In front of 7,319 fans, the largest crowd ever for a regular-season game between Nebraska and Creighton in Lincoln, the No. 18 Nebraska baseball team concluded its 16-game homestand on Tuesday night with a 5-1 win over the Creighton Bluejays, who entered the game on a seven-game winnings streak. The Huskers are now 22-7 on the year and finished the homestand with a 15-1 record. The last time the Huskers notched 22 wins before the month of April was 2005, when NU entered April with a 22-3 record.
The crowd of 7,319 was the 24th largest crowd in Hawks Field history and the largest crowd for Nebraska-Creighton game in Lincoln since 2005, when 8,304 fans watched the two teams play in the NCAA Lincoln Regional Final. It was also the largest crowd for a game at Hawks Field since 2008, when 8,648 fans watched the Huskers play the UC Irvine Anteaters in the NCAA Lincoln Regional.
Freshman Garett King continued Nebraska’s dominance on the mound, as he went a career-high 8.0 innings and issued only two hits to improve to 3-0 on the year. The 6-3 right hander struck out five and didn’t issue a walk for the second straight start. King was perfect through the first four innings, before Harrison Crawford led off the fifth with a triple down the right-field line that just escaped the out-stretched glove of Austin Darby. Crawford scored CU’s lone run of the game when Brett Murray lifted a sacrifice fly into center field.
Following the triple, King went on to retire 12 of the final 13 Jays he faced, before junior Jeff Chesnut took the mound in the ninth and retired the Jays in order to finish the win.
The Huskers now has a 2.32 ERA on the year, and a blistering 1.98 ERA in games at Hawks Field. In 16 games at home, the Husker arms piled up 122 strikeouts to 34 walks.
La Vista, Neb., native Jake Placzek led the NU offensive attack with another great game against the Jays, going 3-for-5, including a double and his first career triple. In four career games against Creighton, Placzek is hitting .500 (7-for-14) with two doubles, one triple and six RBIs. Last season, Placzek delivered a walk-off single in a 5-4 extra-innings win in Lincoln and later in the year came through with a two-RBI single in the eighth inning that drove in the eventual game-winning runs in a 4-2 win at TD Ameritrade Park.
Placzek extended NU’s lead to 3-0 in the top of the second with a two-out double and then pushed the lead to 4-0 in the fourth with a triple. The junior then scored on a RBI single by Blake Headley that put the Huskers ahead 5-0.
NU’s first three batters in its lineup, Ryan Boldt-Placzek-Headley, finished the game a combined 8-for-14 with three runs scored and four RBIs.
After playing their last 16 games at home, the Huskers now head east down I-80 tomorrow for a meeting with the Omaha Mavericks at Werner Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.