Husker baseball advances to Big Ten tournament title game
Husker baseball advances to Sunday's Big Ten tournament title game with a 7-3 semi-final win over Michigan. Darin Erstad post game reaction:
Courtesy: UNL Media Relations
Huskers Bounce Back, Advance to Championship
Omaha, Neb. – The Nebraska baseball team (31-21) won the semifinal rematch against Michigan, 7-3, in front of 11,038 fans at TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday night to earn a spot in the championship game. The Huskers will face the winner of Ohio State and Minnesota on Sunday for the Big Ten Tournament title.
Kyle Perry, making his seventh start of the season, went 3.1 innings and allowed one run. Robbie Palkert came on for a career-high 5.1 innings of relief and recorded five strikeouts en route to the win. Colby Gomes earned his team-high 12th save of the season by recording the final out.
In the opening frame, Cam Chick drew a one-out walk, but was thrown out on a fielder’s choice before a strikeout ended the inning. Michigan managed one hit in a scoreless bottom of the first.
In the top of the second, Joe Acker hit a two-out single before being thrown out on an inning-ending fielder’s choice. Perry retired all three Wolverine batters in the bottom of the second.
Nebraska scored two runs in the top of the third to take the early lead. With two outs, Chick singled, Aaron Palensky walked and Angelo Altavilla reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Spencer Schwellenbach poked a two-run hit through the left side that drove in Chick and Palensky. In the bottom of the third, Michigan responded with one run on one hit.
Colby Gomes drew a walk in the top of the fourth, but each of the other three Husker batters during the inning produced outs. Michigan managed a pair of baserunners in the bottom of the fourth via walks, but left both runners stranded.
In the top of the fifth, Nebraska plated one run to take a 3-1 lead. Altavilla was hit-by-pitch with two outs and advanced to third when the catcher’s attempt to throw him out at second following a wild pitch was wide. Schwellenbach drove him in with an RBI single. Michigan scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 3-3. The Wolverines tallied three hits and left two runners on base during the frame.
The Huskers added two runs in the top of the sixth to retake the lead at 5-3. Acker drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Gomes drew a walk before Hallmark’s RBI double drove in Acker. Chick walked to load the bases before Palensky walked to bring in another run for the Big Red. A pair of flyouts ended the inning. Michigan had a baserunner via walk, but Palkert retired the other three hitters with two strikeouts and a groundout.
Nebraska left two runners stranded in a scoreless top of the seventh. Luke Roskam hit a leadoff single before Henwood reached on a one-out walk. Back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning. The Wolverines were retired in order in the bottom of the seventh.
In the top of the eighth, the Huskers scored two runs to build a 7-3 lead. Chick drew a leadoff walk and scored when Altavilla reached on an error. Schwellenbach singled to advance Altavilla to third. Roskam walked to load the bases before a flyout. Henwood walked to bring in another run for the Big Red before an inning-ending strikeout. In the bottom of the eighth, Palkert retired all three Wolverine batters with two strikeouts and a groundout.
In the top of the ninth, Nebraska managed two walks, but couldn’t add to its lead. In the bottom of the ninth, Michigan loaded the bases, but left all three baserunners stranded.
The Huskers advance to Sunday’s championship game against the winner of Minnesota and Ohio State. The Golden Gophers and Buckeyes square off at 11 a.m. (CT). The championship game will begin approximately one hour following the conclusion of that game.