The Huskers started off their busy week with a matchup at Omaha, who has had NU’s number the first two games in the season series. Combine that with the rough weekend in Iowa City, and you might expect to see some less than stellar body language. That definitely was not the case tonight.
For what seemed like the first time in forever, Nebraska got out to the early lead, when freshman Dylan Carey turned 2-0 fastball in the second inning and sent it over the left field wall for a 3 run home run, scoring Gabe Swansen and Garret Anglim. Omaha answered in the 3rd, getting a run off of first time Husker starter Corbin Hawkins, as Mike Boeve hit an RBI single to make it a 3-1 ballgame.
Scary Carey. pic.twitter.com/qJ86ZIeV3p— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) April 26, 2023
Thats when coach Will Bolt turned to Drew Christo. The former top ranked recruit in the entire conference has had an up and down beginning to his career, to put it mildly. The past two outings, however, have been really strong for the hurler, and tonight was the best effort of his college career. Christo went 4 innings, and struck out 8 Mavericks, walked 0, and only gave up 1 run.
Nebraska added a run in the 5th, as Casey Burnham demonstrated just how valuable he’s been to this offense. He led off with a single. Then advanced to second on a steal attempt that had an error. Went to third on a sac fly and finally scored on a groundout. He doesn’t require NU to pile up hits to make an impact on the scoreboard.
After Omaha scored the run on Christo in the 7th to make it a 4-2 game, Dylan Carey answered the bell again, driving in Gabe Swansen again, who himself went 3 for 5 on the night, to increase the lead back to 5-2.
If there is one thing Brice Matthews has been the best at this year, it is putting an absolute exclamation point on a game, and he did it again tonight. In the 8th inning sending an absolute moon shot out of the entire park that the left fielder for Omaha could only turn and admire. This was his team leading 15th of the season, (and remember he has one banked in the Creighton game that needs to be officially counted) and he is closing in on the 18 by Scott Schreiber in 2018, which is the most in the Big Ten era by a Husker.
Another week, another @MuseeLouvre submission. pic.twitter.com/7q3au987c7— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) April 26, 2023
The Mavericks were able to make it interesting in the bottom of the 9th, hitting a controversial solo home run with 2 out. The entire left side of the Husker defense, and the bullpen (which sits on the left field line) was convinced it was foul. There is no replay in this game however, and it would have been busy as there were a handful of fair/foul calls that seemed to be an issue. So much so that coach Bolt was about one more word away from being tossed at one point. Three man umpire crews in some of these series against smaller schools have been an issue all season.
Omaha actually got the tying run to the plate, all with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. So Nebraska turned to Shay Schanaman for the final out, and he came in and struck out the only Mav he faced, earning the one out save and giving Drew Christo his first victory.
Nebraska is right back at it tomorrow, as they return home to host the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in Lincoln at 6:02 pm.