On a night when Josh Roeder notched his 31st career save to tie Brett Jensen for Nebraska’s career saves mark, the Nebraska baseball team (31-16, 6-9 Big Ten) finished a season sweep of the Creighton Bluejays (24-13) with a 7-6 victory on Tuesday night in front of 10,513 fans at TD Ameritrade Park.
With a 7-5 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, Roeder gave up a triple and a double to start the frame, putting the tying run at second base with no out. The Jays used a sacrifice bunt to put the tying run 90 feet from home, but Roeder kept Reagan Fowler from scoring with a groundout and a swinging strikeout to end the game.
The Husker win was also made possible by an insurance run from Taylor Fish in the top of the ninth. Wes Edrington started the inning with a walk and scored on a RBI groundout from Fish to put the Huskers ahead 7-5 and it ended up being the game-winning run. Nebraska also got a key two-out hit from Jake Schleppenbach in the eighth. With the bases loaded and two out, Schleppenbach lined a two-RBI single into right field to put the Huskers back in front 6-5.
Schleppenbach, Ryan Boldt and Blake Headley combined for nine of NU’s 11 hits on the night, while Schleppenbach and Fish both drove in a pair of runs.
The Huskers led off the game with a single from Boldt, but then didn’t have another base runner until the top of the fourth when Boldt led off the frame with a walk. Headley followed with his 17th double of the season and the Huskers quickly had two runners in scoring position. Miller got the Huskers on the board with a RBI groundout and Fish delivered a RBI single to cut Creighton’s lead to one run, 3-2.
The Jays jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second on three singles and a pair of wild pitches from Husker starter Garett King.
Nebraska even the game at 3-3 in the fifth on a two-out RBI from Boldt. The Huskers were in position for a big inning when Schleppenbach and Luis Alvarado started the frame with singles to put runners on the corners. The Jays caught a break though when Edrington hit into a 5-4-3 double play, leaving a Schleppenbach on third with two out. CU went to Will Bamesberger to face Boldt and the sophomore got in an 0-2 hole before ripping the third pitch of the at-bat into centerfield for a RBI single. Headley then drew a walk to put Boldt in scoring position, but Bamesberger retired Miller 4-3 to end the inning.
The Jays jumped back in front in the sixth with a pair of runs on two hits and two walks. With one run already plated and the bases loaded the Huskers nearly got out of the inning with a double play ball, but NU was unable to turn it and a run scored. Colton Howell then struck out Fowler swinging to end the inning.
Schleppenbach started the seventh with a single, he was quickly at third after stealing second and taking third on a throwing error by the catch on the steal. After Alvarado struck out, Edrington came through with an RBI groundout that cut CU’s lead to 5-4.
After Howell kept the Jays scoreless in the seventh, Headley got the Huskers going with a leadoff single in the eighth and was in scoring position when Miller drew a four-pitch walk. Fish moved both Huskers into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and to setup the double play, the Jays internationally walked Darby to load the bases. CU reliever David Gerber struck out Schreiber for the second out of the inning and needed to retire Schleppenbach to get out of the jam. The Husker second baseman took a strike before roping a two-RBI single that retook the lead for NU, 6-5.
Miller took the mound for NU in the bottom of the eighth and retired the Jays in order, Fish delivered a much needed insurance run in the ninth and Roeder closed the door to record NU’s first 3-0 mark over Creighton in a season since 2008.
Tuesday marked the final non-conference game of the season for the Huskers. Nebraska has nine Big Ten games left, including a three-game series with Northwestern this weekend in Evanston, Ill.