baseball Edit

Nebraska baseball falls to Creighton 3-2 despite 5 Bluejay errors

Nebraska infielder Brice Matthews
Nebraska infielder Brice Matthews (Nebraska Athletics Communications)

Creighton head baseball coach Ed Servais said he has never been a part of a baseball game where the winning team commits five errors and holds the opponent to only two runs.

The Bluejays took down in-state rival, Nebraska, 3-2 at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha on Tuesday night. The Huskers scored two runs despite having eight hits and left eight men on base.

Creighton set the story of errors from the first batter. Brice Matthews reached on a leadoff error and was moved to third base but was left 90 feet from home as Cam Chick, Max Anderson and Griffin Everitt were all sat down consecutively.

Left-handed pitcher Jaxon Jelkin returned the favor and retired all three of Creighton's batters in the bottom of the first inning.

The Huskers were sparked by the Big Ten Freshman of the Week Garrett Anglim to start the second inning with a double dropped right in between the center and right fielders. Luke Jessen laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Anglim to third. After Jack Steil struck out looking, Core Jackson knocked a single through the right and Anglim made his way home.

Just as NU took a 1-0 lead, three consecutive Bluejays earned a single off of Jelkin, leading to a tying RBI by shortstop Nolan Clifford. Third-baseman Kyle Hess hit a line drive to left field which was caught by Chick but right-fielder Jack Grace touched home for Creighton to go up 2-1.

Nebraska had the bases loaded in the top of the third but failed to score. Matthews and Chick both singled to get on base and Everitt was walked to load the bases. Anglim hit a hard grounder to the third-baseman but was thrown out at first for the third out.

First-baseman Alan Roden started the Bluejays off with a lead-off single to shortstop, he stole second but was caught stealing third all before the next batter was retired. Jelkin struck out left-fielder Jared Wegner and then right-handed pitcher Tyler Martin came in to sit down center-fielder Chris Esposito for the final out of the third inning.

In the top of the fourth, Steil launched a ball to left field that rolled to the fence but Jackson and center-fielder Tyler Palmer felt him on second.

The bottom of the fourth and top of the fifth went by quick as each saw three batters. The fifth wasn't as fast. Catcher Hogan Helligso, who reached on a double, scored to give Creighton a 3-1 after Steil committed Nebraska's only error after bobbling a grounder.

Two Bluejays were walked in the bottom of the six after right-handed pitcher Paul Bergstrom sat down Nebraska 1-2-3 in the top of the inning. Left-handed Husker pitcher Jackson Brockett, who pitched 1.1 innings, was pulled after striking out his third batter. Righty CJ Hood walked his first batter but NU got out of the inning on a pop fly, leaving two on base.

Nebraska scored its second and last run in the top of the seventh as Creighton committed a throwing error on a Steil grounder as the first-baseman advanced to second as the ball sailed over CU's first-baseman's head.

Jackson then knocked a single up the middle. While pinch hitter Gabe Swansen put a great swing on the ball, according to Husker Head Coach Will Bolt, it was grounded into a double play by second-baseman Andrew Meggs.

Steil was still able to score Nebraska's second run in the top of the seventh. Hess had another throwing error, sailing the ball over Meggs' head to get Matthews on base. However, Matthews was picked off at first for the third out.

After Hood and his defense managed to retire three Bluejays, Chick started off Nebraska in the eighth inning with "one of his best hits in a while" as Bolt said. Anderson was hit by a pitch to join Chick on base but Everitt, Anglim and Jessen left them stranded as they struck out 1-2-3.

Right-handed Husker pitcher Emmett Olson gave the Huskers a shot with another 1-2-3 half-inning to end the eighth.

Creighton had two more errors in the top of the ninth as Jackson reached on a fielding error and pinch-runner Leighton Banjoff advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher. But Jackson was picked off at first, his second time getting caught on the bases, and Matthews grounded out to third for the final out.

Matthews knelt in defeat just past the first base bag as the Bluejays celebrated winning the first Nebraska vs. Creighton matchup since 2019.

Whatever it takes to get runs

Chick spent much of his time at the table speaking to the media about being able to move batters around the bases.

The Huskers had eight batters in scoring position and only scored two runs. Chick said they need to find a way to at least hit fly balls to take home and to do whatever it takes to score.

This has been a theme for Husker baseball in recent games where they've had opportunities to score and win games and couldn't get it done.

Nebraska needs to find a way to take advantage of two errors in the seven and two in the eighth.

A glimpse at some young pitchers

Nebraska used five pitchers, including three freshman, and gave their offense a shot to win.

Freshman Jaxon Jelkin earned his first start and threw 45 pitches in 2.2 innings with four hits, two runs and two strikeouts.

Brockett threw three strikeouts in his 1.2 innings but was charged with one run and one hit. However, Steil's error gave the opportunity of the run.

While CJ Hood didn't record a strikeout he helped get Nebraska out of a two-runners-on-base situation in the sixth and managed to go 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Overall, there was some promise shown by the young pitchers on the Huskers' roster during this midweek matchup and they will certainly get more chances to show what they've got this season.

Next up:

Nebraska travels to Columbus, Ohio for a three-game series against Ohio State (8-12) starting on Friday night at 5 p.m. on BTN.

The Huskers have one day of practice on Wednesday before trying to regain some momentum after losing three straight games during the weekend series.