Huskers Move Into Big Ten Tourney Semifinals


Will Walsh – Photo Scott Bruhn /Nebraska Communications

NU Athletic Communications BOX SCORE

Will Walsh tossed a complete-game 4-hit shutout in Nebraska’s 4-0 win against Michigan State in an elimination game on Friday night in the Big Ten Baseball Tournament at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha.

Nebraska (33-22-1) had four runs on nine hits, while Michigan State (33-22) totaled zero runs, four hits and two errors.

Walsh moved to 5-3 on the season, picking up his second win in the Big Ten Tournament this week. The Leawood, Kan., native struck out seven, walked none and allowed just one Michigan State baserunner to reach second base while facing three batters over the minimum on Friday night.

Max Anderson led the Huskers at the plate, going 4-for-5. The junior became the eighth player in school history and first player in the country to reach the century mark this season. Anderson is currently tied with John Cole (2001) and Paul Meyers (1985) for sixth-most hits by a Husker in a season.

Ben Columbus had a 2-for-4 night with two RBI and a run scored. Casey Burnham was 1-for-4 with a two-RBI triple, while Gabe Swansen and Charlie Fischer had one hit apiece.

Both teams were kept off the board through the first three innings, as Walsh allowed just one hit to the Spartans in the first time through the lineup.

The Huskers broke the scoreless tie with a run on two hits in the top of the fourth. Fischer led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Dylan Carey. Columbus followed by ripping a first-pitch RBI single back up the middle to plate Fischer and give the Big Red a 1-0 lead.

Walsh retired the order in the bottom of the fourth, which included a sprinting, highlight-reel catch by Brice Matthews to keep it a 1-0 game through four innings.

Nebraska pieced together a pair of two-out singles by Anderson and Swansen in the top of the fifth but couldn’t add more to the one-run lead.

The Huskers grew the lead to four in the eighth with three runs on two hits and an MSU error. Fischer drew a full-count walk before Luke Sartori entered the game as a pinch runner. Sartori stole second and later came around to score on Columbus’ RBI single to center, doubling the lead to two.

Garrett Anglim drew a walk to place runners on first and second with two outs, setting up Burnham’s two-RBI triple down the right-field line that took a funny hop over the MSU first baseman to extend the Husker lead to four.

Walsh sat down the Spartans in order in the eighth and struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth after surrendering a two-out single to clinch Nebraska’s 4-0 win over Michigan State.

Nebraska advances to take on top-seeded Maryland tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha.