NU baseball: Huskers rally late to stay alive

2014-05-31T18:00:00Z 2014-05-31T22:56:32Z NU baseball: Huskers rally late to stay aliveBy KEN HAMBLETON / Lincoln Journal Star

STILLWATER, Okla. — No style points in baseball, Nebraska shortstop Steven Reveles said.

"We needed a win. We didn't care how, but it was scary," he said after Nebraska rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth inning for a 8-6 win against Binghamton (N.Y.) in an elimination game Saturday afternoon at the Stillwater Regional.

"Nothing pretty about that at all, but we really did believe we would win, even with one out and nobody on in the ninth and we're down 6-5."

Nebraska, broken by an eighth-inning grand slam in its 5-1 first-round loss to Cal State Fullerton on Friday, blew a 4-0 lead when Binghamton scored three runs in the fourth and three more in the sixth to take a 6-5 lead.

The Huskers scored a run in the fifth when Ryan Boldt hit his second triple in two games and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Pritchard. Except for a single and a sacrifice, Nebraska flew out nine of the next 12 at-bats until the Huskers got their only walk of the game.

With one out in the top of the ninth, designated hitter Ben Miller, who had just one hit in his last 13 at-bats, ran the count full, fouled off two balls, then walked.

"That walk by Miller was so huge," said NU first baseman Blake Headley, who drove in two runs on three hits. "He had a great at-bat. We had been swinging at so many first pitches and flying out, that was the key to everything."

Jake Placzek followed Miller's walk with a flare single to right.

Boldt then pounded a chopper into the ground so hard that it went through the middle of the infield for a hit that drove in the tying run.

"The dirt in front of the plate was pretty hard and dry by the ninth, otherwise, it might not go anywhere," Boldt said.

Reveles, the best bunter on the team, squeeze-bunted to score Placzek and give NU a 7-6 lead.

Pritchard then singled up the middle to give the Huskers a two-run lead.

Zach Hirsch, who pitched the final 3 1/3 innings, then cruised through the bottom of the ninth to keep the Huskers' hopes alive.

Nebraska (41-20) has now won 11 games with rallies in its final at-bat and 16 when trailing or tied after six innings.

"Pretty standard issue for our team — we make it exciting," NU coach Darin Erstad said. "It was a gutsy effort by our guys and a gutsy effort by their pitcher (Greg Ostner). We turned it into a fly-ball fest and we're a line-drive team, a ground-ball team. We did really well at the start of the game and then we were getting pitches to hit but he (Ostner) was making us stay in the big part of the ballpark.

"Our guys are really good at locking it in at the end of games. How we do that all the time is a work in progress."

Nebraska will face the loser of Saturday night's Oklahoma State-Cal State Fullerton game Sunday at noon in another elimination game. If Nebraska wins that game, it would play the winner of Saturday night's game Sunday at 6 p.m. If NU wins that game, the two teams would play again Monday at 6 p.m.

One more loss and the Huskers are done for the season.

"We seem to play pretty good with our backs to the wall," Headley said. "We've been through this before. We had a tough loss Friday, but we knew the season wasn't over. Keep focused and keep calm. But like Revs (Reveles) said, it was scary."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7313 or

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.