In a long day at the ballpark in Piscataway, New Jersey, the Huskers split a two-game doubleheader against Indiana and Rutgers.
The Hoosiers jumped on Husker junior pitcher Shay Schanaman early, beginning the contest with three consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. Indiana Junior infielder Cole Barr continued his dominant weekend, slapping a two-run single to the outfield for 2-0 lead.
Back-to-back RBI singles from freshman outfielder Ethan Vecrumba and senior infielder Collin Hopkins pushed the Indiana advantage to 4-0. In what turned out to be the deciding inning, the Hoosiers scored four runs on six hits, sending 10 total batters to the plate.
Indiana sophomore pitcher Gabe Bierman dominated the day, throwing a four-hit shutout and lowering his conference-leading ERA to 2.09. After giving up a single to senior infielder Luke Roskam in the second inning, Bierman did not allow a hit until the seventh on a bunt hit.
Schanaman also settled in as he finished the game going five innings, not allowing a hit through his final four. The bullpen held up for the Huskers. Over their three innings of work, Nebraska’s pitchers didn’t allow a run and only gave up one hit.
Following senior outfielder Jaxon Hallmark’s bunt single in the seventh inning, Nebraska got on the board courtesy of an RBI single from junior infielder Cam Chick. Hallmark was moved to third after a throwing error and groundout to bring up the clean-up hitter.
With the Huskers down 4-1, Hallmark cut the deficit to two on a solo home run to left field, one of the few mistakes made by Bierman all afternoon. He went the distance as Indiana took the game 4-2, splitting the series at one game apiece.
A quick ballgame only lasted a measly two hours as both teams struggled to get anything going offensively. There were only four hits allowed throughout the final seven innings as a pitcher’s duel kept Indiana in first place in the Big Ten — the Hoosiers finishing 3-1 on the weekend.
Exactly seven days after being shut out by Rutgers senior pitcher Brent Teller, the Huskers were ready to hit in the second game of today’s doubleheader. They threatened in both the first and second innings, with nothing showing despite getting runners on third in both frames.
Nebraska finally broke through in the third inning, after a one-out double from Hallmark and a walk by junior infielder Spencer Schwellenbach. Both then advanced on a wild pitch, and senior infielder Luke Roskam eventually delivered a two-run double for a 2-0 Husker lead.
Freshman infielder Max Anderson followed that with a single to put runners on first and third. An errant pickoff attempt from Teller scored Roskam from third and moved Anderson in scoring position to give Nebraska a 3-0 advantage.
The Scarlet Knights couldn’t get anything to go right for them just a week after sweeping the Huskers in a three-game series. Senior pitcher Chance Hroch dominated the Rutgers hitters, as he got the leadoff batter out in four of his five innings.
Rutgers clawed back into the game, plating a run in the fifth after Hroch hit the first batter of the inning. A one-out double from junior outfielder Mike Nyisztor put runners on second and third to bring up junior outfielder Richie Schiekofer.
Schiekofer got one back on an RBI groundout to second base as Hroch forced a flyout to get out the frame still holding a 3-1 lead. The rain picked up in Piscataway and the contest was delayed in the top of the sixth inning for around 40 minutes.
Coming out of the delay, a leadoff hit-by-pitch and walk put runners on with no outs. Hallmark walked with one out later in the frame to load the bases, as senior infielder Gunner Hellstrom came around to score on a wild pitch to put Nebraska up 4-1.
Roskam continued his fantastic day, as his third hit of the game left the ballpark for a grand slam and pushed the Huskers’ lead to 8-1. He finished the second game of the day off going 3-for-4 with six big RBI’s against Rutgers.
Hroch returned out after the long delay and wasn’t the same, allowing three hits in the frame and two runs on a pair of singles. Senior pitcher Max Schreiber relieved Hroch and got Nebraska out of the jam holding an 8-3 lead.
The Huskers added another run in the eighth on an RBI single from Chick to extend their advantage to 9-3. Nebraska continued to pour it on in the ninth inning, taking a 12-3 lead on a two-run double from Schwellenbach.
With the bases still loaded, freshman infielder Brice Matthews then came through with a two-run single. Senior outfielder Logan Foster pinch hit and walked in a run to cap off a six-run frame, making the score 15-3.
Hallmark came into the game for his fourth appearance of the season with the Huskers up 12, and surrendered a two-run home run to freshman outfielder Evan Sleight to make it 15-5. However, Nebraska won and improved to 22-11 as it looks to avenge being swept last weekend with a two-game sweep of Rutgers this time around.
The Huskers will face Rutgers again tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in their final game of the pod series in Piscataway, New Jersey.