Nebraska Opens Big Ten Play With 9-5 Win Over Purdue

The Nebraska baseball team (14-7, 1-0) won its Big Ten opener on Friday night at Alexander Field with a 9-5 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers (4-15, 0-1 Big Ten).


West Lafayette, Ind. – The Nebraska baseball team (14-7, 1-0) won its Big Ten opener on Friday night at Alexander Field with a 9-5 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers (4-15, 0-1 Big Ten). Nebraska’s offense set a season high with 16 hits, including five doubles. The Huskers had 14 hits through five innings.

Ryan Boldt, Ben Miller and Steven Reveles all produced three-hit nights, with Miller falling a triple shy of the cycle. Four Huskers doubled on the evening, with Jake Schleppenbach producing his second career two-double game.

The Huskers tagged starter Mike Lutz for eight runs (six earned) on 14 hits over 4.2 innings. Reliever Eddie De LaRiva took over with one out in the fifth and tossed 2.1 no-hit innings before Miller started the eighth with a solo home run. Other than the homer by Miller and a single by Reveles in the ninth, the Huskers could not figure out De LaRiva, as the junior struck out nine over 4.1 innings of one-run relief.

Husker starter Derek Burkamper went 5.1 innings and gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and one walk, while striking out three. The junior left game in the sixth with an 8-5 lead and earned the win to improve to 2-1 on the year. 

Jeff Chesnut tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief, while Reece Eddins notched his first career save with 2.0 innings of perfect relief.

After failing to cash in a leadoff double by Boldt in the first inning, Nebraska plated two runs in the second on three hits, including two doubles. Luis Alvarado notched his second double of the year with one out and then scored on a two-out double by Schleppenbach. Reveles then drove in Schleppenbach with a single to right field.

The Huskers added to their lead in the third with four hits, including their fourth double of the game. Jake Placzek reached on an error to start the frame and Miller followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position for Scott Schreiber. The sophomore picked up RBIs 19 and 20 with a single to center field, and on the play the ball got under Kyle Johnson’s glove, allowing Schreiber to coast into third base. Jake Meyer followed with an RBI single, giving the Huskers a 5-0 lead.

Purdue cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the third on a pair of two-out hits, cutting NU’s lead to 5-2. With two outs and a runner on first Johnson singled to left field and Kyle Wood followed with a two-RBI double. Burkamper put an end to the rally with a 1-3 groundout.

Nebraska got a run back in the fourth thanks to three more hits, giving the Huskers 11 hits through four innings. After Reveles and Boldt started the inning with back-to-back singles, Miller drove in Reveles with a one-out single. With runners on the corners and one out, Lunz notched consecutive strikeouts to get out of the inning.

Following a 1-2-3 fourth from Burkamper, NU’s offense gave him a six-run lead in the fifth. Alvarado started the inning with a single and moved to third on a one-out double by Schleppenbach. After Reveles grounded out, Boldt blasted a two-RBI single to center field. Purdue went to De LaRiva and he promptly hit Placzek and walked Miller to load the bases with two outs. The junior was able to get out of the jam though, as he got Schreiber to bounce out, 6-3.

Purdue added a pair of runs in the fifth, cutting NU’s lead to 8-4, thanks to a Husker error. With the bases loaded and one out, Burkamper got a hard ground ball off the bat of Wood that looked to be an inning-ending double play, but Reveles made an errant throw to first base on the turn, allowing two runs to score. The Boilermakers then took advantage of a leadoff walk in the sixth, as a two-out single by Duncan McKinnon drove in Nick Dalesandro. Chesnut took over and stranded two runners with a strikeout, keeping the Huskers ahead 8-5.

After De LaRiva had not allowed a hit to 10 straight batters since taking over in the fifth, Miller started the eighth with his fifth home run of the season, a no doubter over the right-field wall. NU’s 15th hit of the game pushed the lead to 9-5. The Boilermakers had a threat brewing in their half of the inning when they got their first two batters on. Eddins came in and extinguished the threat with a strikeout and a 6-4-3 double play.

Facing Purdue’s 2-3-4 hitters, Eddins set them down in order in the ninth to seal the victory.

Nebraska and Purdue will be back at Alexander Field tomorrow at 1 p.m. (CT) and the game is scheduled to be on BTN Plus (subscription required).

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