Hawkeyes Edge Maryland in B1G Tournament Opener


Maryland's eight runs, 15 hits and three home runs are their most ever in the Big Ten Tournament game. All told, the Huskers (35-19-1) stranded 14 and were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

"We pitched great, had a bunch of opportunities", Husker coach Darin Erstad said. "We didn't, and that was my big question mark". Nebraska had a baserunner on in every inning, but never was able to push across a run. With two runners on, Nick Dunn hit a three-run 420-plus foot bomb to right in the third to make the score 6-4 and Justin Morris connected on a two-run home run an inning later. "I feel like throughout these last couple weeks we've, as a team, had good at-bats 1-9. Credit Nebraska, they hit me pretty well, I thought".

Nebraska starting pitcher Derek Burkamper was solid and didn't allow a hit his first time through the lineup. Smith, who came to bat a combined 1 for 8 with three strikeouts against Iowa and Purdue, drilled a 1-1 pitch down the left-field line to break a 2-2 tie.

Iowa then rallied to a run in the ninth to take the win. Mason McCoy singled and Jake Adams hit an RBI single that pushed the Hawkeyes' lead to 2-0.

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The Hawkeyes flirted with danger in the eighth when a single and a walk knocked reliever Kyle Shimp from the game. Nebraska loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth and ninth innings but instead got shut out for just the second time this season.

Iowa would bring in their closer Josh Martsching who would get Alvarado swinging to end the threat.

"We jumped out on top, strung some hits together, and hit the ball hard against a good pitcher", said Heller.

After Maryland recaptured one run via a double and Nick Cieri RBI single, the Hawkeyes extended to 6-1 in the third on a Hoeg scoring hit up the middle and Norman sac fly. Top-seeded Nebraska was scheduled to play No. 4 seed Maryland later Frdiay, with Ethan Frazier will getting the start for NU in a must-win game in the tournament.