Wolverines snap Husker winning streak
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Nebraska baseball team received another outstanding pitching performance in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader with Michigan, but the Husker bats were silenced in a 2-0 loss to the Wolverines. The loss snapped Nebraska’s nine-game winning streak.
After posting shutouts in the past two games, Nebraska limited Michigan to only two runs and five hits. In his final start at Hawks Field Chance Hroch (5-2) went 6.0 innings and allowed a pair of runs on five hits. The right-hander issued a season-high three walks and struck out three. Cam Wynne, Tyler Martin and Koty Frank then combined for 3.0 perfect innings out of the bullpen.
While Husker pitching retired the final 10 Wolverines and didn’t allow a hit after the fifth inning, Nebraska’s offense was unable to take advantage. The Huskers matched Michigan with five hits, and Nebraska had the tying runs on base in the seventh and the tying run at the plate in the ninth. But the Huskers could not break through against the Michigan duo of Cameron Weston and Willie Weiss.
Weston (7-4) allowed just four hits and struck out four over 7.0 shutout innings. It was a career-high 108-pitch effort for Weston and all four of his strikeouts came in his final 3.0 innings on the mound. Weiss then earned his fifth save of the season by allowing one hit and striking out a pair in 2.0 innings of relief.
Offensively, five Huskers produced a hit, including a double from Max Anderson. Brice Matthews was 1-for-2 with a walk while Spencer Schwellenbach, Luke Roskam and Mojo Hagge all singled.
Michigan notched the first hit of the game with a one-out double in the top of the first, but Hroch stranded the runner with a fly out and then got a diving stop from Anderson at third, who fired to first to end the frame.
After going down in order in the first, the Huskers got a leadoff single from Roskam in the second and after a fly out, Matthews blooped a single to left that put runners on first and second. The inning quickly ended when Cam Chick lined out to shortstop and Roskam was doubled up at second base.
Hroch retired eight straight after giving up the one-out double in the first, but then walked the first two batters he faced in the fourth. The leadoff walk came back to hurt later when Griffin Mazur plated Tito Flores with a RBI fielder’s choice. The Wolverines would load the bases following a two-out single and a hit-by-pitch, but Hroch got out of the jam with a line out to center field.
The Wolverines pushed their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fifth with a run on three hits. They made have added more but the frame ended when Flores tied to go 1st-to-3rd on a single by Ted Burton, but Hagge threw a strike from left field to cut him down.
Following Ted Burton’s single in the fifth, Nebraska’s pitching staff allowed just one baserunner the rest of the game, a two-out walk in the sixth. NU pitchers retired the final 10 Michigan batters of the game.
After ending the top of the fifth with an outfield assist, Hagge end the top of the sixth with a highlight-reel catch. Joey Velazquez lifted a fly ball down the left-field foul line and Hagge made a sliding catch into the wall in foul territory near the Husker bullpen to end the inning.
Hagge then led off the bottom of the sixth and lined a single into left field. The hit snapped a streak of 10 straight batter retired by Weston. The Huskers were unable to capitalize on the leadoff hit, as Weston retired the next three batters in order to strand Hagge at second to end the sixth.
The Huskers had the tying runs on base in the seventh after Anderson doubled to right with two outs and Matthews worked a walk, but Weston kept the shutout intact with a fly out to left field.
Weiss retired the Huskers in order in the eighth, and then Schwellenbach reached on a one-out single in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate. Roskam brought the crown of more than 7,000 to its feet with a fly out to the warning track in center before a ground out ended the game and evened the series at 1-1.
Nebraska and Michigan will conclude their three-game series with game two on Saturday. Following Saturday’s doubleheader, the Huskers will wait to find out where they will play at next week’s NCAA Tournament when the tournament selection show airs on Monday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.
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