Nebraska and Michigan will play more baseball. A win would’ve sent the Huskers to the Big Ten Tournament championship game on Sunday, but the Wolverines walked away with an 18-8 victory.
Michigan struck early and often. The top of the first inning lasted half an hour while the Wolverines recorded seven runs on eight hits. The first inning was a knockout punch that Nebraska never recovered from. Starter Reece Eddins was never able to find his groove and his day was done by the second inning.
Michigan recorded 10 hits before Nebraska got its first. The Big Red had some fireworks in the fourth and fifth innings. The Huskers plated two runs in the the fourth before Aaron Palensky and Spencer Schwellenbach hit back to back home runs in the fifth. Suddenly, the score was 9-4.
Michigan responded with fireworks of its own in the sixth inning. The Wolverines added six runs on four hits including a two run homer to make the score 15-4.
If you like offense, this was the game for you. The two teams recorded 30 hits in a game that lasted over four hours. Nebraska flirted with the 10-run rule after it was enforced on Iowa just a day earlier.
The tournament suddenly got more interesting for the Huskers on Saturday. Nebraska and Michigan will have a rematch this evening with the winner advancing to the championship on Sunday. Ohio State and Minnesota will do battle this afternoon with a similar scenario. If Ohio State wins, it would advance to the championship. If Minnesota wins, the Gophers and Buckeyes would also have a rematch late tonight.
These final games are likely going to come down to what team can sustain consistent pitching. For Nebraska, it will likely be freshman Kyle Perry or senior Chad Luensmann starting on the mound (although Coach Darin Erstad did not announce a starter in his post-game press conference).
The rematch between Nebraska and Michigan will start an hour after the conclusion of Ohio State and Minnesota. It will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.