The Series for Second Place started out with a hard-fought win between Darin Erstad’s Nebraska baseball team (36-17, 17-5 Big Ten) and the Fighting Illini (30-18, 16-6 Big Ten).
Pitcher Chance Sinclair was easily the game’s MVP throwing 10 strikeouts through seven innings of play. He allowed only one run which should be considered an amazing feat. Illinois was looking to crack the game wide open in the top of the fourth with men on base. Sinclair would have none of it, slamming the door shut in a hurry.
Since the Huskers actually needed some runs on the board to win the game, Ryan Boldt and Austin Darby obliged. Boldt decked an Illini pitch over the wall in the bottom of the second while Darby claimed a dinger of his own in the bottom of the sixth.
This was a tough defeat for Illinois, not just because it puts them a game behind Nebraska in the standings. The Illini had won their last eight games that were decided by one run.
Zach Hirsch would clean up the Illinois order in the final two innings with a pair of strikeouts to his name.
Oh, and it was win No. 100 for Darin Erstad as Nebraska baseball’s skipper.
The first pitch of game two is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and can be viewed on NET or BTN.com.
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Tags: Nebraska Cornhuskers