Nebraska’s 10-5 victory over Ohio State today in Columbus on Nick Swisher Field was the kind of win most Cornhusker baseball fans thought they would see more of this season. Ten runs on eleven hits is one of the best offensive performances of the season, and coupled with 4.2 shutout innings by Tyler Martin and Braxton Bragg, the Big Red clinched their first three game series win of the season.
The teams battled back and forth over the first five innings, then Max Anderson had the big blow - in the sixth inning with a two out grand slam that put Nebraska up 10-5. The strong three-hole hitter hit a shot to centerfield, scoring Jack Steil, Luke Sartori, and Brice Matthews. The Millard West Sophomore scored two runs of his own on the day, in addition to hitting his second home run of the season.
Nebraska got on the scoreboard first in the second inning when Core Jackson put down a beautiful bunt that scored Garrett Anglim from third base. Anglim had reached third with his fourth triple of the season, and continues to lead the team in hitting.
However, the Buckeyes answered in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs off starter Koty Frank.
Captain Griffin Everitt put the Big Red back on top in the third with his seventh home run of the season, driving in Anderson who had been walked. Ohio State tied it moments later when second baseman Tyler Pettorini drove in Zach Dezenzo. After three innings, the game was tied 3-3.
Frank and Buckeye starter Nate Haberthier were filling the strike zone with pitches, challenging hitters.
Nebraska got a enormous boost in the fourth inning from the bottom of their lineup, starting with little used DH Nick Wimmers. The backup catcher from Oregonia, Ohio, led off with a base hit. He beat a throw to second base after Core Jackson put the ball in play. After Jack Steil flew out, Luke Sartori hit a double, scoring Wimmers. Next batter up, Brice Matthews then slapped a double that scored Jackson and Sartori.
Ohio State put up two more runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Koty Frank was responsible for both runs after giving up doubles to Brent Todys and Dezenzo. Frank enticed a slow dribbler out of Pettorini for the second out of the inning. Will Bolt made the walk to the mound and summoned lefty Tyler Martin from the bullpen to face lefthanded hitter Kade Kern.
Martin served up a slider that Kern hit for the third double of the inning, scoring Dezenzo from third. That was the only hit, and the only baserunner Martin gave up the rest of way.
After the fifth inning, Nebraska led 6-5.
With the Anderson blast in the top of the sixth putting the Cornhuskers up 10-5, Martin slammed the door on any Buckeye hopes. He faced the minimum number of batters in the next three innings, striking out four. The senior from Webb City was a surgeon, getting ahead in the count and spotting his pitches.
Martin eventually gave way to Braxton Bragg in the ninth, who struck out two around a fly out to end the game and seal the Nebraska victory.
Griffin Everitt, Nick Wimmers, and Luke Sartori all had two hits, leading the offensive attack. After only having six at bats on the season, Wimmers ended the day two for three with a double. Perhaps Coach Bolt has found his righthanded DH.
Frank pitched 4.1 innings, facing 20 batters, striking out one, walking one, and giving up six hits. He was adequate today, though I am sure Coach Christie would have liked another full inning or two out of him at this point in the season. He threw a total of 53 pitches, which is not that many.
Martin went 3.2 innings, facing twelve batters and dropping his ERA to 1.6. Bragg finished things off, facing three, striking out two and only throwing eight pitches.
With the series win, Nebraska goes for the sweep tomorrow at Brad Davis Stadium against the Buckeyes. Dustin McCarville will take the mound for the Cornhuskers.
Will the boys continue hitting the ball? Tune in and see!