Trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the ninth, No. 2 seed Nebraska posted four runs to take a dramatic 7-6 victory over No. 7 Ohio State in the second game of the Big Ten Baseball Tournament on Wednesday. A bases loaded walk scored Quinn McGill to make the score 6-4, then Pat Kelly singled home two runs to tie the game. Tanner Lubach’s sacrifice fly scored Michael Pritchard from third to get the win. The Huskers will take on Michigan State at 5 p.m. CT on Thursday, while Ohio State will face Illinois at 9 a.m.
The victory was the Huskers’ sixth walk-off of the season and marked the 14th time this season the Huskers have won a game when they trailed or were tied after the sixth inning.
After cutting OSU’s lead in half in the fifth with three runs, the Huskers went hitless over the next three innings. With All-American closer Trace Dempsey on the mound in the ninth, freshman Ben Miller snapped the hitless streak with a leadoff single and was replaced on the bases by fellow freshman Quinn McGill. Dempsey then hit Steven Reveles and walked Ryan Boldt to load the bases with no out. With a right hander on the mound, Darin Erstad called on lefty Christian Cox to pinch hit and the junior worked a full count, but struck out for the first out of the inning. Michael Pritchard was up next and worked a four-pitch walk to force home NU’s first run of the inning. With clean-up hitter Pat Kelly due up and the tying run at second base, the Buckeyes turned the ball over to Tyler Giannonatti. Kelly, who was named first-team All-Big Ten for the second straight season on Monday, came through with a two-RBI game-tying single, his third hit of the day. The Buckeyes then intentionally walked Blake Headley to load the bases and setup a potential double-play ball, but the game was not meant for extra innings as Lubach lifted a 1-0 offering from Giannonatti into shallow center field and Pritchard beat a throw home by Troy Montgomery to complete the Husker comeback.
Kelly was 3-for-5 with three RBIs to lead the Huskers, while Pritchard chipped in a pair of RBIs without getting a hit.