NU MEDIA RELATIONS:
Lincoln – Junior Jake Hohensee struck out a career-high eight batters and allowed one run on three hits over a career-high 8.1 innings in Nebraska’s 3-1 series-opening win over the No. 24 Maryland Terrapins (19-9, 5-2 Big Ten) night at Hawks Field. The Lincoln native has now won four straight starts to improve to 4-2 on the year and has gone at least 6.2 innings in each of the four starts.
The Huskers are now 18-10-1 on the year and 3-0-1 in the Big Ten, while posting an 8-1-1 record over their last 10 games.
After allowing a two-out single in the top of the first Hohensee dominated the Terrapins, not allowing another hit until the Terps registered a leadoff single in the top of the ninth. The right hander faced the minimum five times on the night and after hitting Zach Jancarski with one out in the third, Hohensee retired 16 of Maryland’s next 17 batters. Hohensee walked Jancarski to start the sixth, but came back with a double play and groundout, before putting Maryland down in order in both the seventh and eighth innings.
Maryland’s first four hitters went 4-for-14 on the night, while the rest of the lineup was 0-for-16. On the other side, NU’s first four hitters went 0-for-12, while the rest of NU’s lineup went 8-for-15, including two-hit games from Ben Miller, Luis Alvarado and Jake Schleppenbach.
Hohensee took the mound in the ninth and Jancarski notched Maryland’s second hit of the game with a leadoff single. Hohensee came back with a fly out before Marty Costes doubled to left, putting two runners in scoring position. Nebraska turned the ball over Alvarado, who was also NU’s starting left fielder. Cleanup-hitter Brandon Gum welcomed Alvarado with a RBI single, cutting NU’s lead to 3-1. With the tying runs on base Alvarado responded with a strikeout and a line out to secure the win and his fifth save of the season.
Maryland never went to its bullpen, as it relied on starter Brian Shaffer for 8.0 innings. The junior was efficient on the night, tossing 99 pitches, but allowed three runs on a season-high eight hits and two walks, while striking out a season-low tying four. Shaffer entered the game with 52 strikeouts over 47.2 innings, an average of 1.1 strikeouts per inning.
The Huskers manufactured a run in the third and then got a key two-out hit in the fourth. Jesse Wilkening roped a two-RBI double with two down, driving in the eventual game-winning run.
After Hohensee stranded a runner in each of the first three innings, NU’s offense took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Shaffer hit Wilkening with the first pitch of the frame and Schleppenbach followed with a single to put two runners on for the top of the lineup. Mojo Hagge executed a sacrifice bunt that put two in scoring position and then Angelo Altavilla drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field. With a runner still in scoring position, Shaffer retire Jake Meyers to keep the damage to one run.
After Hohensee sat the Terps down in order in the top of the fourth, NU’s offense added to its lead. Shaffer retired Scott Schreiber to start the frame before Miller notched his first hit of the series with a single to right center. Alvarado then caught Shaffer off guard with a well-placed bunt single down the third base line, putting two Huskers on with one out. Luke Roskam then flew out before Wilkening stepped and laced a 1-2 offering down the right-field line for a two-RBI double, his fifth double of the season. Shaffer ended the inning with a fly out off the bat of Schleppenbach, but not before the Huskers pushed their lead to 3-0.
Entering the top of the sixth Hohensee had retired eight straight, but Jancarski broke it up with a leadoff walk. The bases were quickly cleared though when Nick Dunn hit a line drive to Schleppenbach at second and he doubled up Jancarski at first. Three pitches later Hohensee got a 6-3 groundout to end Maryland’s half of the sixth.
Hohensee put the Terps away in order in the seventh and eighth inning before they mounted a rally in the ninth, but it was too-little-too-late and the Huskers recorded their first-ever win over the Terps.