Huskers suffer worst home loss since 1992 in 19-1 blowout against Rutgers
The Huskers (12-18, 4-5) gave up 10 runs in the seventh inning to lose 19-1 to Rutgers in the series finale, dropping all three games to the Scarlet Knights.
Nebraska stayed in the game until Rutgers' bats ignited in the seventh.
To start the game, right-handed pitcher Dawson McCarville walked leadoff batter Ryan Lasko on a full count. Left-fielder Evan Sleight then jacked a two-run homer down the right-field line to send Rutgers up 2-0 in the first.
Nebraska got out of the inning without any more harm done after Danny DiGeorgio singled through the right side with two outs but was called out while taking second.
McCarville walked the first two batters in the top of the second and then struck out Lasko with one out. Head Coach Will Bolt pulled the righty and put in left-handed pitcher Jackson Brockett who helped grounded out Sleight for the third out.
In his 1.2 innings, McCarville allowed two hits, two runs and struck out two Scarlet Knights with 40 pitches.
Brockett held up much better as he pitched 4.1 innings, giving the Huskers exactly what they needed, a chance. He allowed four hits, one run and struck out four batters while throwing a season-high 64 pitches.
Brockett's one-run came in the top of the fourth when Lasko launched Rutgers’ second homer to the deepest part of the park to give the Scarlet Knight’s a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth.
Husker center-fielder Cam Chick responded with the Huskers’ first hit of the game with a double to right field. Third-baseman Max Anderson helped move him to third on a ground out and catcher Griffin Everitt got the RBI on a sacrifice fly ball to center field.
Left-handed pitcher Tyler Martin took over to start the seventh inning and that's when things got ugly as Rutgers scored 10 runs on nine hits in the seventh inning.
Shortstop Brice Matthews lept up to snag a ball way above his head for the first out of inning against the leadoff batter. The next three batters hit singles and Nick Cimillo got the RBI for the first run of the inning.
Martin hit Tony Santa Maria with a pitch to load the bases, giving Rutgers an 8-1 lead when DiGeorgio smashed a grand slam to center field. After Martin struck out Josh Kuroda-Grauer, Richie Schiekofer hit a double off him and right-handed pitcher CJ Hood was called to replace him.
Hood gave up a two-run homer to Chris Brito, the first batter he faced. He then hit Sweeney with a pitch, gave up a single to Lasko and a 2 RBI double to Sleight. He was pulled after walking Cimillo.
Left-handed pitcher Will Walsh came in for Hood to make his first appearance of the season. Santa Maria hit a single but Walsh ended the inning by striking out DiGeorgio, the 15th batter.
Walsh handled the first three batters of the eighth inning but allowed two singles and one run and was replaced by right-handed pitcher Drew Christo.
Christo finished out the game, pitching 1.2 innings. He gave up five runs in the ninth as he walked Santa Maria after pinch-hitter Jason Shockley reached after Matthews overthrew first base.
Christo hit DiGeorgio to load the bases. Schiekofer hit a two-RBI double with one out then Brito rocketed his second homer to right field for the final score of 19-1.
Nebraska's bullpen has been thinning due to injuries and Jaxon Jelkin leaving the team earlier this week.
Outside of this weekend's starters Shay Schanaman, Emmett Olson and Dawson McCarville, Nebraska had seven other pitchers with Big Ten experience and Braxton Bragg and Chandler Benson threw two innings earlier in the series.
With a limited bullpen, Nebraska needed McCarville to last longer than 1.2 innings as its starter but Brockett was a pleasant surprise with 4.1 innings.
With NU hosting Creighton on Tuesday and then a four-game series against BYU spanning Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Bolt said he might have a tryout with other players on the team to see if anyone else can help with pitching.
Shake it off and move on
Yes, this game was hard on Nebraska but there is a lot more baseball to be played.
Rutgers is one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten and well, NU isn't but stuck with them for 24 of the 27 innings this weekend.
The Huskers have five games next week including a rematch with Creighton after they lost 3-2 in Omaha earlier this season. BYU is 17-11, a good opponent to get some momentum back, although they won't be an easy win.
Last year's squad embraced the underdog mentality and while this is a very different squad they still have a chance to turn the season around.
Bolt said he will continue to coach this team hard because he knows they can turn it around on a dime with the players they have.
Creighton travels down the road from Omaha to Haymarket Park for a 6:30 p.m. game on Tuesday that will be televised on B1G+ and heard on Huskers Radio Network.