Rutgers entered the Big Ten Tournament as a team with strong arms but it was offense that ruled the day in round one.
The Scarlet Knights fell behind quickly but the bats were hot, allowing them to climb back in. When it was all said and done, Nebraska was just too much as Rutgers fell 9-7 in the first round on Wednesday afternoon in Omaha.
Rutgers will now take on Michigan State on Wednesday at 11am. The Spartans were taken down by top-seeded Maryland on Tuesday.
The Huskers took an early lead with a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. Christian Coppola was able to settle in and keep Nebraska off the scoreboard for the following five innings. The freshman threw 101 pitches in six innings.
This effort from Coppola allowed Rutgers to stay in it and eventually take the lead.
Jordan Sweeney got the Scarlet Knights on the board with a sac fly in the top of the fifth before Evan Sleight tied the game with a two-run double. In the seventh, Rutgers loaded the bases. Sleight got hit by a pitch and Cam Love drew a walk to give Rutgers a 5-3 lead.
Nebraska would quickly respond and take a 9-6 lead. Ryan Lasko ripped an RBI single into left to cut into the deficit but that is all Rutgers would get.
The game on Thursday against Michigan State will be an elimination game for both sides. Rutgers will have a chance to stay hot at the dish but will a better effort on the mound to stay alive in the Big Ten Tournament.