HUSKER BASEBALL: Sears Twirls Two-Hit Complete-Game Shutout on Friday

LINCOLN—(NU Athletics Apr. 5) Brett Sears tossed a two-hit complete-game shutout, as the 24th-ranked Huskers opened the weekend series vs. Ohio State with a 3-0 win on Friday night at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park.

Nebraska (21-6, 4-0 Big Ten) scored three runs on seven hits, while Ohio State (12-13, 2-2 Big Ten) totaled zero runs on two hits.

Sears improved to 6-0 this season with the complete-game shutout, the first by a Husker since Will Walsh in the Big Ten Tournament last season. Sears limited the Buckeyes to just two hits, the fewest in a complete game by a Nebraska pitcher since Matt Waldron against Michigan State in 2019.

It also marked Sears’ seventh consecutive quality start, which is the longest streak by a Husker hurler since Aaron Mardsen recorded seven straight in 2002. The right-hander punched out a career-high 10 batters without issuing a free pass, his fourth outing this season with seven-plus strikeouts and zero walks.

Josh Caron finished 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI, giving him a team-high 34 on the season. Cayden Brumbaugh and Riley Silva tallied two hits apiece at the top of the lineup for the Big Red, while Cole Evans reached in all four plate appearances. Dylan Carey added a single for the Huskers.

The Huskers grabbed a one-run advantage in the opening frame behind a pair of hits from Brumbaugh and Silva. Nebraska loaded the bases with a pair of singles from the two Huskers and a walk to Evans. Brumbaugh scored on a play where Caron grounded into a double play to make it a 1-0 game through the first.

Sears picked up his third and fourth strikeouts of the night in the third, while the Husker offense tacked on two more runs to grow the lead to 3-0. Brumbaugh singled and later stole third, before Evans drew a full-count walk and moved to second on a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with one out.

With the Buckeye defense playing in to prevent a Husker run, Caron smacked a two-RBI single off the Ohio State third baseman to give NU a three-run lead.

Sears retired 14 of the first 16 batters he faced on Friday night after working around a one-out single in the top of the fifth. The Buckeyes nearly had consecutive hits in the fifth frame until Evans’ diving, full-extension catch prevented OSU from recording its third hit of the night.

Sears retired the next 14 Buckeyes after the one-out single in the fifth to preserve the complete-game shutout.

No. 24 Nebraska and Ohio State continue the weekend series tomorrow at 12:02 p.m. at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park. Saturday’s matchup can be seen on Nebraska Public Media/B1G+, with Larry Punteney and Jeff Leise on the call, while fans can listen to Greg Sharpe and Ben McLaughlin call the action on the Huskers Radio Network.