McConnaughey strikes out career-best 11 and Nebraska advances to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Gabe Swansen went 4 for 5 with six RBIs, sophomore Mason McConnaughey had a career-best 11 strikeouts and No. 2 seed Nebraska beat seventh-seeded Ohio State 12-5 on Friday to advance to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.

Nebraska (36-20) must beat No. 3 seed Indiana twice on Saturday to play for the championship on Sunday. The Hoosiers opened their postseason with an 8-6 win over Purdue and a 14-7 win over Ohio State — to combine for the most runs scored in program history in its first two tournament games.

Swansen blasted a three-run homer in the first inning, his second of the tournament, before finishing a triple shy of the cycle. He drove it to the wall, past a diving Mitchell Okuley in right field, to score Ben Columbus from first — for his second straight game with a double and a homer.

Columbus also homered for Nebraska for a 6-3 lead in the fifth, and he was walked three times.

Swansen hit a grounder past a diving shortstop with the bases loaded in the seventh, scoring two to make it 9-3.

McConnaughey picked up his eighth victory of the season after going six innings.

Colin Purcell allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings for his third loss of the season for Ohio State (29-26).


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