Nebraska defeats Michigan in Game 2 of Big Ten Baseball Tourney

May 22, 2013

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Nebraska used three runs in the third, fifth and seventh innings and a total of 11 hits to defeat Michigan, 11-2, tonight in the second game of the Big Ten Tournament.

With the win, Nebraska moves on to play No. 2 seed Ohio State. The Wolverines drop to the loser bracket and will play Illinois, who fell to Minnesota in the first game, 3-2. Michigan and the Illini will play at 12:05 p.m . on Thursday, May 23. The Cornhuskers and Buckeyes will play in the 3:35 p.m. game on Thursday, while No. 1 seed Indiana will face Minnesota, at 7:05 p.m.

Nebraska starting pitcher Kyle Kubat went 7.0 innings, allowed just one hit, walked four and struck out six in 117 pitches thrown. He picked up the win and improved to 5-0, while Michigan starter James Bourque dropped to 5-7.

Nebraska’s Pat Kelly, Blake Headley and Austin Darby all had multiple-hit games, as Headley led the way when he went 3-5 with two RBI. Darby had four RBI in the win. Michigan avoided the shutout when it scored twice in the top of the ninth for the 11-2.

Nebraska Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Darin Erstad

Opening Statement...

“Yeah we were focused on playing an all-around game, have a good approach at the plate, and play good defense, and it all starts on the mound. Our starters put us in a position to be able to get a little bit of a lead and that is a pretty good thing. We have done that from time-to-time this year, and we are going to have to do that for a couple more games if we want to do anything in this tournament.”

Kyle Kubat, Pitcher

On how he felt coming into game...
“I felt pretty good going out there. As always, it was established through first pitch strikes to get ahead of hitters and I was able to put them away.”

On if changed approach since last Michigan match-up…
“Last week I was missing more up and I think I gave up nine or 10 hits, so I knew that needed to be an adjustment to not pitch from week-to-week but from pitch-to-pitch. When I missed, I missed down. I need to throw strikes in and out, sometimes stretch up, stretch down, and just get hitters out.”

On emotional aspect since Grandma passed away…
“It was tough, but after the funeral I knew I needed to be there. My family was missing me and I was missing them. That was all I was able to think about so it was an emotional start but I know she is looking down and it was a fun game to pitch in.”

Austin Darby, Centerfielder

On approach against Bourque...
“I feel like he had a lot of success with his breaking ball against us last week, we had a lot of pitches out of the zone. So what we worked on a lot during BP and film was just laying down the off pitches that were going to start down because his breaking ball was going to break down and be out of the zone. We wanted to make him work on getting in the zone and making him throw a lot of pitches and getting strikes because he had a lot of walks, and I think we had a good couple walks on him today.”

On big hit during game…
“I know that I have been struggling a lot against lefty’s so I went up there and took a good swing and the results came. It was a good feeling to finally get that hit off the lefty because it had been tough throughout the season, this was a good confidence boost.”

Michigan Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Erik Bakich

Opening statement…
“Really kind of a trifecta for us; we didn’t take care of the baseball defensively, we didn’t have too many quality at-bats, did pitch all that well—we gave up eight free passes. Just a combination of all three will mean it’s not going to be a good day. We really have ourselves to blame, today we didn’t take care of business. We have to bounce back tomorrow, flush this one down as fast as we can.”

On Kubat’s day…
“He’s got the change up as his special pitch and he kept us off balance when we played at Nebraska this past Thursday and he got through the lineup the first couple times pretty handily. He just one of those guys that has really good command down in the zone and he spots his fastball on both sides. Sometimes you just have to wait it out and be aggressive up in the zone. We just couldn’t string many things together offensively and he certainly had a good day. Once they started separating themselves, we dug too deep a hole.”

On rebounding for tomorrow…
“Well, we have no choice. Nothing has been easy for this group, it has been an absolute battle for this group, so they are battle tested. They are resilient and I do feel confident this group is going to absolutely respond to the challenge. It’s a survive and advance mode, our backs against the wall.”

James Bourque, Pitcher

On hitters being more selective against him…
“I think so, they started to get into a groove in the third inning and they were seeing my pitches a little bit better. I think for me, I didn’t make the big pitches when I needed to and that cost me when I let guys on. They saw me a lot better the second and third time through the order.”



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