Nebraska drops final regular season game

Short on arms in the bullpen, the Nebraska Cornhuskers got beat up 19-9 in their final home game of the 2013 season - less than 24 after they clinched a spot in the Big Ten tournament.

Michigan Wolverines at Nebraska Cornhuskers
May 18, 2013123456789RHE
Michigan (29-25)31006405019235
Nebraska (25-28)0040100049101
W: Matt Ogden (8-1) L: Tyler Niederklein (1-2)

LINCOLN, Neb. - Less than 24 hours after clinching a spot in the Big Ten tournament, the Nebraska Cornhuskers lost their final home game of the season, 19-9 to Michigan.

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By losing the series at home, Nebraska will play the Wolverines again on Wednesday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. The Huskers will be the No. 3 seed. Michigan is the No. 6 seed. The top six teams in the Big Ten standings

Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad was asked if he was surprised by the blowout loss heading into the tournament.

"With our lack of bullpen depth, not at all," said Erstad. "We know we have to go in a certain order with the depth we have. If that gets out of rhythm or don't play good defense, we understand that. We know we are thin."

The Huskers have multiple pitchers battling injuries, including starter Christian DeLeon, who was schedule to pitch on Thursday. With DeLeon down, the Huskers moved their starters up one day in his absence. With the staff already losing a day of rest with the series starting Thursday instead of Friday, the weekend was a perfect storm for the rotation and bullpen.

"Hopefully, he felt better playing catch," said Erstad when asked if the junior would be back for the tourney. DeLeon is 6-4 in 13 starts on the year with a 3.51 ERA. "We will see where he is at. I don't have a definite yes or no at this point."

After a five game win streak towards the end of April, Nebraska closed out the regular season with just a 6-9 record – losing series to Indiana, Oklahoma State, and Michigan.

"Our guys have been through a lot and have fought through adversity. We have responded many times," said Erstad when asked if he was concerned about the Huskers play heading into the Big Ten tourney. "We will see what we are made of. At the end of the day, whether you lose by one or by 14, it doesn't matter. A loss is a loss, a win is a win – and we will need a lot of those in the tournament."

Game time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The game will be live on BTN.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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