The Cornhuskers broke an eight-all tie by scoring three runs in the seventh inning and a run in the eighth inning.
“When we score, we’ve got to hold them,” said UI head coach Jack Dahm. ”Every time that we scored they scored, and we could never get any momentum into our dugout. It was pretty easy for them to score, and pretty difficult for us to score. We had to work for everything. Our offense is coming, but we left a lot of guys on base that could have made the difference.”
The Hawkeyes (10-15, 1-7 Big Ten) held a 1-0 lead after their first at-bat. Sophomores Kris Goodman and Jake Yacinich hit back-to-back one out singles, with Yacinich executing a perfect hit-and-run, to set up an RBI infield single by junior Trevor Kenyon.
Nebraska (13-16, 7-1 Big Ten) plated five runs in the next two innings to take a 5-1 lead, scoring two runs in the second inning and three in the third inning.
Kash Kalkowski hit a sacrifice fly to plate the Cornhuskers first run, which was followed by a Tanner Lubach RBI double. Michael Pritchard pushed across the third run after grounding into a double play before Austin Darby knocked in runs four and five by singling to center field.
Iowa regained the lead in the bottom of the third, scoring five runs to make the score 6-5. The Hawkeyes hit around in the inning, tallying five hits. Sophomore Eric Toole led off the inning with a double that ricocheted off Nebraska starting pitcher Ryan Hander. Sophomore Kris Goodman followed Toole with a walk, allowing Yacinich to advance Toole and Goodman into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.
Kenyon recorded his second and third RBIs of the contest in the next at-bat, hitting a double down the left field line. Hander then loaded the bases after walking sophomore Taylor Kaufman and hitting junior Keith Brand. Hander’s day ended with the score at 5-5 after he hit junior Taylor Zeutenhorst to allow the third run of the inning to score. Hander took a no-decision after allowing six runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Zach Hirsch relieved Hander and immediately allowed a run to cross the plate, as freshman Nick Roscetti hit a pinch-hit, bases loaded sacrifice fly to center field. The Hawkeyes would leave the bases loaded after Hirsh got Goodman to line out to second base to end the inning.
The lead was short-lived, as Nebraska answered with three runs on three hits in its next at-bat. Pritchard plated the first two runs with a double to left center field. Chad Christensen followed Pritchard’s at-bat with a sacrifice fly to center field, giving the Cornhuskers an 8-6 advantage
The score remained 8-6 until Iowa scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Yacinich and Kenyon reached base to open the frame, as Yacinich got plunked and Kenyon singled to right field. Yacinich and Kenyon were advanced to second and third Kaufman, who laid a sacrifice bunt. The start to the inning forced Nebraska to go to its bullpen for a second time, replacing Hirsh with Luke Bublitz.
Brand was the first Hawkeye to face Bublitz, delivering a one out, two-run double down the right field line to even the score at 8-8.
Nebraska secured the victory courtesy of a three run seventh inning. The Cornhuskers took a 9-8 lead via an Iowa throwing error, before stretching their advantage to 11-8 courtesy of a Pritchard two-run single.
The Cornhuskers tacked on a run in the top of the eighth inning, as Blake Headley hit an RBI double to make the score 12-8.
Bublitz collected his first win of the year after getting two outs in the sixth inning. Dylan Vogt picked up the save, throwing three scoreless frames to end the game.
Senior Matt Dermody started for Iowa and took a no-decision after tossing four innings, allowing eight runs on ten hits. Kaufman was handed the loss, falling to 1-1 this season. Kaufman pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief of Dermody, allowing four runs and five hits.
The Hawkeyes tallied 14 hits, falling one short of their season-high. Goodman, Kenyon, and Yacinich accounted for nine of the hits, as they collected three hits apiece. Goodman and Yacinich are tied for the team-lead with nine multi-hit performances, while Kenyon has posted two or more hits in six consecutive games.
Iowa and Nebraska concludes its three-game series tomorrow at Duane Banks Field, beginning at 1:05 p.m. (CT).