The Nebraska baseball team (30-11) opened their final regular-season series with a 1-0 win over Michigan (26-16). The Huskers needed just four hits to put away the Wolverines as the pitching was the focal point of the game.
Cade Povich got the start on the mound for NU and started the game in the best way possible. With a pumped up Haymarket Park the lefty threw nine pitches, all strikes in the top of the first inning to record an immaculate inning, something himself and head coach Will Bolt said they have never been a part of. As the offense struggled to get going as well, the duel between two of the best lefties in the conference was underway.
After five scoreless innings and nine strikeouts from Povich, the Big Red found the breakthrough in the next inning. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Spencer Schwellenbach got on base with a single to left field, and he stole second to get himself into scoring position. Luke Roskam stepped into the batter’s box and found the hole in the infield on the left side to drive in the only run in this game.
Cade Povich kept dealing for one more inning and after seven full innings, the junior was done for the day. In those seven, he had struck out nine and only allowed four hits. Jake Bunz took over in the eighth inning and threw 20 pitches with two strikeouts to retire the side. Spencer Schwellenbach closed things up for Nebraska and with no hits allowed, the junior earned his eighth save of the season.
“I’ve never been a part of an immaculate inning like that. Especially to start a game in this environment.”
— Head coach Will Bolt
Huskers won the pitching battle
NU was the better team from the mound in this game by just enough to walk away with a W. Cade Povich started things off with an immaculate inning, which set the tone for the day. The Big Red pitchers allowed just seven baserunners, and only one made it as far as third base. On the other side, Nebraska only had six baserunners and four in scoring position, however they were able to go 1-4 with those runners in scoring position vs. Michigan who went 0-5. In a pitcher’s duel like this, every little defensive play matters, and the Huskers came out on top.
This team plays to win
Although NU has already clinched the Big Ten title and a spot in the NCAA tournament, they still look like they have so much to play for.
“We’re Big Ten champs, it’s cool and all but at the end that’s not our end goal,” starting pitcher Cade Povich said. “We still have a chance to win two more games and put us in an even better position going into regionals.”
With the selection show coming on Monday, there is still a chance that this team could be a top seed.
“We’re trying to be a one seed,” Spencer Schwellenbach said. “You could easily say we won the Big Ten championship already and we have nothing to play for, but that’s definitely no the case.”
The Big Red know what they can still achieve, and they look like they want to leave it all on the field.
“The message has been the same since day one, just to get after it every single day.”
— Shortstop/closing pitcher Spencer Schwellenbach
Nebraska finishes the season this weekend with two more games against the Wolverines. Both games on Saturday and Sunday start at 12:00 p.m. Following this series, the Huskers will play in the NCAA tournament. Their opponents will be announced Monday.
Both games against Michigan can be seen on Big Ten Network and heard on Husker Sports Network.