Hot Reads: Huskers Await NCAA Tournament Destination
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Hot Reads: Huskers Await NCAA Tournament Destination

May 27, 2019

Nebraska baseball came up two runs short on Sunday, losing 3-1 to Ohio State on Sunday in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. It was perhaps even closer than the score suggested.

After the Buckeyes took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Nebraska appeared to dodge a bullet in the bottom of the fourth. Aaron Palensky caught a fly ball to right for the second out in the inning and his throw home beat the Ohio State runner tagging from third. The initial call was out, but it was reversed on review (and though it was close, that appeared to be the correct call).

Eric Francis
Review No. 1 that didn’t go Nebraska’s way.

Instant replay wasn’t done with this game, or Palensky, yet. Down 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Palensky went to the plate with runners on second and third and two out. His slow chopper to third made for a bang-bang play at first. The call on the field was out and after review that’s what it remained.

Here’s how close it was, through the lens of Hail Varsity staff photographer Eric Francis.

Eric Francis
Review No. 2 that didn’t go Nebraska’s way.

The play was so close, and replay didn’t offer much help, that whatever was called on the field was going to stand. What stood kept the game from being tied 2-2.

That’s often the margin you’re dealing with in championship games. I’m not talking about the calls necessarily, more the tiny differences in execution that can decide these games.

In the fourth, Palensky, despite double clutching, made a great throw to the plate. But the initial attempt to make the tag missed by fractions of an inch. In the seventh, Buckeyes’ third baseman Nick Erwin made a great play to even have a chance to get Palensky at first.

If you’re just in for excellent competition and witnessing great athleticism there’s nothing to be disappointed about here. Of course, nobody really watches sports that way. You want to win.

The Huskers will next get the chance to do that this weekend. The NCAA announced the 16 regional hosts on Sunday. The full tournament field will be revealed today at 11 a.m. CT.

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