Evanston, Ill. – Trailing 4-0 after eight innings, Nebraska (23-17, 12-7 Big Ten) scored two runs in the top of the ninth before falling to Northwestern at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park on Saturday afternoon.
Senior right-handed pitcher Matt Waldron, making his ninth start of the season, went 7.0 innings and allowed four runs, while recording five strikeouts and no walks. Waldron has gone 6.0 innings or more in eight consecutive outings. Max Schreiber threw 1.0 inning and tallied two strikeouts.
In the opening frame, the Huskers left the bases loaded without scoring. After a leadoff flyout, Aaron Palensky and Joe Acker each singled before Ty Roseberry walked, but back-to-back outs left the trio stranded. In the bottom of the first, Waldron sat down the Wildcats with a 1-2-3 inning.
Colby Gomes laced a one-out single in the top of the second and advanced to second base on a groundout. Gomes made it to third on a wild pitch, but was left on base after a strikeout ended a scoreless inning. The Wildcats went down in order in the bottom of the second as Waldron tallied two strikeouts.
Nebraska went down in order with two flyouts and a groundout in the top of the third. Northwestern plated one run in the bottom of the third to take the early 1-0 lead. The Wildcats managed two hits during the frame.
The Huskers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth. The Wildcats managed one hit in the bottom of the fourth, but left the runner stranded as the score remained 1-0.
Nebraska was retired in order in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Northwestern scored two runs on three hits to build a 3-0 advantage.
In the sixth, Palensky laced a leadoff single before Acker drew a walk, but a flyout and double play ended a scoreless frame for the Big Red. Waldron retired the Wildcats in order in the bottom of the sixth.
In the top of the seventh, the Huskers went down in order with a flyout, groundout and strikeout. In the bottom of the seventh, Jack Kelly hit a solo home run to extend Northwestern’s lead to 4-0.
Nebraska went down in order in the top of the eighth with two strikeouts and a flyout. The Wildcats went down in order in the bottom of the eighth as Schreiber notched two strikeouts.
In the top of the ninth, Acker drew a leadoff walk before pinch hitter Cam Chick singled through the right side to put runners on first and second. Pinch hitter Mojo Hagge kept the momentum going with an RBI double down the left field line for Nebraska’s first run of the game. After a line-out, Chick scored on a wild pitch that advanced Hagge to third. Back-to-back strikeouts ended the rally and the game.
The series continues on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. (CT).