Huskers Drop Series Finale to No. 16 Purdue
Lincoln - The Nebraska baseball team (26-15, 8-7 Big Ten) got a 3-for-4 performance from Richard Stock and Michael Pritchard extended his hitting streak to 18 games, but it wasn't enough as the Huskers dropped the series finale to the No. 16 Purdue Boilermakers by a score of 8-3 on Sunday afternoon in front of 6,014 fans at Hawks Field. Stock finished the three-game series by going 8-for-12 with one home run and three doubles to raise in average to .459 during Big Ten play.
After NU tied the series 1-1 with an 8-3 win on Saturday, the Boilermakers responded by jumping out to a 6-0 lead in support of freshman starter Connor Podkul. The Purdue right hander lasted 5.1 innings in the win, while giving up three earned runs on five hits. Sophomore lefty Zach Hirsch fell to 4-3 on the year with the loss, as he was pulled after giving up five earned runs on seven hits over 3.0 innings of work. Freshman Kyle Kubat was a bright spot of NU on the mound in 4.0 innings of relief. The lefty gave up his first earned run during conference play on Sunday, giving up one run on four hits. During Big Ten play, Kubat has given up one earned run on eight hits over 10.0 innings.
With a 2-0 lead going into the fourth, the Boilermakers took a commanding 6-0 lead following a three-run home run by David Miller. NU responded in the bottom of the frame with three runs to cut the lead in half. Pritchard opened the inning with a single, Rich Sanguinetti followed with an infield-bunt single and Kash Kalkowski walked to load the bases with no outs. Stock then hit a hard ground ball down the first base line that was gloved by Angelo Cianfrocco, who able to retire Stock at first, but Pritchard came home to score NU's first run. Josh Scheffert came through with a two-RBI single before Podkul got back-to-back ground balls to end the Husker rally.
The Huskers had something going again in the sixth with runners on second and third with one out following a double by Stock, but Purdue went to Nick Wittgren out of the bullpen and he retired the next two Huskers to end the threat. The righty gave up just three hits in 3.2 inning of shutout ball to pick up his eighth save of the season.
The Huskers now have a quick turnaround for their game on Tuesday night with the Creighton Bluejays at TD Ameritrade Park. Scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch on NET, the game will be the second in the three-game season series between the two instate programs. The Huskers won the first game of the series, 5-3, on April 10 at Hawks Field.