Big Red’s struggles continued in Bloomington, Indiana.
After losing 8-7 on Friday night despite a late rally that included a couple three-run home runs, the Huskers fell once again to the Hoosiers on Saturday afternoon, 8-1, to drop the three-game series. Indiana improves to 16-22 overall and 4-7 against Big Ten opponents while Nebraska drops to 14-23 and 4-7 in the conference. The Huskers have now lost nine of their last 11 games.
The teams will play the third and final game Sunday at 11 a.m.
Nebraska’s offense never got anything going against Indiana’s 6-foot-6, 205-pound starter Bradley Brehmer, a transfer from Wright State, or really any of the relief pitchers used, including Ty Bothwell and Reese Sharp. Brehmer lasted six innings and struck out 11 batters, a season-high for the right-hander, while allowing only three hits and one earned run.
Nebraska struck out 16 times in the loss, which tied the season-high from April 1, a 5-3 win at Ohio State.
The key part of the game came in the second inning, when Indiana scored five runs on three hits to take a 5-1 lead. After Nebraska starter Emmett Olson issued a flyout, Indiana’s Matthew Ellis reached on an error at first by Jack Steil. Olson got closer to overcoming that mistake as he forced a groundout from Tyler Doanes for the second out, but then disaster struck while the Huskers needed just one more out.
Olson walked Sam Murrison with two outs to put runners on first and second and allowed a single from Max Johnson that loaded the bases. Bobby Whalen then stepped to the plate and delivered a two-run single. Olson walked his second batter of the inning, Hunter Jessee, which set the table for Josh Pyne, who connected on a bases-clearing three-run double that gave the Hoosiers the 5-1 lead. Carter Mathison then took Olson deep for a solo shot in the third to put Indiana’s edge at 6-1.
Olson threw six innings and allowed six runs on nine hits, however just one of those runs was earned. The defense behind him committed two errors. Olson struck out five and walked two.
Corbin Hawkins and Chandler Benson both saw action out of the bullpen. Hawkins went 1.2 innings two earned runs on three hits.
After the poor second inning, Nebraska’s bats never seemed to recover as Brehmer had nine strikeouts by the fifth inning. The Huskers went down in order in the third and fourth innings and didn’t get anything going in the fifth, either, aside from Brehmer helping them out by plunking Leighton Banjoff and walking Cam Chick. Brehmer was still able to collect three strikeouts in the fifth.
Nebraska’s first hit since Core Jackson’s RBI double in the second inning came in the sixth when Brice Matthews singled.
Like Friday, there was a little late drama for the Huskers, this time coming in the top of the eighth. Nebraska had the bases loaded with two outs after Griffin Everitt doubled and walks from Matthews and Banjoff followed. Will Walsh, a seldom-used redshirt freshman from Leawood, Kansas, struck out to end the threat, however.
The Huskers went just 0-of-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners while the Hoosiers did much better in that department, going 4-of-9.