Huskers Fall in Extras at Rutgers

Photo Credit: NU Athletics Photo Credit: NU Athletics

Nebraska surrendered five unanswered runs in the final four innings to fall 7-6 in 11 innings at Rutgers on Friday night at Bainton Field.

Nebraska (22-9, 5-2 Big Ten) scored six runs on 10 hits, while Rutgers (21-12, 2-5 Big Ten) totaled seven runs on 15 hits and an error.

Josh Caron stretched his hit streak to 13 games, going 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI. Cayden Brumbaugh was 2-for-3 with a double, while Gabe Swansen tallied two hits. Will Walsh had a three-run home run, and Dylan Carey added a double.

Brett Sears turned in his eighth consecutive quality start after allowing two runs on six hits across six innings of work. Jalen Worthley allowed one run on two hits in one inning, while Evan Borst tossed a scoreless inning in relief.

Kyle Perry surrendered three runs on a pair of hits while recording one out. Casey Daiss fired 1.2 scoreless innings, working around a pair of hits and a walk to the Scarlet Knights. Rans Sanders dropped to 0-1 on the season after allowing a run on two hits in 0.2 innings.

The Huskers and Scarlet Knights played through five scoreless frames in a showdown between two of the top starting pitchers in the Big Ten.

The NU offense broke through in the sixth, plating three runs on two hits to go ahead 3-0. Brumbaugh reached on a one-out double, while Joshua Overbeek drew a four-pitch to put runners on first and second. A wild pitch moved the pair ahead a base, before Cole Evans’ Big Ten-leading fifth sacrifice fly of the season scored Brumbaugh to break the scoreless tie.

Case Sanderson was plunked and moved to second on a passed ball, while Caron drilled a two-RBI single up the middle to give the Big Red a 3-0 lead.

Rutgers responded immediately with a pair of runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth to climb within one. The Scarlet Knights had runners on second and third after a single and a double, while Ty Doucette’s two-RBI single to left made it a one-run game through six innings.

Nebraska threatened in the seventh with runners on second and third with two outs but couldn’t get the timely two-out hit to add on to the 3-2 lead.

The Huskers extended their lead to 6-2 in the top of the eighth behind Walsh’s three-run homer into the berm in left field. Caron reached on a two-out single, followed by a four-pitch walk to Swansen to put runners on first and second. Walsh cleared the bases and touched them all with his fifth homer of the season.

The Scarlet Knights had a leadoff single and a two-out walk, before Pete Durocher dropped an RBI single to right-center to bring Rutgers within 6-3 after eight innings.

Consecutive one-out singles and a full-count walk loaded the bases for Rutgers in the bottom of the ninth. Josh Kuroda-Grauer made it a one-run game with a two-RBI double to right-center.

Nebraska intentionally walked Durocher to load the bases with one out, while Tony Santa Maria’s RBI single to right locked the game at six in the bottom of the ninth. Daiss retired the next two Scarlet Knights via a flyout and groundout to send the game into extra innings tied at six.

Carey led off the 11th inning with a first-pitch double down the left-field line to put the go-ahead run at second for the Huskers with no outs. A failed sacrifice bunt attempt, followed by a popout and strikeout prevent the Big Red from plating the go-ahead run.

An infield single and a walk had two runners on with no outs for Rutgers in the bottom of the 11th. A three-pitch strikeout, followed by a groundout to third placed runners on second and third with two outs, setting up Johnny Volpe’s walk-off RBI single up the middle to give Rutgers a 7-6 win in the series opener on Friday night.

Nebraska and Rutgers continue the weekend series tomorrow at 2 p.m. CT at Bainton Field. Saturday’s matchup can be seen on B1G+, while fans can listen to Dave Gustafson and Ben McLaughlin call the action on the Huskers Radio Network.