HUSKER BASEBALL: Nebraska’s Pitching Holds Off K-State

MANHATTAN, KS–(NU Athletics Apr. 4)–The Nebraska bullpen combined for seven scoreless innings, as the Huskers posted a 6-1 win at Kansas State on Tuesday night at Tointon Family Stadium.

Nebraska (16-9-1) scored six runs on 12 hits and no errors, while Kansas State (19-12) had one run on seven hits and no errors.

Caleb Clark made the start on the mound for the Huskers, allowing one run on three hits in two innings of work. The freshman struck out a pair of Wildcats and issued two walks in the 12 batters he faced. Corbin Hawkins collected his first collegiate win after pitching 1.2 scoreless innings in relief. Will Walsh and Jake Bunz teamed up to pitch the next 2.1 innings for the Big Red. Shay Schanaman threw three one-hit innings to pick up his fourth save of the season.

Brice Matthews went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI, while Max Anderson was 2-for-4 with a solo home run. Ben Columbus and Josh Caron pieced together two-hit games, and Gabe Swansen, Garrett Anglim, Cole Evans and Casey Burnham recorded one hit.

With the two hits, Matthews stretched his hit streak to 12 games and his reached base streak to 29 games, while Columbus has now reached base safely in 15 consecutive games.

Nebraska jumped out to a two-run lead with a pair of hit batters and a hit in the top of the second. Swansen and Caron were both plunked and advanced to second and third on a passed ball, while Anglim lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Swansen. Evans followed by lining at 1-2 pitch to left, scoring Caron and doubling the Husker lead to 2-0.

K-State got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the second frame to make it a 2-1 game through two innings. A hit batter and a single through the right side placed runners on first and second, before Cash Rugley’s two-out RBI single to right scored the Wildcats’ first run of the night.

The Wildcat offense threatened in the fourth and nearly tied the game at two. A single and a walk had runners on first and second with two outs. K-State appeared to load the bases in the next at-bat on an infield single, but the baserunner at third tried advancing home on the play and was tagged out by Caron in a play at the plate.

The NU offense tacked on two runs on a pair of hits in the seventh to grow the lead to 4-1. Anglim led off the inning with an infield single to third base, and Evans was plunked on the first pitch to put runners on first and second with no outs. Burnham dropped down a sacrifice bunt, which loaded the bases for the Big Red after Luke Sartori was ruled safe on a play at third after video review.

With the bases loaded, Matthews drilled an 0-2 pitch down the left-field line for a two-RBI double, plating Sartori and Evans.

Schanaman replaced Bunz after a leadoff walk in the seventh and retired the first three Wildcats he faced to maintain the three-run lead after seven.

Nebraska added two more runs in the ninth to stretch the lead to five. Anderson belted a one-out solo homer that cleared the Husker bullpen in right for his team-leading ninth homer of the season. Columbus dropped a two-out double into right-center, before Caron ripped an RBI single to center to score Columbus for NU’s sixth run of the night.

Schanaman toed the rubber in the ninth and worked around a one-out single to clinch the 6-1 win for the Huskers.

Nebraska returns to Big Ten play this weekend, as the Huskers travel to Michigan for a three-game series on Friday-Sunday, April 7-9 in Ann Arbor, Mich.