Huskers even Michigan series
The Huskers would earn the No. 2 seed with a win Saturday and a loss by Ohio State to Indiana.
Nebraska was cruising with a 9-2 lead heading into the eighth inning, where the Husker bullpen coughed up four runs on a grand slam by Michael O'Neill, his second home run of the series. Josh Roeder entered the game for the Huskers and calmed the waters to earn his fifth save of the season. The sophomore dealt 2.0 innings of shutout ball on one hit and four strikeouts.
Nebraska (25-27, 15-8 Big Ten) goes for the series win Saturday at 12:05 p.m. against Michigan (28-25, 13-10). Senior Tyler Niederklein will get the start on Senior Day for Nebraska. Logan McAnallen is scheduled to start for the Wolverines.
The game can be heard on the Husker Sports Network and will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network.
Roeder's heroics preserved a second consecutive solid outing from sophomore Aaron Bummer, who gave Nebraska 7.0 innings after tossing 7.0 shutout innings at Minnesota last week. The lefty limited the Wolverines to two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk, while striking out three. The Peoria, Ariz., native improved to 3-1 on the year, earning wins in consecutive appearances for the first time in his career.
While Bummer was holding the Wolverines bats at bay, Nebraska's offense teed off on Michigan starter Evan Hill. The freshman entered the game with a 7-2 record but lasted just 3.0 innings. The lefty gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits.
Every Husker produced a hit as Nebraska tallied 16 hits off Michigan's arms. The Husker bats have put together double-digits hits in five of their past six games, including 16 hits in three of their last four games.
After blasting a two-out triple in last night's loss, Pat Kelly continued to swing a hot stick with a 3-for-5 night, coming up a triple shy of the cycle. In his first three at-bats of the game, the Red Wing, Minn., product singled, blasted a three-run homer and doubled. Kelly's homer was a three-run shot to left-center field in the second inning that put the Huskers up 5-2 and was his first homer of the season. It came after Nebraska laid down consecutive base-hit squeeze bunts that tied the game, 2-2.
Michael Pritchard also notched three hits, including his 13th double of the season.
Tanner Lubach continued his hot streak at the plate, pounding out his fifth straight multi-hit game, as he was 2-for-2 with a RBI. The sophomore catcher is 11-for-20 over his past five games with nine of his 23 RBIs on the season.
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Michigan............ 020 000 040 - 6 7 1 Nebraska............ 050 202 00X - 9 16 1 -------------------------------------------