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Nebraska falls apart in series opener

Darin Erstad Huskers

Sitting at eleventh in the Big Ten, Nebraska (20-22, 4-9) came into Friday night’s matchup against Maryland (19-25, 5-9) needing nearly flawless baseball to keep its postseason hopes alive. The Huskers came into the matchup against the Terps riding a three-game winning streak, scoring 30 runs over that span.

Nebraska’s red-hot offense failed to come alive in Friday’s series opener.

After a scoreless first two innings, the Huskers were able to show shines of life in the third. Following a Brison Cronenbold walk, Mojo Hagge hit a fly ball into center that was lost in the sun, bouncing past Maryland’s Zach Jancarski all the way to the wall. Hagge hustled to third for an RBI triple, opening the scoring for Nebraska. Scott Schreiber drove in Hagge off a sacrifice fly to left.

In the seventh, Cronenbold delivered a one-out single before coming around to score off a dropped fly ball in left field. Schreiber, who reached base off the error, was hit home off a Jesse Wilkening double.

Nebraska tacked on three more runs in the ninth off a three-run home run, but the game was long over by then.

A bulk of the Husker’s struggles came from the middle of the lineup. The No. 4-8 hitters in Nebraska’s lineup were 3-20 at the plate, while the rest of the team combined for seven hits.

Nebraska’s performance on the mound wasn’t any better as Maryland scored 15 runs on the day.

Matt Waldron (5-2) started for Nebraska, giving up six runs (five earned) off of four hits and two walks through six innings pitched. Waldron, who’s struggled with giving up home runs, gave up two solo shots on the day.

The Huskers featured four pitchers out of the bullpen in Mike Waldron, Byron Hood, Ethan Frazier, and Max Schreiber. The four combined for three innings pitched, giving up nine runs off of nine hits and two walks.

Nebraska’s pitchers gave up 13 hits on the day, including seven extra-base hits and three home runs. Maryland entered the night 246th nationally in runs per game (4.5), as they scored a season-high 15 runs.

The 15-4 loss drops Nebraska to 4-10 in conference play, as Maryland improves to 6-9, remaining at tenth in the conference standings. With the loss, Nebraska falls to three games behind the eight seeded Michigan State, who sits in the final Big Ten Tournament spot.

Nebraska will likely have to win out if they want to play in the conference tournament. Luis Alvarado (3-5) will start for the Huskers on Saturday, with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. (CT). You can listen to the game through the Huskers Sports Network or watch the game on BTN+ ($).

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