HUSKER BASEBALL: Wild Pitch Gives Creighton a Walk-Off Win Over Nebraska
OMAHA–(KFOR/NU Athletics Mar. 22)–It came down to a wild pitch for Creighton to finish a rally to score the game-winning run and defeat the Nebraska baseball team in walk-off fashion Tuesday night, as the Bluejays beat the Huskers 6-5 at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha.
Nebraska had a 5-3 lead going into the ninth and Creighton opened bottom half of the inning with a single from Jack Grace, and a sacrifice bunt placed a runner on second with one out. The Bluejays got to within one run at 5-4 courtesy of a one-out RBI single from senior Andrew Meggs. After junior Nolan Clifford was hit by a pitch, Nebraska went to the bullpen for Brett Sears.
After a wild pitch moved both Creighton runners into scoring position, Tyler Lozano knotted the game at 5-5 with a sacrifice fly to right. Wisely Clifford also advanced to third on the fly out, a move that proved pivotal as the first pitch to Bluejay freshman Ben North was wild to the left, allowing Clifford to race home with the winning run.
The Bluejays loaded the bases in the bottom of the first with three walks, but Brockett escaped the jam with a strikeout on full count to keep the game scoreless. A hit by pitch and a pair of hits had the bases loaded for CU in the second, before a bases-clearing double made it a 3-0 game.
Nebraska responded immediately in the third, plating four runs on five hits and an error. Casey Burnham was hit by pitch for the ninth time this season and advanced to second on a wild pitch, while Brice Matthews’ RBI single to left plated Nebraska’s first run of the night. An error allowed Dylan Carey to reach, followed by Anderson’s single through the left side placed runners on first and second with two outs for the NU offense. Josh Caron brought the Huskers within one with a double down the left-field line, while Charlie Fischer’s two-RBI single to center gave the Big Red a 4-3 lead in the third.
After Will Walsh sat down the first 11 batters he faced to maintain the 4-3 lead through six, the NU offense tacked on a run on three hits in the seventh to double the lead to 5-3. Carey and Anderson reached on back-to-back singles, setting up Caron’s no-out RBI single through the left side to score Carey.
Walsh blanked the Bluejays in the seventh and eighth innings, allowing only one baserunner on an NU throwing error to preserve the 5-3 lead going into the ninth.
Nebraska’s Jackson Brockett pitched one inning in his third start of the season, allowing three runs on three hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. Corbin Hawkins tossed 1.1 scoreless innings in relief, before Walsh toed the rubber for a career-high six innings. Walsh retired 17 of the first 18 batters he faced and didn’t allow a hit until the leadoff single in the ninth. The redshirt sophomore allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits and struck out four. Sears recorded one out and dropped to 0-1 on the season.
Max Anderson led the Huskers at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run. Caron went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run. Charlie Fischer was 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Also recording a hit for NU was Matthews, Carey, Ben Columbus and Griffin Everitt.
Nebraska begins conference play this weekend, hosting Illinois for a three-game series at Hawks Field on Friday-Sunday, March 24-26.