Huskers Fall to Hawkeyes, 17-9
Iowa City, Iowa – Tied 3-3 after the top of the fifth, Iowa scored 13 runs over the next two innings to defeat Nebraska (21-13, 10-4 Big Ten) by a 17-9 margin at Duane Banks Field on Saturday afternoon. Iowa scored all 17 of its runs with two outs.
Senior left-hander Nate Fisher, making his ninth start of the season, went 4.2 innings and allowed seven runs (four earned runs). He recorded three strikeouts during the outing to reach 100 career strikeouts. Nebraska saw relief outings from Mike Waldron (0.0), Max Schreiber (0.1), Tyler Martin (1.0), Chad Luensmann (1.0) and Ethan Frazier (1.0).
In the top of the first, Spencer Schwellenbach hit a leadoff single, but was left stranded in a scoreless frame for the Big Red. The Hawkeyes were sat down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first.
All three Husker batters in the top of the second were retired with two strikeouts and a groundout. In the bottom of the second, Fisher retired all three Hawkeye hitters.
Schwellenbach smashed a two-out double in the top of the third, but remained stranded for the second time. In the bottom of the third, the Hawkeyes went down in order.
Nebraska plated one run in the top of the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. Gunner Hellstrom reached on an error in the leadoff spot before Keegan Watson drove him in with an RBI double. Angelo Altavilla was hit-by-pitch, but was left stranded along with Watson. Iowa responded with three runs in the bottom half to take a 3-1 lead. Ben Norman hit a three-run home run during the inning as the runners reached on a single and an error.
NU scored two runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 3-3. Schwellenbach and Aaron Palensky smashed home runs in back-to-back at-bats, the first time the Huskers have done that since May 11, 2016 when Ben Miller and Scott Schreiber launched consecutive homers against Omaha. Hellstrom singled and Joe Acker walked, but they were each left stranded. In the bottom of the inning, NU recorded two outs before each of the next 11 Hawkeyes reached base. The Hawkeyes plated eight runs during the inning, all with two outs. Iowa compiled seven hits, while leaving three on base during the frame.
In the top of the sixth, NU scored one run to make the score 11-4. Altavilla and Colby Gomes each walked before back-to-back groundouts, the second of which scored Altavilla. A flyout left Gomes stranded. In the bottom of the sixth, Iowa scored five runs, all with two outs, to extend its lead to 16-4.
Hellstrom hit a leadoff single and later scored on Mojo Hagge’s RBI double in the top of the seventh. He remained stranded with the score at 16-5. Iowa managed two baserunners in the bottom of the seventh, but left them both stranded.
Nebraska scored one run in the top of the eighth. Jaxon Hallmark and Schwellenbach each drew one-out walks before Palensky singled to load the bases. Hellstrom’s sacrifice fly drove in one run before back-to-back outs left two on base. In the bottom of the eighth, Iowa tacked on one run to extend the lead to 17-6.
Nebraska scored three runs in the top of the ninth. Cam Chick reached on an error in the leadoff spot before Hagge singled. Altavilla drove them in with a home run to right field. NU managed two more baserunners, but left them stranded.
The series concludes on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. (CT).