Nebraska Baseball vs. Iowa 5.1

Nebraska’s Griffin Everitt (16) hits the ball during the game against Iowa at Hawks Field in Haymarket Park on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nebraska baseball took a six-run advantage into the ninth inning, yet only barely escaped with a 10-9 victory over Michigan State on Saturday.

The win fulfilled one of the two things Nebraska needed to happen to make the Big Ten tournament. The other was a Purdue loss to Maryland. However, the Purdue game was rained out and declared a no contest, ending Nebraska’s season regardless of the result.

“We didn’t handle business earlier in the year and just paid the price right now.” Sophomore third baseman Max Anderson said postgame.

Michigan State jumped ahead in the top of the high-scoring first inning. Sophomore shortstop Mitch Jebb walked and sophomore second baseman Trent Farquhar doubled to put two runners in scoring position. The following two batters drove in the runners, and Michigan State took a 2-0 lead.

Nebraska answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame, all coming on a home run by Anderson. The homer was Nebraska’s first of four on the day.

The Spartans almost came back with a three-run home run of their own in the top of the third. With two baserunners on, junior left fielder Casey Mayes lofted a deep fly ball, but freshman left fielder Garrett Anglim impressively reached over the fence and caught the ball.

In the top of the fourth, sophomore first baseman Brock Vradenburg’s fly to left was too much for Anglim to reach, and the Spartans tied the game at 3.

Nebraska’s long ball barrage continued in the bottom of the frame, where senior catcher Griffin Everitt capped his senior day off in style, slugging a three-run homer that just cleared the right field porch.

Husker seniors added two more in the bottom of the fifth. Senior third baseman Efry Cervantes hit an RBI single, scoring sophomore shortstop Brice Matthews. Senior center fielder Cam Chick added an RBI of his own, with a sacrifice fly increasing the lead to 8-3.

Then two more Husker home runs found their way over the right field porch. Junior left fielder Leighton Banjoff and Anderson slugged home runs to that area in the seventh and eighth innings.

Michigan State added a run back in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly, but it still trailed 10-4 heading into the final inning.

Senior center fielder Peter Ahn hit a single to open the inning, but disaster nearly struck early for the Spartans. Freshman catcher Bryan Broecker hit a potential double play ground ball to Matthews, but the ball skipped off his glove and both runners stayed safe.

The Spartans did not waste time capitalizing on the opportunity. Senior designated hitter Zach Iverson singled home Ahn, cutting the lead to 10-5.

Jebb then singled to load the bases with no outs. Farquhar cleared them with a towering bomb to right field, putting Michigan State just one run away.

The next two batters singled, but Nebraska notched a key strikeout to get the frame’s first out.

Freshman pitcher CJ Hood entered the game hoping to further quell the threat. Although a wild pitch advanced the baserunners, Hood retired the two batters he faced to end the game.

Nebraska finishes the season 23-30, a disappointing fall back from the 2021 Big Ten Champions.

“It seems like a very fitting way for the season to end,” Nebraska manager Will Bolt said postgame. “The amount of amazing juju we had last was basically turned upside down this year, and a lot of it was our own doing.”