Nebraska wins twice, one win away from Big Ten baseball title

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 26, 2013 - 12:07 AM

Nebraska beat Ohio State 5-0 and Indiana 7-6 in 11 innings to reach the title game.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers were three games under .500 entering the Big Ten baseball tournament. Now they’re one victory from a championship and an automatic bid into the NCAA tourney.

Nebraska continued its improbable climb Saturday at Target Field, eliminating second-seeded Ohio State 5-0 and then besting top-seeded Indiana in a 7-6, 11-inning thriller.

The Indiana game was filled with big hits and momentum shifts. Nebraska overcame a 5-2 deficit and blew a 6-5 lead with the Hoosiers down to their final strike.

Leading off the 11th inning, sophomore catcher Tanner Lubach deposited a walk-off homer into the left field seats. It was his first hit in 17 tournament at-bats. “I just told myself, ‘No pressure right here. You’ve got nothing to lose,’ ” Lubach said.

The third-seeded Cornhuskers (29-29) will face Indiana again at 12:05 p.m. Sunday. This time it’s winner-take-all. The Hoosiers (42-14) are a virtual lock for the 64-team NCAA field, so the stakes are much higher for Nebraska.

Cornhuskers coach Darin Erstad said he’ll bring back lefthander Kyle Kubat, who carried a no-hit bid for 6⅔ innings Wednesday in Nebraska’s victory over Michigan.

Erstad held off using another ace, Christian DeLeon, on Friday against the Gophers, using the bullpen to eliminate Minnesota with a 7-4 victory. DeLeon (7-4) allowed just five hits in eight shutout innings against the Buckeyes.

Erstad went back to his bullpen against Indiana, giving Dylan Vogt his first start of the season. Vogt went seven-plus innings. Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run homer in the third inning and Sam Travis a three-run shot in the fifth, giving Indiana a 5-2 lead.

But by the ninth inning, Indiana trailed 6-5 until pinch hitter Ricky Alfonso hit a game-tying, RBI double. The magic didn’t end there for Nebraska. Lubach made sure of it.

“We’re looking at it as one game,” Indiana coach Tracy Smith said. “Nobody’s won or lost the championship yet. So it’s a very confident dugout.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


St. Louis 2
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Miami 7 FINAL
Washington 11
Detroit 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Minnesota 6 FINAL
Baltimore 5
NY Yankees 7 FINAL
Houston 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 2
Cincinnati 8 FINAL
LA Angels 6
Chicago Cubs 7 FINAL
Kansas City 0
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
San Francisco 11
Chicago WSox 4 FINAL
Cleveland 1
Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Oakland 7
Seattle 5 FINAL
San Diego 8
Texas 5 FINAL
Los Angeles 10
Colorado 11 FINAL
Arizona 10
Arizona 1 FINAL
Colorado 2
Houston 99 FINAL
Washington 91
LA Lakers 99 FINAL
Brooklyn 107
Minnesota 88 FINAL
New Orleans 110
Philadelphia 86 FINAL
Cleveland 87
Detroit 102 FINAL
Miami 109
LA Clippers 119 FINAL
Boston 106
Dallas 99 FINAL
Indiana 104
Memphis 89 FINAL
San Antonio 103
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Phoenix 97
Washington 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Calgary 5 FINAL
Nashville 2
Boston 2 FINAL(OT)
Carolina 1
Detroit 4 FINAL
NY Islanders 5
Florida 4 FINAL
Ottawa 2
Anaheim 2 FINAL
New Jersey 1
Chicago 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
San Jose 2 FINAL(SO)
Pittsburgh 3
Michigan State 76 FINAL
Louisville 70
Gonzaga 52 FINAL
Duke 66
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Toronto FC 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
(7) Florida State 74 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 80
Villanova 70 FINAL
West Virginia 75
Michigan 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 60
Temple 69 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 57
Siena 50 FINAL
Louisiana 52
St Marys-CA 66 FINAL
(5) Baylor 68 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite team in the NCAA men's hockey tournament?

Weekly Question