Surprise, Ariz. – The Nebraska baseball team (4-3) fell behind 5-0 after two innings and ultimately lost to No. 2 Oregon State, 10-3, in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge at Surprise Stadium on Saturday evening.
Junior left-hander Jake McSteen made his second start of the season and threw 4.0 innings with three strikeouts. Nebraska also saw pitching from Byron Hood (0.1 inning), Zack Engelken (1.2), Ethan Frazier (1.0) and Mitch Steinhoff (1.0).
In the top of the first, all three Husker batters were retired. Oregon State scored two runs in the bottom half of the opening frame with Trevor Larnach’s two-run homer.
After the first two Husker batters struck out in the second, Jaxon Hallmark was walked. He advanced to third when Ben Klenke reached on a fielding error. A groundout ended NU’s chance to score. The Beavers added three runs on four hits and one error in the bottom of the second.
The NU hitters went 1-2-3 in the top of the third with two flyouts and a groundout. OSU had a one-out double, but the runner was thrown out on a fielder’s choice in the following at-bat before a groundout ended the inning.
Scott Schreiber singled in the leadoff spot in the fourth inning and then advanced to third on Luke Roskam’s single to right field. Hallmark’s sacrifice fly scored Schreiber for NU’s first run of the game. Klenke singled to right field to advance Roskam to third. Both runners were stranded after a lineout. Oregon State hit a leadoff single, but a double play followed by a groundout ended the Beavers’ chance to add to a 5-1 lead.
Brison Cronenbold was hit-by-pitch in the leadoff spot in the fifth inning, but got picked off between first and second in the subsequent at-bat. A pair of flyouts ended the inning. Oregon State added three runs on one hit in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to 8-1.
NU scored one run in the sixth when Hallmark’s hit brought in Jesse Wilkening. Engelken retired all three Beavers in the bottom of the sixth.
After the first two Huskers were retired in the seventh, Angelo Altavilla singled and then advanced two bases on a wild pitch. Mojo Hagge’s RBI single scored Altavilla before an inning-ending strikeout to the following batter. Oregon State scored two runs on three hits in the bottom half of the frame to extend its lead to 10-3.
Roskam hit a one-out single in the eighth, but a double play ended the inning. In the bottom of the eighth, the first three Beavers were walked, but three consecutive outs left three runners stranded. Klenke had a single in the ninth, but three straight outs ended the game.
The Huskers conclude their weekend in Arizona at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge on Sunday against Utah, starting at 2 p.m. (CT).