The Nebraska baseball team (35-18-1) opened the Big Ten Tournament with a 15-9 win over Purdue (29-26) on a rainy Wednesday night at Bart Kaufman Field.
Junior right-hander Jake Hohensee made his 14th start of the season, and struck out six Boilermakers in 6.0 innings of work. He gave up six runs, all of which were earned, and allowed seven hits. Robbie Palkert earned a save in 3.0 innings of work.
In the first inning, Hohensee retired all three Boilermaker batters, striking out one. Jake Meyers doubled in the leadoff spot to begin the night for Nebraska’s offense. Angelo Altavilla also doubled before Scott Schreiber reached on a throwing error and advanced to second. Ben Miller was walked to load the bases. Luis Alvarado singled to score Altavilla. Luke Roskam was walked, which scored another run for the Big Red. Jesse Wilkening grounded into a double play, but Miller scored. Jake Schleppenbach flew out to right field to end the inning after the Huskers scored four runs.
Purdue’s first four batters reached base with hits in the second frame, which included a pair of doubles. In all, the Boilermakers scored five runs on six hits to take the lead. All three Husker batters were retired in the bottom of the second.
Purdue went 1-2-3 in the top of the third, as Hohensee struck out one Boilermaker. Leadoff hitter Schreiber reached on a fielding error and scored when Miller doubled to right field. Miller scored when Wilkening’s single brought him in after back-to-back outs. NU’s two runs off two hits gave the Huskers a 6-5 lead.
Hohensee struck out all three Boilermakers he faced in the top of the fourth. The Huskers extended their lead in the bottom half of the frame with two runs on one hit, three walks and a hit-by-pitch. Mojo Hagge, the leadoff hitter, singled, and scored along with Meyers, who was hit by a pitch.
Purdue’s Jacson McGowan homered to trim the lead to 8-6, but Hohensee managed to get the other three Boilermakers out in the top of the fifth. NU managed to score three runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend its lead to 11-6. Four Huskers were walked, while Schreiber and Miller each doubled.
Hohensee gave up a walk in the top of the sixth, but retired the other three hitters, including his sixth strikeout of the game. Schleppenbach reached on a leadoff single and advanced to third, but the Huskers couldn’t bring him in.
Palkert came in for Hohensee before the top of the seventh, and allowed a leadoff double, which led to a Purdue run. The Boilermakers had two groundouts and a strikeout to end the inning. All three Husker batters in the bottom of the seventh struck out.
In the top of the eighth, Purdue scored one run off two hits. Hagge saved an additional run with a catch at the right field wall. Hagge launched a home run to right field that scored Schleppenbach and gave NU a 13-8 advantage. Schreiber also homered, bringing in Altavilla.
In the top of the ninth, Purdue managed a home run, but three consecutive outs led to an NU win.
The Huskers will face the winner of Maryland and Iowa in the next round of the Big Ten Tournament. The game between the Terrapins and Hawkeyes has been moved to Thursday at 12:30 p.m. (CT). Nebraska’s game will be on Friday at a time to be announced