NU MEDIA RELATIONS:
Minneapolis, Minn. – Leading 6-4 after eight innings, the Nebraska baseball team (23-15-1, 7-4-1 Big Ten) scored three runs in the ninth to knock off Minnesota and win the three-game series at Siebert Field on Sunday afternoon.
Nebraska took night’s opener at Minnesota by a 5-3 margin. The Gophers responded with a 5-3 victory of their own in the second game of the series .
Since joining the Big Ten in 2012, Nebraska holds a 14-3 advantage in the series against Minnesota. The Gophers fall to 23-12 (8-4 Big Ten) this season.
Junior lefthander Jake Meyers made his ninth start of the season, and threw 6.0 innings, allowing four runs, while recording five strikeouts. Sophomore Robbie Palkert came in for 1.1 innings and Chad Luensmann closed out the win with 1.2 innings of work.
In the opening frame, Angelo Altavilla singled, but Ben Miller grounded into a double play that ended the inning. Minnesota leadoff hitter Jordan Kozicky doubled down the third base line, but was left on base after two flyouts and a groundout ended the Gophers’ threat to score.
Nebraska’s first five batters in the second inning got on base, helping the Huskers jump out to a 3-0 lead. Scott Schreiber and Luis Alvarado each singled, while Luke Roskam produced an RBI double. Mojo Hagge was walked before Jesse Wilkening’s RBI single. Jake Schleppenbach grounded into a double play, but Roskam scored. In the bottom of the second, Meyers retired all three Gopher batters.
All three Husker batters popped out in the top of the third. Meyers responded by retiring all three Gophers in the bottom half of the inning, including a pair of strikeouts.
Wilkening launched his first home run of the season in the top of the fourth. His homer brought in Roskam, who drew a leadoff walk. Wilkening’s home run also marked the second of his career, and his first since his Husker debut on Feb. 20, 2016. Minnesota answered with a three-run homer by Toby Hanson and a solo homer from Matt Stemper to cut the NU lead to 5-4.
In the top of the fifth, all three Huskers were retired with one strikeout, one foul out and one groundout. Meyers retired the first two Gophers he faced in the bottom of the fifth, but allowed a pair of singles before ending the inning with a flyout.
The first two Husker batters, Luis Alvarado and Roskam, each singled, but three straight outs got the Gophers out of the sixth inning. Minnesota’s first two batters reached on singles, but a double play and strikeout ended the Gophers’ chance to score in the bottom of the sixth.
Ben Miller reached base for the 23rd consecutive game, a career high and most by a Husker this season, when a fielder’s choice loaded the bases. On the ensuing at-bat, a wild pitch brought in Meyers, and the runners advanced to second and third. A walk loaded the bases, but a pair of flyouts ended NU’s chance to extend a 6-4 lead. Palkert came to the mound for the Huskers, and recorded a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh.
All three Husker batters were retired in the top of the eighth inning. After a pair of Gopher batters reached in the bottom of the eighth, Chad Luensmann entered the game and forced a flyout and recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth, Nebraska built on its lead with three runs on four hits. After Miller and Schreiber each singled, Alvarado reached on an error by the Minnesota shortstop, scoring both Miller and Schreiber. Hagge singled to bring in Alvarado. Luensmann earned his sixth save of the season when he retired three of the four Gophers he faced in the bottom of the ninth.
The Huskers return to action when they host Omaha at Hawks Field, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. (CT).