Manhattan, Kan. – The Nebraska baseball team (20-11-1, 4-1-1 Big Ten) picked up its 20th win of the year and its 15th win in its last 19 games on Tuesday night with a 6-1 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats (16-16, 1-8 Big 12) at Tointon Family Stadium.
Nebraska’s win polishes off a season sweep of the Wildcats, as the Huskers also won, 11-1, two weeks ago at Hawks Field. The Huskers last swept the Wildcats in 2015.
Ben Miller, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Tuesday, made his third start of the season on the mound and didn’t factor into the decision. The left hander went 3.0 innings, allowing one run on one hit, while walking one and striking out two. Miller also hit cleanup and went 2-for-5 at the plate with two doubles, his third career two-double game. Miller has had multiple hits in each of his last four games and seven of his last 10 games.
Jesse Wilkening also recorded a pair of hits and scored two runs, while Mojo Hagge was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Jake McSteen tossed 3.0 scoreless innings behind Miller and earned the win, improving his record to 3-0 on the year.
KSU starter Brogan Heinen gave the Wildcats 5.0 solid inning, allowing two runs on five hits and no walks, while striking out four. Heinen was replaced in the top of the sixth with the Wildcats trailing 2-1 and took the loss on the night, falling to 1-3 on the year.
The Wildcats scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first, as they cashed in a two-out walk. Miller retired the first two Wildcats in the home half of the first before walking Cameron Thompson. Cleanup hitter Jake Scudder then lifted a fly ball to left field that landed just in front of a diving Luis Alvarado, allowing Scudder to coast into second with a RBI double. Miller limited the damage to one run with an inning-ending pop up.
Miller then led off the top of the second and lined a double down the left-field line, his sixth double of the season. The Huskers were unable to take advantage of the leadoff hit though, as Miller was stranded at third to end the frame.
After giving up the two-out double in the first, Miller sat down seven straight Wildcats and the Huskers tied the game in the top of the fourth. Jae Meyers reached on a one-out infield single and moved into scoring position on a groundout by Miller. Alvarado stepped in and served the first pitch he saw from Heinen into the center field for a RBI single, tying the game at 1-1. Luke Roskam then reached on a fielding error, but the Huskers were unable to cash in the opportunity, as Heinen struck out Mike Waldron to end the frame, Heinen’s fourth of the game.
The Wildcats got their leadoff man on for the first time in the fifth when Grant Reuben singled, KSU’s second hit of the game. Connor Rule laid down a sacrifice bunt that put Reuben in scoring position, but one batter later the Huskers got out of the inning. Josh Ethier hit into a 5-3 groundout and on the play Reuben got too far off second base, Roskam threw behind Reuben and Jake Schleppenbach chased him down and applied the tag to retire the Wildcats.
McSteen stranded a two-out hit and walk in the bottom of the sixth and then the Husker offense added to its lead in the seventh. Nebraska plated four runs on three hits, growing its lead to 6-1. The bottom of the lineup loaded the bases with no outs and Hagge plated two with a single. KSU’s Bryce Ward retired the next two Huskers before Miller blasted a two-RBI ground-rule double to center, his second double of the game.
Working with a 6-1 lead, Robbie Palkert tossed a no-hit seventh and Nate Fisher followed with a scoreless eighth, including two strikeouts. Alvarado finished off the game with scoreless ninth, including a game-ending strikeouts.
The Huskers return to Big Ten play this weekend when they host the Iowa Hawkeyes for a three-game series at Hawks Field. The series opens on Friday at 6:35 p.m., continues on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. and wraps up on Sunday at 2:05 p.m.