The red-hot Indiana offense that laid 29 runs in a sweep at Northwestern last weekend has cooled down considerably, as the Hoosiers have scored a combined 7 runs in their last 3 games, which have all been losses. After falling to Indiana State 7-3 on Wednesday night and to Nebraska by the same score on Friday night, Indiana dropped game two of their three-game set with the Cornhuskers 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Nebraska starter Derek Burkamper will close to flawless in the majority of his 5+ innings pitched, giving up just one earned run on four hits and three walks while also recording three strikeouts.
After stranding a pair of runners in the first inning, Burkamper held the Hoosiers hitless over the next four innings.
However, Craig Dedelow finally broke the ice for the Hoosiers in the bottom of the 6th inning when he smashed a RBI double to left center field to plate Matt Gorski, who led off the frame with a walk.
The double cut Nebraska’s lead in half to 2-1 and, after a Luke Miller single to put runners on the corners with no outs, Indiana looked to be on the verge of a breakthrough inning.
The single chased Burkamper and Matt Waldron replaced on the mound for Nebraska. Waldron immediately got Matt Lloyd to hit a rocket line drive right at first basemen Ben Miller, who caught the liner and tagged Luke Miller for a back-breaking double play.
Logan Sowers struck out swinging to end the inning with Nebraska still shockingly holding its 2-1 lead.
The Cornhuskers continued that momentum into the top of the 7th as nine-hole hitter Jake Schleppenback smacked a leadoff home run to right field to give Nebraska its 3-1 lead. The Hoosiers never recovered.
Lloyd lined a leadoff single to try to start a last-ditch ninth-inning comeback but Sowers grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Ryan Fineman struck out to end the game.
If there was a bright spot for the Hoosiers, it was that, for the most part, the pitching staff put together a strong performance on Saturday.
After loading the bases in the top of the first inning on a leadoff walk and a pair of Hoosier errors, Indiana starter Brian Hobbie got Scott Schreiber to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and Ben Miller to ground out to limit the damage at just one run.
Hobbie was able to keep Nebraska at bay until a Ben Miller 2-out RBI single gave the Huskers a 2-0 advantage. The base hit continued Miller’s strong series for Nebraska, as he has 3 hits, 3 RBIs and a towering solo home run in the first two games on the series. to keep
The Schleppenback home run in the 7th chased Hobbie. Even with getting the loss, Hobbie gave Indiana a quality start as in 6+ innings pitched he gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits, a walk and 3 strikeouts. Cal Krueger provided a strong effort in relief, pitching three scoreless innings for the Hoosiers.
Indiana (14-11-1, 3-2 Big Ten) was looking to make a statement that it was a strong contender in the Big Ten this weekend with a strong performance. Instead, the Hoosiers are going to have to try to avoid a sweep at home at the hands of Nebraska (14-10, 2-0 Big Ten) on Sunday when Husker ace LHP Jake Meyers (4-1, 2.01 ERA) will get the start. Indiana’s starter has yet to be determined.
First pitch is set for 1:05 pm at Bart Kaufman Field.