Nebraska dropped its first Big Ten series opener of the year Saturday night at Hawks Field as Indiana took over sole possession of second place in the league with an 8-6 win.
The Huskers entered the game 5-0 in conference series openers, their best start to a season since 2001 when NU went a perfect 9-0 in Big 12 series openers.
The Huskers (20-24, 11-5 Big Ten) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on RBI singles from Pat Kelly and Josh Scheffert.
Christian DeLeon (5-4) kept the Hoosiers scoreless through the first two innings until Nick Ramos led off the third with a home run into the right-field bullpen and Kyle Schwarber tied the game two batters later with his 11th homer of the season.
The Hoosiers (35-8, 12-4 Big Ten) added a run in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take a 5-2 lead. Nebraska cut IU’s lead to two runs in the sixth as Chad Christensen led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out by Kash Kalkowski and scored on a wild pitch by Joey DeNato (7-1).
Chad Clark plated two runs for the Hoosier with a two-out single in the eighth.
Trailing 7-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Huskers started the inning with four straight hits, including a double from Michael Pritchard. With the tying run at second base and one down, Blake Headley laced a single through the left side of the infield and Kalkowski tried to score, but was cut down at the plate by left fielder Will Nolden. Following an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Austin Darby, the Huskers still had the tying run at second in Headley, but reliever Ryan Halstead struck out Bryan Peters to end the threat.
Dylan Vogt took the mound in the ninth and tried to keep it a one-run game, but Schwarber came calling again with a one-out solo shot to right field, putting the Hoosiers ahead 8-6.