Omaha, Neb. – The Nebraska baseball team (30-20) delivered a knockout punch to Iowa, 11-1, after eight innings as the run rule came into play at TD Ameritrade Park on Friday afternoon. By rule, a game in the Big Ten Tournament will be ended after seven innings if a team is ahead by at least 10 runs.
Senior left-hander Nate Fisher, making his 14th start of the season, went 7.0 innings and allowed only one run on four hits, while matching his career high with seven strikeouts. Jaxon Hallmark tossed the final 1.0 inning and notched one strikeout in his scoreless outing.
In the top of the first, Fisher retired all three Hawkeye hitters. In the bottom of the first, Mojo Hagge and Angelo Altavilla each managed base hits, but both were left stranded in a scoreless frame for the Big Red.
Iowa scored one run in the top of the second to take the early lead. With two outs, the Hawkeyes managed two hits, but left the bases loaded as two additional batters were walked. NU responded with four runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-1 lead. Alex Henwood hit a leadoff single before a sacrifice bunt advanced him to second. Spencer Schwellenbach ripped an RBI double to drive him in before Colby Gomes and Hagge drew back-to-back walks. Cam Chick and Aaron Palensky laced back-to-back RBI singles before a sacrifice fly scored Hagge.
Iowa managed one hit in a scoreless top of the third. The Huskers extended their lead to 5-1 with one run in the bottom of the third. Henwood hit a leadoff single before Schwellenbach was hit-by-pitch with one out. Hagge drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Chick also drew a walk, which brought in one run for the Big Red, before a fielder’s choice ended the inning.
In the top of the fourth, the Hawks left one runner stranded, while Fisher recorded two strikeouts. Henwood recorded his third hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth, but was left on base as the score remained 5-1.
Iowa produced one hit in the top of the fifth, but a double play and a groundout ended a scoreless inning for the Hawkeyes. NU added four runs in the bottom of the fifth to build a 9-1 advantage. Schwellenbach annihilated a leadoff home run before Gomes doubled. He advanced to third on a groundout before scoring on a sacrifice fly in foul territory. Palensky singled before each of the next three batters walked to bring in one run. Gunner Hellstrom hit an RBI single, which scored one run, before the following runner was thrown out at the plate.
The Hawkeyes went down in order in the top of the sixth. Hagge hit a two-out double in the bottom of the sixth, but was left stranded.
In the top of the seventh, Fisher retired all three Hawkeye batters with a flyout and two groundouts. In the bottom of the seventh, NU plated one run to build a 10-1 advantage. Altavilla drew a one-out walk before Henwood drew a two-out walk. Henwood drove in one run with an RBI single. Schwellenbach walked to load the bases, but the Huskers left all three stranded.
Iowa managed two base hits in the top of the eighth, but couldn’t drive them in. In the top of the eighth, Mojo Hagge drilled a leadoff triple and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field. His run gave Nebraska the 10-run advantage after seven innings it needed to win the game.
The Huskers continue the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday at 9 a.m. (CT), as they face Michigan.