From Nebraska media relations department
Lincoln – The Nebraska baseball team (17-6, 3-0 Big Ten) extended its winning streak to 10 games and completed a series sweep of the Michigan Wolverines (11-11, 0-3 Big Ten) on Sunday afternoon with a 6-3 win at Hawks Field. It was NU’s first sweep to start league play since 2008 when the Huskers took three games at Kansas State.
The Huskers outscored the Wolverines 25-7 in the series and Nebraska never trailed at any time over the three days. Nebraska posted a slight edge in hits, 30-27, but the real difference came on the mound and in the field. Nebraska’s pitching staff issued just eight walks, while the Wolverine arms gave out 20 free passes. Michigan also committed six errors, including three on Sunday, while the Huskers committed two errors on the weekend.
Sophomore Derek Burkamper improved to 3-1 on the year in the win, as he allowed one run on six hits over 5.1 innings. Colton Howell entered the game in the ninth with the tying run on deck and struck out UM No. 3 hitter Cody Bruder for the last out of the game to earn his second save of the year.
Jake Schleppenbach led the Huskers in hits with two, while Ryan Boldt and Tanner Lubach each scored a pair of runs and Ben Miller added a pair of RBIs.
After scoring five runs in the first inning in each of the first two games of the series, the Huskers again took the lead in the bottom of the first a two-out RBI single by Miller. The sophomore nearly put the Huskers ahead 2-0, but after Boldt scored on the single, Schleppenbach was cut down at the plate by UM right-fielder Carmen Benedetti to end the inning.
The Wolverines answered in the second with a run on three hits, it was the first time in the series the Wolverines had the game tied after the first inning.
After neither team scored in the third, the Huskers retook the lead, 2-1, on two out error in the bottom of the fourth. With Lubach on second following a double, Austin Darby hit a pop up to shallow left field and it looked to be a routine play, but the ball bounced out of shortstop Eric Jacobson’s glove and Lubach easily scored on the play.
Burkamper then retired the top of UM’s lineup in order in the fifth and got the first out of the sixth before junior reliever Jeff Chesnut took over. With the tying run on second base, Chesnut got a pair of groundouts to end the threat.
Michigan got a the tying run on again in the seventh when Jacobsen led off with a single and then moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Chesnut dug in and struck out UM’s No. 2 and 3 hitters to swing the momentum back in Nebraska’s favor and the offense responded
The Huskers poured in four runs in the seventh on just one hit, a double by Boldt. Benedetti issued three walks and hit a batter over 1/3 of an inning of work, before Jacob Cronenworth ended the rally.
Jake Meyers took the mound in the ninth and struck out Kendall Patrick to start the frame, but then gave up hits to three of the next four batters he faced. Holding a 6-3 lead and the tying run on deck, Howell came in and got NU’s seventh strikeout of the day to complete the sweep.
The Huskers now go back to non-conference play with five games at Hawks Field against two of college baseball’s most storied programs. Nebraska welcomes the Cal State Fullerton Titans to Hawks for a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday, before the Huskers and Texas Longhorns open a three-game series next Friday at 6:35 p.m.