The Nebraska baseball (16-9-1) team relied heavily on its bullpen against Kansas State (19-12) as the Huskers prevailed 6-1. NU used five different arms on the evening and allowed just seven hits as a pitching staff.
Offensively, the Big Red jumped out in front early with RBIs from Garrett Anglim and Cole Evans. However, the offense finished strong as well when Brice Matthews extended the Husker lead in the seventh inning. Max Anderson rounded the game out with an extra run in the ninth on a solo homer to put the game to bed.
It was the freshman Caleb Clark on the mound to start the game for the Big Red. The lefty earned his fourth start of the season and found his stuff early. After giving up a leadoff double, followed by a walk, Clark retired the next three batters he faced.
His offense went to work in the top half of the second inning as Garrett Anglim drove in a run on a sac fly. Cole Evans followed up with a base hit to make it 2-0.
Caleb Clark found himself in a jam once again in the second inning, but this time he couldn’t escape. The Wildcats scored, however, Clark worked the rest of the inning without allowing a hit.
Corbin Hawkins took over on the hill in the third inning, and he retired a quick three KSU batters. In the fourth inning, Hawkins left two runners on with two outs as Will Walsh stepped up to pitch. He got out of the inning unscathed.
Walsh dealt a scoreless fifth inning and made way for Jake Bunz on the sixth. The lefty struck out two batters in the bottom of the sixth and kept NU ahead 2-1. In the seventh inning, Bunz’s outing was over as Shay Schanaman entered the game after a walked batter.
Schanaman locked this game down. The graduate senior retired the side in the seventh with no trouble and let his offense take over.
With the bases loaded, Brice Matthews hit a double down the left field line that drove in two runs and extended NU’s lead to 4-1. Max Anderson added another in the ninth inning with a solo shot, and Josh Caron’s RBI single made it 6-1.
Schanaman pitched the final two innings allowing just one hit, earning his fourth save of the season.
The bullpen performed well
“Our dudes are being dudes. That’s what you’ve got to have. It was a little bit choppy offensively, we felt like we could’ve put the game away earlier than we did. Matthews stepped up.”
-Nebraska head coach Will Bolt on the Huskers Radio Network
This season has been a story of a struggling bullpen for Nebraska. Losses that could be chalked up to bullpen mistakes. A tie that was pinned on a weak bullpen.
However, they arm barn put those struggles to bed in this game. After Caleb Clark put together a solid two innings, it was Corbin Hawkins who was called upon first. The sophomore worked one and two-thirds innings allowing just one hit.
Will Walsh was next up on the hill and he picked up where Hawkins left off. The lefty threw one and a third innings, allowing two hits and no runs.
To this point, NU led by just one run and the pressure was on the pen.
Jake Bunz took over to alleviate that pressure and he did just that. With nobody on and no outs, Bunz struck out two of the four batters he faced in the sixth inning and allowed just one baserunner.
To round out the performance was Shay Schanaman. The righty dealt an impressive three innings where he allowed just one hit and struck out three. It was a night where the Big Red needed their bullpen to step up, and they did just that.
The bats caught a spark
Before this game got underway, the wind picked up out of left field and made the ballpark play much larger than it was. This meant that the Huskers would have to figure out how to score in other ways. This was not a problem.
Early on in this game it was a sac fly to right field that broke the deadlock. Cole Evans then hit a base hit to left and NU led by two.
Nebraska found even more ways to score as the game progressed. In the seventh inning, Brice Matthews hit a low line drive right down the left field line that brought home two baserunners.
Max Anderson then sent a ball over the right field wall and Josh Caron hit an RBI single up the middle.
On a night that played in an unusual manner in the ballpark, Nebraska’s offense pulled through.
The Huskers are back in action on Friday for the first of three games against Michigan. The first game starts at 7:00 p.m., followed up by Saturday’s 1:00 p.m. start and Sunday’s 11:00 a.m. Easter Sunday start time. These games will stream on B1G+ (LINK HERE) and are over the radio on the Huskers Radio Network (LINK HERE).
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