Huskers Fall 13-11 at Kansas

Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletic Communications
Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletic Communications

Despite overcoming an early four-run deficit, the Huskers' rally came up short in a wild back-and-forth affair, as Nebraska fell 13-11 to Kansas at Hoglund Ballpark on Tuesday night.

Nebraska (22-8) scored 11 runs on 12 hits with two errors, while Kansas (16-14) totaled 13 runs on 13 hits and an error.

Ty Horn started for the Big Red, lasting 1.2 frames while allowing five runs, one earned, on four hits with two strikeouts. Kyle Froehlich, Jackson Brockett and Bobby Olsen each surrendered a pair of runs across a combined 2.1 relief innings.

Evan Borst tossed a scoreless fifth inning, while Casey Daiss allowed an unearned run across two complete innings. Rans Sanders was tagged for a home run in his lone inning of work.

Cole Evans finished 1-for-5 with a grand slam and five RBI, tying a season-high for RBI in a game by a Husker this season. Ben Columbus homered for the first time this season, while Case Sanderson reached in four of five plate appearances.

Dylan Carey and Tyler Stone drove in a combined three runs for the Big Red, while Joshua Overbeek went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs.

Nebraska set the tone early as Overbeek began the ballgame with a leadoff double down the right-field line. Riley Silva advanced Overbeek to third base with a sacrifice bunt, before Evans put the Big Red up 1-0 with an RBI groundout, his 22nd RBI of the season.

Kansas responded with five runs on five hits in the second frame, highlighted by Ben Hartl’s solo home run and a bases-clearing double from Jake English to put the Huskers in a four-run hole.

However, NU quickly erased the deficit after a one-out double from Sanderson paved the way for Stone’s RBI two-bagger to cut the lead to 5-2.

Carey’s single brought Stone home from second while Columbus evened the game at five after a two-run homer to right field. The 410-foot home run was the first of Columbus’ career with the Huskers across two seasons.

Kansas jumped back in front in the third after plating four more runs on four hits to take a 9-5 lead. An RBI single to center field broke the tie, while a double down the left-field line and squeeze bunt grew the lead to three. One final RBI single up the middle tacked on the Jayhawks’ final run in the inning.

A two-run single in the fourth frame added to the KU lead, making it 11-5 with the Jayhawks in front.

Following a scoreless inning from Borst, the Nebraska offense continued to battle back, loading the bases with one out. Columbus continued his strong day with a single, followed by a fielding error from the Jayhawks and a full-count walk from Overbeek.

After striking out looking earlier in second inning with the bases loaded, Silva drew a walk to bring home a run and trim the deficit to five.

Evans then launched a 407-foot grand slam to dead center to pull the Huskers within a run and make it an 11-10 game. It was the Big Red’s third grand slam of the season, and the first since Josh Caron on March 30th at Northwestern.

The right-hander Daiss entered the game and was greeted by a Kansas single that turned into a three-bagger after an NU fielding error. Collier Cranford’s sacrifice fly extended the lead back to two, before a strikeout ended the inning.

KU added another insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, driving a 2-2 pitch from Sanders over the right wall to make a three-run game entering the ninth.

The Huskers loaded the bases in the ninth inning after a walk and consecutive hits from Caron and Swansen. An infield hit to second base from Carey drew Nebraska within two before a hard-hit double-play ball ended game.

Nebraska travels to Piscataway N.J., for a three-game conference series this weekend with Rutgers on Friday-Sunday, April 12-14 at Bainton Field. First pitch of Friday’s series opener between the Huskers and the Scarlett Knights is set for 5 p.m. CT.