Huskers fall to third place in B1G after 6-3 loss
The Nebraska (30-17-1, 12-6-1) offense couldn’t muster up much offense and starting pitcher Jake Hohensee didn’t have his usual stuff Friday night as they fell 6-3 to Michigan State (27-19, 9-10).
It was a tale of missed opportunities as Nebraska was 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position while Michigan State was 6 for 14.
“We didn’t get it done,” said head coach Darin Erstad. “We had some guys in scoring position, didn’t get it done. They had some guys as well and could have added a lot more.”
The usual lead-off hitter Jake Meyers, was out tonight with a hand injury he sustained during the Creighton game, but shortstop Angelo Altavilla delivered with a lead-off single. Right fielder Scott Schreiber followed up with a double that moved Altavilla to third. Thanks to a wild pitch by the Spartans, Altavilla was able to score. Schreiber also scored because of a throwing error by Michigan State.
One of the more interesting things in this game came in the bottom of the first when senior first baseman Ben Miller went against third base coach Mike Kirby and ran home when it was obvious he would be tagged out.
Michigan State responded in a big way after right fielder Royce Ando flied out to center field. The Spartans rattled off five straight hits to score six runs in the top of the second. Hohensee threw 56 pitches through the first two innings.
Hohensee finished the game with 102 pitches in 5 innings, allowed ten hits, five earned runs and struck out two. That’s Hohensee’s lowest strikeout total since March 23 against Cal Poly.
“He never could get the ball downhill,” Erstad said. “He was working behind the count a lot and they had a lot of flat swings on it. They put some good swings on it.
Sophomore reliever Nate Fisher came in the sixth inning and allowed Michigan State to tack on
another run thanks to a single to left field by catcher Chad Roskelly.
The Huskers had back-to-back hits and a walk to start the eighth. The Spartans proceeded to make a pitching change as they brought in pitcher Riley McCauley (1-0, 2.08 ERA, 17.1 IP, 33 K). McCauley gave up a single to pinch hitter Mojo Hagge that scored one. Altavilla followed that up with a strikeout and graduate transfer Alex Raburn grounded into a double-play to end the opportunity.
Erstad also provided updates on Meyers as he said “He has stitches in his hand and right now we aren’t going to take the chance of swinging a bat and opening it back up.”
Erstad wouldn’t provide any update whether Meyers would pitch on Sunday as he said “For a guy that goes pitch-to-pitch and thinking about next game, we’ll worry about that when we get to that point.”
Nebraska returns to action on Saturday at Hawks field. The game will feature Nebraska RHP Derek Burkamper (4-4, 3.78 ERA, 50.0 IP, 41 K) vs. Michigan State RHP Jake Lowery (2-2, 2.74 ERA, 46.0 IP, 66 K). First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m.
“It’s all about forgetting,” Altavilla said. “Coming back tomorrow, flushing everything out from today and have to get a big start from Burkamper tomorrow and I know he’ll be ready to go.”