To a victory in Sunday's final, the Huskers show no mercy in beating Iowa in eight innings | Baseball


OMAHA – Nine lead races? Game in hand? It did not matter

Mojo Hagge was not going to show any mercy, and was shaking his legs as fast as he could.

The Nebraska junior outfielder caught a pitch, drove it to the right center field gap and raced to third base for a triple in the bottom of the eighth inning during Friday's Big Ten Tournament game against Iowa in the TD Ameritrade Park.

Hagge slid his face through the first to the third, appeared and pointed emphatically at the Nebraska booth.

After a sacrifice from Cam Chick, Hagge stepped on the home plate to complete the 11-1 defeat of the Hawkeyes' Huskers in the form of a mercy rule.

The Nebraska offense was again, the Huskers scored eight runs or more in five of their last six games, and Nate Fisher released his most recent script against Iowa, throwing seven strong innings.

A year after missing out on the Big Ten Tournament, Nebraska is making its presence in downtown Omaha.

NU has a 2-0 record in the tournament, and this is the deepest he has been in a Big Ten tournament since he reached the 2014 final against Indiana.

The Huskers (30-20) are one victory away from 1 pm on Sunday. End of the Big Ten tournament. They will have two shots on Saturday. NU will play against Michigan at 9 a.m. If the Huskers lose, they will play again later in the day.

On Friday, some aggressions were carried out against an Iowa team that has been a thorn in the side of the Huskers in recent years. Iowa (31-23) took two of three from the NU during the regular season.

"We were pretty upset about that and I think it was just a big game of revenge, so we gave everything we got and got it," said freshman Spencer Schwellenbach.

Fisher added: "I do not think we want the opponent we're facing really to dictate how we go about our business, but I think it's a big win for us and we're fighting in the right direction."

The UN coach, Darin Erstad, described Friday's victory this way: "Crazy baseball game."

The last time Fisher pitched against Iowa, the Hawkeyes scored the Yutan native for seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.

And the last time the Huskers faced Grant Judkins, the Iowa starter on Friday, the right-hander led the NU to three hits in seven innings.

Friday was a very different story.

Nebraska chased Judkins (4-7) in a second inning of four races, and scored four more runs in the fifth inning. The Huskers hit 15 hits, three came from Hagge and three from Alex Henwood, who is playing with a good shoulder, and drew 10 bases on balls.

Of the first 10 hitters of the Huskers, seven worked in total.

"Just playing at bat," said Erstad. "We've been doing this for the last two and a half weeks and it's more what we're up to in the season, and they've taken us seriously and playing at a high level with a lot of energy."

Nebraska put the game out of reach with a fifth four-run race, which began when Schwellenbach placed a ball in Husker's bullpen in left field for a solo homer.

When Husker's offense hit, Fisher (7-3) was at his best.

He threw 103 pitches, struck out seven and allowed a run on four hits (all singles).

"The most important thing is that when we scored, he had closed tickets," said Erstad. "That was the big thing, I think he had three or four innings closed, and that was so big to keep up the momentum."

Nebraska seeks to maintain momentum on Saturday.

The Huskers have won seven of their last nine games. Erstad sees a group of confidence that was not rejected by Thursday's storms that postponed the Iowa game until Friday morning.

"That's why I do not have to do much," he said. "We have a change in his schedule and this group does not care, it's like, fine, whatever, go the next day, let's play. It's a fun group."

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