After dropping a three-game series to Michigan last week in Lincoln, Nebraska responded with a 11-2 Big Ten Tournament win over the Wolverines at Target Field in Minneapolis Wednesday afternoon.
Kyle Kubat (5-0) pitched 7.0 shutout innings of one-hit ball. The sophomore lefty put Michigan down in order four times and didn’t allow a Wolverine to reach base until the top of the fourth. Kubat took a no-hitter into the seventh when Kevin White broke it up with a two-out single.
Luke Bublitz pitched a scoreless eighth and Colton Howell took over in the ninth with an 11-0 lead. The Wolverines scratched across two runs off the freshman on three hits.
Nebraska bats got after Michigan starter James Bourque (5-7) in the first, jumping in front 1-0 on a pair of Michigan mistakes. Rich Sanguinetti led off and reached on an error by second baseman Patrick Biondi. After moving to second on a ground out by Pat Kelly and to third on a base hit from Michael Pritchard, Sanguinetti was able to walk home on a balk by Bourque.
After Kubat retired the Wolverines in order in the second and third innings, NU’s bats added three runs on three hits in the bottom of the third to give him a 4-0 lead. Bourque got a fly out off the bat of Sanguinetti to start the third, but then gave up an infield single to Kelly and a pair of walks to load the bases. Kash Kalkowski came through with a RBI single and Headley followed with a two-run single.
The Huskers added three more runs on a two-out hit from Austin Darby to take a 7-0 lead. Pritchard started the inning by working a walk and Chad Christensen followed with a single. Kalkowski tried to move both into scoring position, but lined a bunt back at Bourque. With Headley, a lefty, due up, Michigan went to Trent Szkutnik, who started against the Huskers last Thursday in Lincoln. Headley welcomed him with a single that loaded the bases. Szkutnik came back and struck out Tanner Lubach, but Darby blasted the first pitch he saw to right field and nearly got it out of the park, but the 23-foot wall kept it in the park, holding Darby to a bases-clearing double.
Darby came calling again in the seventh with an RBI double that put the Huskers ahead 10-0. They added one more run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Lubach that scored Christensen, who led off the inning with a walk.
NU returns to Target Field for 3:35 p.m. game Thursday with the No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes.