Placzek’s Walk-Off Lifts Huskers Past Creighton
Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics
Lincoln – Down to his final strike in the bottom of the 10th and the game tied 4-4, sophomore Jake Placzek muscled a 1-2 pitch into center field that scored Austin Christensen from second base to give Nebraska a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Creighton on Wednesday night at Hawks Field in front of 2,432 fans.
Freshman Ryan Boldt kept the Huskers' (12-7, 0-0 Big Ten) hopes alive in the 10th when he posted an two-out infield single after a hard-hit shot to second base and then stole second base, his second steal of the night. Christensen, who went 2-for-4 on the day with two RBIs, continued the inning after falling behind in the count with a flare down the left field line that plated Boldt and knotted up the contest before Placzek sent Husker Nation home with a win.
The Husker offense scattered 12 hits on the day with two-hit outings from Austin Darby, Steven Reveles, Taylor Fish and Ben Miller, who connected on a 1-2 pitch for a solo home run to deep right field to open the NU scoring. The first career home run for Miller gave the Huskers an early 1-0 lead after three frames.
With one out and a runner on third in the bottom of the fourth, Christensen took a 3-2 pitch to right field where Creighton's Brett Murray made an highlight-reel catch against the wall that took away a home run. Despite the fly out, Boldt tagged up on the play to give NU a 2-0.
In the top half of the fifth inning, the Jays took the lead with three runs on three hits after some help from the NU pitching staff. CU's Ryan Fitzgerald led off with a walk, and after a strikeout by leadoff hitter Brad McKewon, Nicky Lopez and Jake Peter each singled, with Peter driving in the Jays' first run of the game. Mike Gerber followed with a sacrifice fly to knot up the score, before Kevin Lamb's base hit drove in Peter for the go-ahead run. After reliever Jeff Chesnut loaded the bases with a two-out walk to Murray, senior Bob Greco came in and put out the fire with a strikeout of pinch-hitter Cody Kottich.
The Jays' kept their lead until the bottom of the seventh when Fish got a rally started with a two-out single. Darby then took a 1-0 pitch the opposite way to keep the inning alive, and Reveles laced a 1-1 offering through the left side that scored Fish and tied the game at 3-3.
After each team went down in order in the eighth, the Jays had the winning run at second base with one out, but freshman reliever Jake Hohensee retired CU's No. 5 and 6 hitters to give the Huskers a chance to win in the bottom of the frame.
Nebraska also had the winning run in scoring position in Ty Kildow after he stole second base as a pinch runner following a single by Miller. CU's Bryan Sova was able to escape the inning though when first baseman Reagan Fowler made a diving stop on a ground ball by Reveles down the first-base line for the third out of the inning.
Creighton got the break it need in the top of the 10th when a bases loaded wild pitch from Josh Roeder allowed the go-ahead run to touch home. Despite uncorking the wild pitch in the 10th, Roeder picked up the win and moved to 2-0 on the year.
Creighton brought closer Jake Peter in to seal the win and he was on his way when he retired Michael Pritchard and Pat Kelly to start the bottom of the 10th, but three-straight two-out singles from Boldt, Christensen and Placzek changed the ending in NU's favor.
The Huskers will be back in action this weekend when they open the Big Ten Conference play with a three-game series in Iowa City, Iowa, against the Iowa Hawkeyes, who lead the Big Ten with a 12-5 record. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on Hawkeye All-Access, subscription required. Lane Grindle and Ben McLaughlin will also have the call across the Husker Sports Network, including for free on Huskers.com.