeLeon was squandered as the Nebraska baseball team (25-15, 7-3 Big Ten) was unable to figure out Northwestern (9-24, 3-9 Big Ten) hurler Mason Reed in a 2-1 defeat in 12 innings at Hawks Field on Friday night. In last season’s series opener in Lincoln, the Huskers and Wildcats played at 16-inning marathon that went Nebraska’s way following a walk-off single by Chad Christensen.
After the Wildcats scored on a two-out single in the seventh to tie the game, 1-1, neither team scored for the next four innings. Northwestern took the lead in the top of the 12th on two-out single by Cody Stevens that plated Matt Hopfner, who led off the inning with a single.
Jack Quigley set the Huskers down in order in the bottom of the 12th to earn his second win on the year, as he threw 3.1 innings of one-hit, shutout relief behind Reed. A sophomore lefty, Reed went 8.2 inning, allowing one unearned run on five hits and three walks.
The Wildcats mounted a threat in the top of the first, but DeLeon produced a 3-2 ground ball double play to get the Huskers out of the jam after an error started a Northwestern rally. DeLeon, who scattered six hits on the night, cruised from there and put down the Wildcat lineup in order on five different occasions throughout the contest. DeLeon was efficient through the first 6.0 innings, using just 50 pitches, and earned a key strikeout in the seventh with a bases-loaded punch-out.
Jake Placzek gave the Huskers a 1-0 edge in the home-half of the fifth inning with a one-out sacrifice fly. Steven Reveles scored an unearned run on the play after a fielding error came back to cost the Wildcats.
Two innings later for the Wildcats, Jake Straub drove home the tying run in the with a two-out single to right field, as R.J. Watters scored from second on the play.
After Placzek’s sac fly, Mason went on to retired 12 straight Huskers before Tanner Lubach notched a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth. Mason then walked Austin Darby to put the winning run in scoring position, but Quigley came in and got Reveles to ground out, sending the game to extras.
The Huskers and Wildcats will return to action with a doubleheader tomorrow due to impending weather in Sunday's forecast. The first game is scheduled to start at 12:05 p.m. with the series finale beginning approximately 45 minutes after the end of game one. The first game will be carried live on NET, while game two will be streamed live on HuskersNside. Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle will have the call of both game on the Husker Sports Network.