Story by Patrick Radigan
Follow me: @cornfedBOSSman
A day after powering past an early Purdue lead en route to an 8-3 comeback victory, the Nebraska baseball team was unable to bounce back from another early deficit Sunday, as Purdue claimed the series rubber match with an 8-3 win of its own.
After Purdue put up a run in each of the game’s first two innings, the Boilermakers used a three-run homer from David Miller to push the lead to 6-0 after the top of the fourth inning. Although Nebraska responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the frame, NU was unable to get anything going in the latter innings as Purdue hung out to clinch the series after taking home a win Friday night in the series opener.
Starter Zach Hirsch took the loss after surrendering five runs in three innings before the NU bullpen gave up just three runs the rest of the way to keep Nebraska in the game. Unfortunately for the Huskers, Purdue’s pitching staff was up to the challenge with starter Connor Podkul giving up just three runs in five plus innings and reliever Nick Wittgrenn keeping NU scoreless after coming on in relief of Podkul in the fifth.
All three Husker runs came in response to Purdue’s four-run fourth inning, after Michael Pritchard got the NU bats fired up with a leadoff single. Following a hit from Rich Sanguinetti and a Kash Kalkowski walk, first baseman Richard Stock scored NU’s first run of the game with a groundout to first to set up Josh Scheffert’s two RBI single to cut the Purdue lead in half at 6-3. Stock led the way for Nebraska for a second straight day at the plate with three hits and an RBI, as Kalkowski reached base three times to try and get the Husker offense going down the stretch.
Nebraska is back in action Tuesday night, when they will travel to TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha for a second of three games with in-state rival Creighton; first pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.