Another 9th-inning comeback lifts Hoosiers over Nebraska Friday

Down 2, Indiana scored 7 runs in a wild ninth inning to open the series in Lincoln with a victory

By Carl James @jovian34 May 10th, 2024

Indiana jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Devin Taylor lead off the game with a solo home run. It was a pitcher’s duel from then until the 7th inning stretch. Then things got a little crazy. The 6,573 in attendance thought they were going to see the home favorite Cornhuskers wrap up a win with 2-run lead and 1-out in the ninth. Then a sequence of events, not unlike what happened five days earlier in West Lafayette, ended up with the Hoosiers plating 7-runs in the frame on the way to another huge road win.

Indiana Hoosiers 10, Nebraska Cornhuskers 5:

Inning by inning details in the Live Game Blog | Box Score

The task in front of the Hoosiers was daunting. Nebraska’s Friday starter Brett Sears came into the 7-0 and the Cornhuskers had only lost one of his starts, and that was on the road. Sears was as good as advertised. After the Taylor solo shot, Sears allowed just two hits and one free base via hit-by-pitch. The Hoosiers only managed to plate one unearned run in the fourth inning.

Indiana’s lefty starter Ty Bothwell was allowing baserunners but doing a good job managing them. Bothwell had a huge hand from his defense in the bottom of the fourth. A ball hit the to wall in left looked like it would drive in a run. Taylor threw it to shortstop Tyler Cerny who relayed the throw home to Jake Stadler who applied the tag for the third out.

In the fifth inning Bothwell gave up his only run on an RBI single. Bothwell was at 70 pitches, but was replaced by sophomore righty Brayden Risedorph. Risedorph ended the threat and pitched a scoreless 6th, although he was in danger due to a pair of walks, a balk and a wild pitch.

In the 7th inning the Huskers made Risedorph pay for a walk by following it up with a two-run blast to give the home team a 1-run and get the crowd making some noise. With Sears done for the day, the Hoosiers struck right back when Jasen Oliver smacked an opposite field homer to tie the game up. The Hoosiers managed to load the bases with two outs but stranded them.

The shutdown eighth inning eluded Risedorph, Two singles and a sacrifice bunt started a rough inning. It looked like the Hoosiers may have caught a break. With the infield playing in, a hard-hit ball right at Oliver appeared to beat the runner at home, but the runner eluded the tag giving the Huskers the lead. A sacrifice fly extended that lead to 5-3. Tyler Cerny saved another run with a great leaping grab to end the threat.

Carter Mathison lead off the ninth with a double. Cal Sefcik moved Mathison to third with a ground out. Oliver hit his second RBI hit with a single. Taylor singled to get Oliver to third with one out and forced another pitching change. Josh Pyne came through with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Nebraska wanted a righty-righty matchup to get to the bottom tied, so they intentionally walked Nick Mitchell. It didn’t work as Tyler Cerny, who rarely walks, drew a 5-pitch walk to load the bases. Mitchell took a huge lead and Nebraska tried to pick him off, but the throw was off line and Taylor scored.

The Hoosiers weren’t done. Hits by Joey Brenczewski and Brock Tibbitts plated four more runs. Redshirt freshman Jacob Vogel was called in to shut down the Huskers, which he did, with a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth,

The win moves the Hoosiers to 28-19-1 on the year, 13-6, second place in the Big Ten (B1G). Indiana still trails Illinois by one game in league play along with third place Purdue. Nebraska is now a game back of Indiana. Most importantly, Indiana’s RPI is not 54th in the nation, now in a range to be considered for an at-large berth the in the NCAA Tournament. This is also a “QUAD-1” win. Indiana’s “QUAD-1” record is now a very respectable 8-7. The Hoosiers also move to 11-6-1 in true road games, a better winning percentage than games they played at Bart Kaufman Field.

The Hoosiers now have two chances, on national TV, to claim a series win. On paper, the most difficult was Friday. While the Hoosiers didn’t beat Sears, they won the game he started, Expect a Hoosier pitching combination of Connor Foley and Drew Buhr Saturday in hopes of clinching a series win.