The Creighton baseball team’s ten-game win streak was snapped on Tuesday night in Lincoln, losing an 8-2 contest to in-state rival Nebraska.
Nebraska (17-7) scored seven of its eight runs with two outs. The Huskers out-hit Creighton 11-8.
Senior right-hander Connor Miller started on the mound for the Bluejays. Miller found himself in a tight spot in the first inning, giving up a leadoff hit and a walk.
After a Nebraska groundout advanced the runners, Miller found himself with Huskers on second and third base with just one out; Miller would retire the next two batters to escape the inning scoreless.
With two outs in the bottom of the second, Miller again found himself with two Husker runners on base.
Nebraska capitalized on its two-out rally when its preseason All-American Ryan Boldt stepped up to the plate and hit a three-run home run; giving the Huskers a 3-0 lead at the end of the second inning.
The third inning began with junior right fielder Kevin Connolly drawing a five-pitch walk. After a Nebraska pitching change, junior outfielder Daniel Woodrow hit a double to left-center and advanced Connolly to third. A sacrifice fly by senior second baseman Ryan Fitzgerald scored Connolly, cutting the Husker lead to 3-1.
The Jays made a pitching change in the bottom of the fourth as junior left-hander Sam Norman took the mound for the Jays after Miller threw a career-high 77 pitches. With a runner on first and two outs, Norman walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases for the Huskers.
Norman’s slow start would only get worse as he hit the next Nebraska batter with a pitch to bring in a run for the Huskers. Norman had allowed just one earned run in his first 17 career appearances before giving up three runs on Tuesday.
Sophomore right-hander Ethan DeCaster would promptly replace Norman; taking the mound with the bases loaded and two outs. Nebraska’s Scott Schreiber hit a single that scored in two runs and extended the Huskers’ lead to 6-1. DeCaster struck out Nebraska’s Jake Meyers to end the Jays’ disaster inning.
The Huskers would extend their lead to 7-1 in the fifth inning as Steven Reveles hit a line drive that was barely fair to bring in another run for the Cornhuskers.
The Jays showed life in the sixth inning as Fitzgerald’s single and junior shortstop Nicky Lopez’s walk gave Creighton runners on first and second with one out, but Nebraska escaped the inning maintaining their 7-1 lead.
Creighton stranded a pair of runners again in the seventh inning.
The Huskers struck again in the bottom of the eighth, as Creighton’s junior right-hander Austin Stroschein gave up a solo home run to Ryan Boldt, extending Nebraska’s lead to 8-1. It was Boldt’s second homer of the night.
The Jays had their rally caps on in the top of the ninth, as senior outfielder Brett Murray had his third hit of the evening with a one-out double.
Murray would advance to third on a ground out by junior outfielder Brennan Hammer and would score on an infield single by Matt Gandy to cut the Husker lead to 8-2.
Ultimately, the Huskers would escape the game with a dominant 8-2 victory. Miller took the loss for the Bluejays, falling to 0-1 on the season. The Jays fell to 16-5 on the season with the loss. Murray went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored one run for the Jays, while Woodrow went 2-for-4.
Creighton and Nebraska will meet again on April 12 when the Jays will try to even the season series at TD Ameritrade Park.