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Huskers fail to stem Ohio State in game two to force rubber match

Huskers Jaxon Hallmark

Huskers fall 7-4 to Ohio State on Saturday

After notching a series-opening win on Friday, Nebraska baseball (14-12) struggled in Saturday’s affair against a strong Ohio State (17-8) side falling 7-4 to the Buckeyes.

Originally scheduled for 2:05 p.m., the game was moved up two hours to 12:05 p.m. to avoid some expected weather. The Buckeyes offense brought the storm early, jumping ahead in the first inning. Dominic Canzone led off the game with a double after his pop fly into shallow left field landed between three onlooking Huskers. After advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt, Brady Cherry hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Canzone and give Ohio State a 1-0 lead.

Ohio State extended its lead in the fourth. Following consecutive hits to lead off the inning, the Buckeyes hit a sharp groundball to Roskam at third, who tried to turn two but only was able to get the runner out at second. The groundout brought Jacob Barnwell to the plate, who hit a three-run home run to extend Ohio State’s lead to four.

Nebraska’s offense had another slow start, waiting until the fifth inning before scoring. After a leadoff walk from Repinski, Jaxon Hallmark hit a triple through the right-center gap to open the scoring for Nebraska. With Hallmark on third, Ohio State’s Ryan Feltner threw a wild pitch that ricocheted off the umpire’s shoulder into the stands. Hallmark came home to score on the play, cutting the score to 4-2.

The two sides swapped runs in the bottom of the fifth and top of the sixth. Ohio State scored off an RBI double from McGowan to extend Ohio State’s lead to three, 5-2. Nebraska’s Scott Schreiber continued his heroic stretch with a solo home run to centerfield to lead off the sixth inning, bringing the game back within two.

The Huskers looked to tack on more runs, opening up its most threatening opportunity in the seventh inning. Angelo Altavilla and Hallmark led off the inning with a single and walk, respectively. Mike Addante laid a bunt down the third base line causing an errant throw to first base, scoring one for the Huskers and moving Hallmark and Addante into scoring position. After two quick outs, Ohio State intentionally walked Schreiber to load the bases and bring up Jesse Wilkening. Wilkening’s hitless weekend continued, grounding out to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.

Matt Waldron handed the ball over to his brother Mike to pitch the seventh inning. After a pair of singles, Ohio State’s Conner Pohl hit a sharp groundball to Repinski who could only knock it down, scoring another run for the Buckeyes.

Matt Waldron finished the day with five runs given off of nine hits while striking out six through six innings pitched.

Ohio State wasn’t done scoring, tacking on an insurance run in the eighth. The Buckeyes loaded the bases quickly off a hit by pitch, single, and intentional walk from Waldron. Altavilla then fielded a groundball off the glove of Waldron to get an out at second, but the throw to first was late, scoring a run for the Buckeyes. Andrew Abrahamowicz came out of the bullpen to replace Waldron, forcing a flyout to end the threat.

Nebraska’s inability to take advantage of runners on second and third with no outs in the seventh turned to be costly for the Big Red. The Huskers were unable to plate a run in the final two innings, falling 7-4.

“This one stung a little bit,” Erstad said after the loss. “We’ve got to jump out to a lead. We can’t play from behind on a consistent basis. It’s not a recipe for success.”

Husker MVP – Jaxon Hallmark – In a relatively rough day for Nebraska’s offense, the freshman Jaxon Hallmark was able to find some success at the plate. The Midland, Texas native opened the scoring for Nebraska in the fifth inning with an RBI-triple to score Repinski. Hallmark also scored a pair of runs, coming home on with some heads-up baserunning on a wild pitch and scoring again in the seventh amid Nebraska’s largest threat. For a freshman looking to make his mark on the squad, a performance like this will bode him well.

The rubber match is set for 11:05 p.m. (CT) tomorrow, as the Huskers look to notch their first Big Ten series win.

Matt Warren (3-1) will get the starting nod on the mound for the Big Red.

You can listen to the game through the Huskers Sports Network, or watch it on BTN+ ($).

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