Nebraska’s six-game win streak came to an end Friday afternoon as the Huskers lost 5-2 in a game that both started and ended with home runs.
The Huskers’ loss moved the team’s record to 12-8 (3-1 Big Ten) this season.
Both starting pitchers had good outings for their teams. Nebraska's senior starter Matt Waldron pitched eight innings, allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out seven batters.
Gophers starting pitcher sophomore Max Meyer also allowed two runs over eight innings pitched. He gave up seven hits and struck out 11 Huskers.
Junior outfielder Mojo Hagge wasted no time giving Nebraska an advantage, hitting a leadoff home run to right field to put the Huskers up 1-0 in the top of the first inning. It was Hagge’s first home run this season.
Nebraska got two more hits in the inning, but couldn’t push any more runners across home plate.
In the bottom of the first inning, Waldron allowed to Gophers to reach base, but stranded both of them to keep Minnesota off the board.
Meyer began to settle down in the second inning, striking out two Huskers and stranding the only baserunner, freshman infielder Colby Gomes, on base.
Waldron responded in the bottom of the second inning by sitting down the three Gophers batters he faced.
Minnesota broke through in the third inning to tie the game. Sophomore outfielder Drew Hmielewski singled to start the inning before a sac bunt and another single by the next two batters brought him home to tie the game at 1-1.
Hmielewski came through again in the fifth inning to give the Gophers the lead. Senior infielder Riley Smith doubled to leadoff the bottom of the fifth inning and a Hmielewski RBI single scored Smith and gave Minnesota its first lead of the day.
The Huskers got the next two batters out and picked off Hmielewski to prevent any more damage.
Nebraska knotted the game back up in the top of the seventh inning. Junior outfielder Joe Acker lead off by with a single and then stole second to put himself in scoring position with no outs. Meyer struck the next two batters, however, to put the Huskers chances in jeopardy.
Freshman infielder Cam Chick hit a single to get Acker to third and then an error allowed Acker to score and tie the game at 2-2. Neither team broke the tie in the eighth or ninth innings, pushing the game into extra innings.
Nebraska threatened to pull ahead in the top of the tenth inning. A double by Chick and single by senior infielder Alex Henwood put runners on the corners with one out. Henwook stole second as Hagge struck out and gave Nebraska two runners in scoring position. The Huskers failed to score as senior infielder Angelo Altavilla struck out to retire the side.
Smith singled to start the bottom of the tenth inning for Minnesota before a sac bunt moved him into scoring position with one out. The Huskers intentionally walked the next batter to give them the opportunity to get out of the inning with a double play. Junior catcher Eli Wilson ended the game with a walk off three-run home run, giving the Gophers a 5-2 win.
Nebraska continues its series tomorrow against Minnesota. First pitch is set for 1:00 pm, and the game will air on BTN Plus.