Posted by: Sports
Courtesy: UNL Athletic Communications
Bloomington, Ind. – The Nebraska baseball team (15-10, 2-0 Big Ten) secured a series victory on Saturday at Bart Kaufman Field with a 3-1 win over the Indiana Hoosiers (14-11-1, 3-2 Big Ten) and will go for the sweep tomorrow at 11 a.m. (CT).
The Huskers recorded double-digit hits for the fourth-straight game, outhitting the Hoosiers 10-5. Jake Schleppenbach and Ben Miler each recorded a pair of hits, including a seventh-inning homer from Schleppenbach. After hitting nine home runs as a freshman at Hutchinson Community College in 2014, Schleppenbach’s home run was his first at Nebraska, coming in his 437th career at bat.
With three home runs through the first 22 games of the year, the Huskers have now hit four home runs over their last three games.
Jake Meyers swiped two bases on the day, improving to a perfect 10-for-10 on the season. After going 8-for-8 last year, Meyers hasn’t been caught stealing since 2015 when he was 10-for-13 on the season.
Senior Derek Burkamper earned the win and evened his record at 2-2. Burkamper gave the Huskers 5.0 inning in this sixth start of the season and has now gone at least 5.0 innings in each of his last three starts. The Muscatine, Iowa, native limited the Hoosiers to one run on four hits and three walks, while striking out three.
Matt Waldron tossed 3.0 no-hit shutout innings behind Burkamper. The only Hoosier that reached on Waldron was Brian Fineman, who reached to start the bottom of the seventh on an error. Luis Alvarado closed out the game for his fourth save of the season, striking out Fineman to end the game.
Indiana junior Brian Hobbie was tagged with the loss, falling to 2-2 on the year. The right hander allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and one walk, while striking out three.
After not taking the lead until the seventh inning of last night’s series opener, the Huskers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Saturday without getting a hit. Mojo Hagge started the game with a nine-pitch walk and then consecutive Indiana errors loaded the bases with no out. Following a mound visit, Hobbie got a much needed double play off the bat of Scott Schreiber, but Hagge scored to give the Huskers a 1-0 lead. With Angelo Altavilla on third, Hobbie got an 6-3 groundout off the bat of Miller, escaping an early jam with just one run scoring. The Hoosiers notched a pair of singles in the bottom of the first, but Burkamper was able to strand both.
The Hoosiers got the tying run in to scoring position in the third when Matt Gorski reached on a one-out walk and then stole second base. With IU’s No. 3 and 4 hitters up, Burkamper got a pair of fly outs to strand Gorski at second.
Burkamper sat down his eighth straight Hoosier to end the fifth and then the NU offense added a to its lead. Altavilla led off with a single, but was quickly cleared on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Meyers. With Schreiber at the plate Meyers stole second and moved to third on a deep fly out to center by Schreiber. With two outs, Miller came through with a RBI single, which was followed by singles from Alvarado and Luke Roskam, loading the bases. Jesse Wilkening came to the plate and put a charge into the first offering he saw from Hobbie, but it was right at left fielder Alex Krupa to end the frame.
Burkamper hung zeroes on the board through the first five innings, but hit a wall in the sixth. Gorski worked a leadoff walk, Burkamper’s third walk of the game, and the Hoosiers immediately took advantage with Craig Dedelow delivering a RBI double. Luke Miller followed with a single and with runners on the corners and no out, the Huskers went to Matt Waldron. The sophomore needed just two batters to extinguish the fire. With reigning national-player-of-the-week Matt Lloyd at the plate, Waldron got a line-out double play to first and then struck out Logan Sowers to strand the tying run at third.
Two pitches into the top of the seventh the Huskers got the run back, pushing its lead back to two runs at 3-1. After seeing a ball from Hobbie, Schleppenbach hit a solo shot over the right-field wall for the Huskers third home run of the series. The Hoosiers went to freshman Cal Kruger to face the top of NU’s lineup and the right hander worked around a two-out walk to limit the Huskers to one run in the inning.
Nebraska had a chance to add to its lead in the eighth, but left the bases loaded for the second time on the day. Miller led off his second hit of the game before Kruger recorded consecutive outs. With two down the Huskers loaded the bases with a single by Wilkening and a walk to Schleppenbach, but Krueger escaped the jam with a 6-3 groundout off the bat of Hagge.
Facing IU’s 2-3-4 hitters in the bottom of the eighth, Waldron recorded back-to-back strikeouts and got Miller to foul out, making quick work of the Hoosiers.
Alvarado took the mound in the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Lloyd. With the tying run at the plate Alvarado cleared the bases with a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Sowers. The right hander then struck out Fineman swinging to secure the series win.
The Huskers now go for a sweep of the Hoosiers tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 11:05 a.m. (CT) and the game will be streamed live on BTN Plus.