NU baseball uses long ball to pummel Indiana State 10-4
Behind a seven-run seventh inning that included a grand slam from Steven Reveles and a two-run homer from Jake Placzek, the Nebraska baseball team (12-7, 0-0 Big Ten) improved to 3-0 all-time against the Indiana State Sycamore (13-8, 0-0 MVC) with a 10-4 victory.
Placzek homered for the second straight game when he blasted his fourth dinger of the season. The senior from La Vista, Neb., tallied just one home run in 88 starts over his first three seasons at NU. Later in the inning Reveles hit the first grand slam by a Husker since 2012 when he belted a two-out offering from Evan Giles over the left-center field wall. It was Reveles’ third home run of 2016, the senior didn’t have career home run entering the season.
Nebraska now has 21 home runs on the season through 19 games after hitting 22 home runs in 57 games last season.
The Huskers saw four ISU relievers in the seventh, as they sent 12 batters to the plate. NU scored seven runs on five hits, including five runs with two outs.
The NU seventh started with a single by Ryan Boldt and he quickly scored when Placzek blasted the first pitch he saw from Tyler Whitbread over the left-field wall.
Whitbread then retired two of the next three Huskers he faced and was in route to stranding Scott Schreiber at third. Alvarado worked a walk and ISU went to Giles who give up a RBI single to Taylor Fish, his third hit of the game.
Giles then walked Jake Schleppenbach to load the bases with two outs and Reveles delivered the big blast that gave the Huskers a 9-3 lead.
Jeff Chesnut retired his eighth straight batter in the bottom of the seventh and the Husker offense went back to work. In the eighth, Jake Meyers laced a one-out single, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and then easily scored on a double by Luis Alvarado off the left-center field wall.
Trent Lunsford then struck out Fish before offering back-to-back two-out walks that loaded the bases. Lunsford kept the Huskers from another big inning though, as he got Boldt to foul out to end the inning.
ISU had the lead early when it got a leadoff double from Andy DeJesus in the third and NU starter Zack Engelken nearly got out of the inning without any damage, but a two-out a wild pitch scored DeJesus and give the Sycamores a 1-0 lead.
With his next pitch Engelken struck out Clay Dungan to end the inning.
The Huskers finally cracked the scoreboard in the fifth with a pair of runs on two hits. After ISU starter Weston Rivers retired Reveles to start the inning, the lineup rolled over and NU went to work. Boldt started the rally with a single and then stole second, Placzek then worked his second walk of the game and Ben Miller delivered an RBI single to tie the game.
ISU went to reliever Damon Olds and his task was to face Schreiber. The Husker first baseman lifted a shallow fly ball to centerfield that dropped and scored Placzek, but on the play Miller was forced out at second base.
The NU lead didn’t last long, as No. 9 hitter Tony Rosselli started ISU’s half of the fifth with a single and then scored on a triple by DeJesus. Andy Young followed with an RBI groundout and ISU retook the lead, 3-2, and Engelken was pulled for Chesnut.
In his 73rd career appearance, which tied him for eighth all-time at Nebraska, Chesnut retired ISU’s No. 3 and 4 hitters in order to end the fifth. On the day Chesnut retired all eight batters he faced.
Down 3-2 entering the seventh, the Huskers outscored the Sycamores 8-1 over the final three innings to take the series opener.
The Huskers and Sycamore wrap up their two-game series tomorrow at 3 p.m. (CT). Neither team has announced a starting pitcher.