Nebraska fell 8-3 in the series opener on the road at Illinois on Friday night at Illinois Field in Champaign, Ill.
Nebraska (19-28, 7-12 Big Ten) scored three runs on six hits and an error, while the Illini (27-19, 13-6 Big Ten) had eight runs on 14 hits and one error.
Shay Schanaman fell to 2-8 on the season after allowing seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with a pair of strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Mason Ornelas surrendered one run on five hits in a career-high 4.1 innings, while Caleb Feekin and Corbin Hawkins teamed up to record the final out.
Core Jackson was 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Husker offense. Josh Caron had an RBI single, while Garrett Anglim, Max Anderson and Leighton Banjoff posted one hit.
Nebraska opened the scoring in the second with a walk to Banjoff and a pair of two-out singles. Banjoff reached on a one-out walk, followed by Jackson’s single through the right side and Caron’s RBI single through the left side.
Illinois capitalized on a Husker throwing error to tie the game at one in the bottom of the second. The Illini had a two-out double, before an errant throw from Jackson at shortstop plated the unearned run for Illinois’ first run of the game.
The Illini opened the third with three straight singles to make it a two-run game, before Taylor Jackson’s three-run homer to left center stretched the lead to 7-1.
Illinois tacked on a run to its lead in the seventh with a two-out RBI single to center by Danny Doligale.
Nebraska loaded the bases in the ninth after Griffin Everitt was plunked, Anderson singled to center and Colby Gomes drew a four-pitch walk. Jackson followed with a two-RBI single through the right side to score Everitt and Anderson.
Game two of this weekend’s series between the Huskers and Illini is set for 3 p.m. tomorrow at Illinois Field in Champaign, Ill.