Notes from Wednesday’s first two games

No. 2 seed Nebraska rallied back from a 6-0 deficit to beat No. 7 Ohio State 7-6 on a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth and No. 6 Michigan State upset No. 3 Illinois 2-1 in the first two games of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday at TD Ameritrade Park.

Nebraska and Michigan State meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday with the winner advancing to Saturday. Ohio State and Illinois play at 10 a.m. on Thursday in an elimination game.

Ohio State scored six runs in the fourth, starting with a two-run double by catcher Aaron Gretz. Shortstop Craig Nennig, second baseman Nick Segakis and third baseman Taylor Kuhn also drove in runs. That drove Nebraska first-team All-Big Ten pitcher Chance Sinclair out of the game. 

However, Nebraska rallied back with three runs in the fifth on an RBI double by third baseman Jake Placzek, a swinging bunt fielder’s choice by left fielder Michael Pritchard and an RBI single by second baseman Pat Kelly. The Cornhuskers were quiet again until the ninth, but closer Trace Dempsey allowed the first three hitters he faced in the inning to reach on two walks and a hit batsman. After a strikeout, he issued a bases-loaded walk to Pritchard to make it 6-4 and came out for reliever Tyler Giannonatti.

Kelly followed by singling up the middle to drive in two runs to tie it. After Giannonatti issued an intentional walk to Blake Headley, catcher Tanner Lubach hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Pritchard.

In the first game, Michigan State’s Cam Gibson homered and Justin Hovis scored another run in the fifth. Right-hander Mick VanVossen, left-hander Anthony Misiewicz and right-hander Jeff Kinley combined to hold the Fighting Illinois to one run.