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The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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B1G Baseball Recap: No. 24 Nebraska extends blazing hot winning streak

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Daily file photo by Henry Frieman
Coach Ben Greenspan surveys the field.

It was quite the busy week in Big Ten baseball as conference play is now in full swing. However, with all the action this week, there was no bigger storyline than No. 24 Nebraska, which extended its winning streak to 10 with a series sweep over Northwestern this weekend.

The Cornhuskers showcased their elite pitching staff — which ranks 16th in the country, allowing a remarkable 3.85 runs per game — this weekend against the Wildcats. However, no other arm in their clubhouse shined more than Nebraska’s ace, Brett Sears.

In his outing against NU, Sears, who leads the Big Ten with an astonishing 1.36 ERA, delivered another gem for the Cornhuskers in the series’ opening game. Through seven innings, he allowed six hits and two runs and struck out four batters in a 5-2 victory. This extended Sears’ perfect season as he has yet to lose a start, standing at 5-0.

While Nebraska dominated on the diamond, the ’Cats’ freshman phenom outfielder Jackson Freeman also made his mark. Freeman shone under the bright lights in his first conference series, collecting five hits, seven RBIs and two home runs.

The Cornhuskers were not the only winning team in the conference to play in Illinois over the weekend, as the Fighting Illini swept Penn State for their fifth consecutive triumph.

The most impressive takeaway from Illinois’ win streak has been its ever-growing offense, which has vastly improved since the start of the year. The Fighting Illini scored double-digit runs in all five victories during this streak. 

While there was a flurry of scoring explosions across the conference this week, none stands out more than Indiana’s performance on Saturday afternoon against Butler. The Hoosiers defeated the Bulldogs with a staggering score of 22-3.

The Hoosiers received an outstanding performance from outfielder Nick Mitchell, who hit a grand slam and added two more RBIs to lead all Indiana batters with six RBIs on the day.

Conversely, while lopsided defeats were a popular trend over the past week, there were also numerous dramatic finishes. The most memorable ending unfolded in East Lansing, Michigan, where the Spartans secured a 3-2 victory over Rutgers Sunday afternoon, handing them the series win.

Down 2-0 in the seventh inning, Michigan State staged a comeback in the final innings, which set the stage for second baseman Ryan McKay’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, securing a 3-2 victory.      

Looking forward to this week of conference action, all eyes will continue to be on Nebraska’s series against Ohio State to see if it can continue its winning ways. 

There’s an added layer of pressure as the Cornhuskers entered the national rankings Monday morning, earning the 24th spot in D1Baseball’s Top 25 for the first time since 2021. They sit as the sole Big Ten team in the rankings.

Email: [email protected]

X: @JacobKHare

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Baseball: Northwestern swept by Nebraska in opening Big Ten series, but shows sign of offensive potential 

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