Late surge propels Huskers to 5-2 win over MSU

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Nebraska baseball team (31-17-1, 13-6-1 Big Ten) tied the series against Michigan State (27-20, 9-11 Big Ten) with a 5-2 win over the Spartans at Hawks Field on Saturday afternoon.

Senior right-hander Derek Burkamper made his 12th start of the season, and earned the win with 7.0 innings of work. He struck out three Spartans, while allowing two runs, neither of which were earned. Chad Luensmann came in for 1.0 inning, and Luis Alvarado picked up his team-leading ninth save with 1.0 inning of work.

Nebraska trailed 2-0 heading to the bottom of the sixth after Michigan State scored one run in both the third and fifth innings. The Huskers loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, but Jesse Wilkening hit into a triple play. Ben Miller went 2-for-3 on the day to join Nebraska’s top-20 career hits list. He is in 19th on NU’s all-time list with 224 career hits.

NU scored three runs on four hits to take its first lead of the game in the sixth inning. Angelo Altavilla singled, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mojo Hagge drove in Altavilla with his single to center field. Scott Schreiber also singled, advancing Hagge to second base. After a Spartan pitching change, Miller doubled down the right field line, which brought in two runs. NU’s no-out scoring flurry ended after three consecutive batters were retired.

In the eighth inning, the Huskers added two runs to take a 5-2 lead. The bases were loaded with no outs after a Hagge double, Schreiber walk and Miller walk. Brison Cronenbold was also walked, scoring one run for the Huskers. Alvarado flew out to centerfield, scoring Schreiber.

Michigan State threatened to cut into the lead in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with one out. Back-to-back outs ended the Spartans’ hopes and gave NU the win in its penultimate home game of the regular season.

Sunday’s series finale will start at 12:05 p.m., with Senior Day recognition taking place before the game.