Huskers Fall to Buckeyes, 6-4
Minneapolis (KOLN) - A trio of two-run home runs from the Ohio State Buckeyes doomed the Nebraska baseball team in its first of two games on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, as Buckeyes posted a 6-4 win. The Huskers tied the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run from Logan Foster, but the Buckeyes answered in the top of the eighth with a two-run shot from Colton Bauer.
The Huskers jumped on OSU starter Will Pfennig with two runs on four hits in the bottom of the first. Mojo Hagge led off with an infield single and then scored all the way from first on a double by Spencer Schwellenbach. Max Anderson moved Schwellenbach to third with a deep fly ball to right center and Jack Steil then picked up his fourth RBI of the season with a groundout. With the bases empty Leighton Banjoff and Griffin Everitt notched consecutive two-out singles before Pfennig struck out Brice Matthews to end the first.
Following a rocky bottom of the first, Pfennig settled in and retired 16 straight Huskers before Banjoff snapped the streak with a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh. Pfennig went 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks while striking out seven.
NU starter Shay Shanaman got off to a good start by retiring the first six batter he faced, but then gave up leadoff hits in the third, fourth and fifth innings. The junior righty lasted just 4.1 inning and allowed four runs on eight hits and no walks, while striking out five.
Marcus Ernst picked up OSU’s first hit of the game with leadoff single in the third. Schanaman responded with his fourth strikeout of the game before Nick Erwin reached on an infield single, putting an OSU runner in scoring position for the first time. Schanaman extinguished the threat with a pair of fly outs.
After failing to cash in a leadoff single in the third, the Buckeyes were able to turn Zach Dezenzo’s fourth-inning leadoff single into runs. With one out Kade Kern blasted the first pitch of his at bat over the 400 sign in center field, knotting the game at 2-2. OSU later had the go-ahead run in scoring position following a two-out double from Ernst, but Schanaman got a ground out to up the frame.
OSU started its third straight inning with a single when Erwin started the fifth with a single. Schanaman then got ahead of Sam Wilson 1-2 before the designated hitter untied the game with a two-run home run to left field. Schanaman responded with a strikeout before giving up a single to Dezenzo and the Huskers went to reliever Tyler Martin. The junior left hander came in an got consecutive outs to keep OSU’s lead at 4-2.
After Everitt’s two-out single in the bottom of the first, Pfennig sat down 16 straight before Banjoff led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. Everitt moved Banjoff into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and then a passed ball put him on third. Pfennig struck out Matthews to put two outs on the board and OSU went to reliever Bayden Root to face Foster. A passed ball on the third pitch of the at bat scored Banjoff and then Foster tied the game at 4-4 with his first career home run.
The tie didn’t last long, as OSU belted its third two-run homer of the game in the top of the eighth. Trey Kissack retired Dezenzo to start the inning and then NU brought in Braxton Bragg, who retired Conner Pohl and then issued a two-out walk to Kern. Bauer steppe put a 0-1 offering over the 381-sign in center field to put the Buckeyes ahead 6-4.
Griffan Smith and TJ Brock combined for two perfect innings down the stretch, including a 1-2-3 ninth from Brock to secure his second save of the season.
Nebraska concludes its weekend today with a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes, first pitch is set for 1:45 PM
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