On a night that started ominously with the release of the Nebraska lineup minus All-American candidate Brice Matthews, the Huskers were able to channel their inner Matthews and used 3 home runs to take down the Boilermakers in game 1. And they made the tarp watch it all from the side of the field.
Matthews has been having back issues off and on for the stretch run of the season, but with today’s game not impacting Nebraska’s season in a drastic way, the decision was made to give him some rest. A decision made under even more dire conditions, as Efry Cervantes may have torn his hamstring in the last series. So Dylan Carey slid over to the spot he will occupy in the future, short stop. Max Anderson swapped back to his old stomping grounds at 3rd, and Blake Mosley made his first appearance in 6 weeks, at second.
Nebraska struck first in the first inning. After a wild start by Purdue starting pitcher Khal Stephen loaded the bases with a hit by pitch, single, and walk, Josh Caron brought in Casey Burnham with a sac fly.
Husker starter Emmett Olson gave up his only runs of his short outing in preparation for the Big Ten Tournament on a 2 run home run in the 2nd inning. The lead wouldn’t last long, as Dylan Carey hit an RBI single to drive in Josh Caron and tie the game at 2-2.
The game would stay that way for multiple innings. Olson would leave after 4 innings, with 5 Ks and 0 walks. Stephen would get through 6 innings, but was hanging on by the skin of his teeth. Each inning the Huskers had multiple runners on base, so not only was he piling up the pitches, but they were all pressure pitches, which strain you even more.
Stephen was going well until the start of the 7th. Casey Burnham hit a perfectly placed double down the left field line. Then Purdue’s coaching staff decided they would intentionally walk Max Anderson and pitch to Gabe Swansen. And on the first pitch he saw, the 116th and final pitch for Stephen, he crushed a no doubter well over the left field fence, and followed it up with the biggest bat flip in Husker history! (This author is very pro-bat flip.) The 418 foot, 3-run bomb, his 17th of the season, put the Huskers up 5-2 at stretch time.
After the Boilermakers touched up Corbin Hawkins for the rare run in the bottom of the 7th, the Huskers went right back to work in the 8th. A leadoff double by Garret Anglim was followed up with 2 infield singles on bunts to drive him in. Then the Purdue coaching staff decided to pitch to Max Anderson instead of intentionally walk him. You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t. Anderson returned a fastball to the Boilermaker bullpen as fast as it came in for a 3 run home run of his own. 9-3 Big Red.
Purdue finally got to Shay Schanaman with a couple doubles to make it a 9-4 game after 8. All it took was 1 pitch to Charlie Fischer for Nebraska to get that run back. Fischer kept his good last few games going with a solo shot that was caught by one of 3 Husker pitchers celebrating in the NU bullpen.
That's our 93rd home run, tying the single-season program record set in 1985. pic.twitter.com/Z5l9r7bKXu— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) May 19, 2023
The Boilermakers were able to load the bases in the bottom of the 9th, so Nebraska turned to Kyle Perry for the final 2 outs. He allowed one run charged to Schanaman to score, but was able to secure the 10-5 win.
Schedule Change Alert
Due to impending weather… don’t give me that look! Due to impending weather, the game time for Game 2 between the Huskers and Tarps has been moved up to noon central time on Friday at Alexander Field. Jace Kaminska climbs the bump for the Huskers, while Purdue counters with Jonathan Blackwell.
Husker Home Run Notes!
- The Charlie Fischer home run was Nebraska’s 93rd of the season. That ties the program record set in 1985. That team played 69 games, while this was during game 51.
- Max Anderson tied Brice Matthews with his 20th home run of the season, for the team lead. The two are tied for the 8th most in a single season all time with Steve Stanicek’s 1982 season. This was also Anderson’s 37th of his career, putting him 8th all time there as well.