Nebraska (28-20, 15-9 Big Ten) and Michigan started playing baseball on Friday afternoon and did not finish until early Saturday morning. A weather delay (that lasted nearly two hours) backed up the start time of Game 3 from 8:02 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. CT.
The top of the Big Ten conference was pretty messy with Michigan, Indiana and Nebraska all fighting for first place. A Nebraska win and an Indiana loss to Rutgers would have secured the Huskers a share of the Big Ten title. Michigan still has a shot at the conference title but only with an Indiana loss on Saturday.
The Huskers will now be seeded somewhere between third and fifth in the Big Ten tournament in Omaha next week. The final seeding will depend on Illinois’ and Minnesota’s last games.
But let’s get back to Lincoln for now because Game 3 included a lot of offense. Michigan jumped out to a 3-0 lead Friday night before Nebraska scored five straight. It wasn't enough for the Huskers though, as the Wolverines scored five runs in the sixth inning to pull away in a 10-8 win.
The Huskers made things interesting down the stretch but came up just short. Michigan really got the bats going for the first time in the series, outhitting Nebraska 12-9 in the final game between the two teams.
Colby Gomes had one of his better outings of the year and he hit his first career home run and collected three RBIs. Cam Chick also homered and Angelo Altavilla went two-of-four with two RBIs.
Let’s take a look at a few takeaways from the series win for Nebraska
The Huskers were able to maintain consistent offense all the way through the series with Michigan. With so many recent struggles at the plate, it was a welcomed sight for Nebraska.
The Big Red collected 28 total hits on the weekend including home runs from Gomes, Chick, Aaron Palensky and Jaxon Hallmark.
Nebraska looked confident at the plate for the first time in a long time. The Huskers will need to carry that confidence into tournament play.
A B1G Opportunity
As rough as it was for the Huskers down the stretch in conference play, Nebraska gave itself a legitimate shot at the conference title.
You can look at this one of two ways. You can look back at all of the missed opportunities to win close games and series that slipped away. Or, you can choose to look at the fight this team brought to the very end to even give themselves a chance.
At the end of the year, you want to be able to position yourself to win the conference and that is exactly what this team was able to do.
As mentioned above, Nebraska will be seeded anywhere from third to fifth in the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha. Coming into the weekend, the Huskers could’ve finished as low as seventh.
Nebraska has really boosted its resume for a regional appearance with the last two weekends. Winning back-to-back series against Arizona State and Michigan should put the Huskers in good position going forward.
There weren’t many who thought it was realistic for Nebraska to beat both Arizona State and Michigan—or even just one of the two, to be honest—just two weeks ago. The Huskers instead won both series and have positioned themselves for an exciting finish to the year.
The Big Ten tournament begins Wedneday. Seedings will depend on what happens in conference games on Saturday, but more should be known soon.