If you didn’t expect a rally from Nebraska baseball during the NCAA postseason, you haven’t been paying attention. The Huskers (41-20) looked like they were about to get bumped from the Stillwater regional after blowing a 4-0 lead, but that would be completely un-Darin Erstadlike.
It’s been warm in Nebraska, so Erstad’s long-term plan of displaying all the relief he could makes sense. It eventually cooled off Binghamton in the process. Austin Christensen, Bob Greco, Jake Hohensee and Zach Hirsch all saw action today as Erstad chose not to start Aaron Bummer.
That looked like a fantastic idea early on as the Big Red claimed four runs through the first two innings, but things started to unravel in the bottom of the fourth.
Binghamton would knock Christensen out of the game after working 3.1 innings to make it a tighter game at 4-3. Nebraska extended its lead in the next frame as Ryan Boldt walked in following a Micheal Pritchard sac fly. Not only did Binghamton come alive in the bottom of the sixth, Nebraska baseball looked completely off its game.
Three runs came across, two of them unearned, giving the Bobcats a 6-5 lead and all of the momentum. Pitcher Greg Ostner was working magic through 8.1 innings. the Big Red couldn’t get past him in the seventh and eighth stanzas.
Finally, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, three outs stood between the Huskers and a loss. This one would end their season and send them home.
Brandon Miller was walked by Ostner for his first of the day. That’s where it began.
Ty Kildow came in to pinch run and run he did following a Jake Placzek single, all the way to third base. With runners on the corners, Ryan Boldt singled bringing Kildow home and knotting the game at six runs per club.
Steven Reveles would offer up a sac bunt which brought Placzek across as the Huskers took a 7-6 lead. Pritchard singled up the middle and Boldt waltzed in for what would be Nebraska’s final run of the game.
Hirsch stared down four Binghamton batters. After a pop up and ground out put two Bobcats away, a Daniel Nevares single kept hope alive for the moment. Shaun McGraw’s ground out ended it.
With the win, Nebraska advances to face the loser of the game between Oklahoma State and Cal State-Fullerton later this evening. The Huskers will take on their foe at 12:00 p.m. tomorrow and will do so with an ace on the mound.
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