HUSKER BASEBALL: Nebraska Wins Extra Innings Thriller Over Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, NJ–(NU Athletics May 10)–The Nebraska baseball team capped a 3-1 trip to New Jersey with a 7-6 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in 13 innings on Monday at Bainton Field. The Huskers jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first inning but then didn’t score again until the 13th inning. Griffin Everitt drove in Brice Matthews in the top of the 13th to give Nebraska the lead and then Koty Frank recorded his first save as a Husker with a perfect inning of relief. Tyler Martin earned the win and improved to 2-0 on the year.

Nebraska was in Piscataway for pod play and split a pair of games with Indiana before taking a two games from Rutgers.

The Huskers offense notched 17 hits on the day, including three hits each from Luke Roskam and Max Anderson. Roskam homered for the second straight day after hitting a grand slam in yesterday’s 15-5 win over Rutgers. Six Huskers recorded multiple hits, including Everitt, and four different Huskers added a double.

Both teams nearly scored in the 12th, but both runners were out at the plate to end their half of the inning. In the top of the 12th Jaxon Hallmark attempted to score from second on a single by Anderson, but second baseman Kevin Welsh made a diving stop on the hit up the middle and threw out Hallmark at the plate. In the bottom of the frame, Danny DiGeorgio reached on an one-out single and later tried to score all the way from first on a double by Welsh, but Hallmark delivered from centerfield to Schwellenbach who connected with Everitt at home to cut down DiGeorgio.

After not scoring for 11 innings, Nebraska finally plated a run in the top of the 13th. Matthews got on base with an one-out single and then stole second base on a strikeout. Everitt stepped in with two outs and lined the first pitch he saw to right field, scoring Matthews. Frank took the mound and recorded a strikeout before getting a pair of pop outs to secure the victory.

Nine Huskers saw action on the mound on Monday, including a career-high-tying 4.0 shutout innings from Spencer Schwellenbach, who allowed four hits and struck out four.

The Huskers jumped on Rutgers starter Justin Sinibaldi in the top of the first with six runs on seven hits, as NU sent 11 batters to the plate. Schwellenbach got the Huskers on the board with a RBI double and Roskam then homered to quickly put NU up 3-0. Anderson and Cam Chick notched consecutive singles before Matthews plated both with a double and then scored on a RBI groundout from Logan Foster.

Kyle Perry then took the mound for Nebraska for the first time in 431 days, as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Perry gave up back-to-back singles before recording a strikeout. Chris Brito stepped in and got Rutgers on the board with a RBI single and DiGeorgio followed with a RBI groundout before Perry ended the first with a fly out.

After a rocky first inning, Sinibaldi settled in and retired NU in order in the second. The Scarlet Knight offense then chipped into the lead in the bottom of the frame with a leadoff home run from Welsh off Caleb Feekin, trimming Nebraska’s lead to 6-3. Feekin came back with a strikeout but then gave up two singles and hit a batter to load the bases. With the go-ahead run at the plate Feekin executed and got an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Emmett Olson took over on the mound for the Huskers in the bottom of the third and retired six straight before issuing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth. After a single and a sacrifice bunt brought the tying run to the plate the Huskers turned the ball over to Cam Wynne. The right-handed reliever needed just one pitch, as he induced a 6-4-3 double play.

Wynne hit the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the seventh and Nebraska turned the ball over to Max Schreiber, who notched a strikeout for the first out of the inning. The Huskers then picked off Victor Valderrama at first, but obstruction was called on Roskam at first base and Valderrama was awarded second base. The lineup rolled over and Schreiber walked Mike Nyisztor, bringing the tying run to plate and Jake Bunz came in from the bullpen. Rickie Schiekofer stepped in and was retired on a ground ball to first, but after the play the runners were sent back to first and second, and Schiekofer was still called out for using an illegal bat. With two out, Ryan Lasko worked a 2-2 count and then tied the game with a three-run homer that just stayed inside the left-field foul pole.

With the game knotted at 6-6, the Huskers got the go-ahead run on base when Foster worked a two-out walk in the top of the eighth. Reliever Brian Fitzpatrick kept the game tied with a fly out off the bat of Everitt.

Nebraska brought Schwellenbach to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and DiGeorgio welcomed him with a leadoff double. With the go-ahead run in scoring position and no out, Schwellenbach got a strikeout, a fly out and a strikeout to keep the game tied, 6-6, headed to the ninth.

The top of the Husker lineup went down in order in the top of the ninth and then Rutgers had a chance to win in regulation. Schwellenbach got a fly out to start the bottom of the ninth and then back-to-back singles put the winning run at third base. The Huskers intentionally walked Lasko, loading the bases with one down. With nowhere to put Brito, Schwellenbach struck him out on three pitches and then sent the game to extra innings with a lineout off the bat of DiGeorgio.

Nebraska got a leadoff double from Roskam to start the top of the 10th, but he would only make it to third base following a fly out, strikeout and a pop out. Schwellenbach put Rutgers down in order to move the game to the 11th.

The Husker offense then went down in order in the top of the 11th and Rutgers was in position to win the game following a leadoff double from  Josh Rodriguez in the bottom of the frame. Rodriguez then stole third and was just 90 feet from home with no outs, but Schwellenbach got a shallow fly out, a strikeout and an inning-ending pop out to send the game to the 12th.

After the eventual 12th inning where both teams saw the third out come at home plate, Nebraska came up with a two-out hit to retake the lead and eventually win the game.

Nebraska is back at Hawks Field next weekend for a three-game series against the Northwestern Wildcats. The series opens on Friday at 6:30 PM and tickets for the weekend go on sale to the general public on Tuesday afternoon at 1 PM (CT).