One completely sideways inning, and a couple gifted insurance runs were the difference tonight between a Husker victory instead of what ended up being Maryland’s 8th straight win. A mysterious zone early on, and some amazing defensive plays, kept the offense on its heels in what should have been a favorable matchup with the opposing pitching staff and the small ballpark the Terps call home.
Nebraska got the lead early, in the top of the first inning. Casey Burnham hit a double to right center, in what would be his only hit of the game despite him having maybe his best game of the year swinging the bat. Max Anderson followed him up by swatting a no-doubter home run way over the left field wall to put Nebraska up 2-0.
Maryland? Nah.— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) May 5, 2023
We're in Maxland. pic.twitter.com/adq9Ox11Ib
Maryland came right back in the bottom of the inning and cut the lead down to 2-1 on a sacrifice fly. Nebraska starting pitcher Emmett Olson actually held the Terps high powered offense in check for the early part of the game, at one point retiring 8 straight. But you are not going to hold an offense like theirs down forever, and it finally roared to life with 1 out in the 5th.
What would end up being the final 6 batters Olson faced would all reach base. It started with a walk, then a single. All American catcher Luke Shliger then tied the game up with an RBI double. After intentionally walking All-American short stop Matt Shaw, Nick Lorusso cleared the bases with a double and advanced to third on an error by Gabe Swansen. That ended up being a 2 RBI double which tied him for the NCAA lead with 73 RBIs. A sac fly extended the lead to 6-2 by the end of the inning.
Corbin Hawkins ended up getting the Huskers out of what could have been an even worse situation, and went on a good run himself. Holding the Terps scoreless until he was taken out with 1 out in the 8th inning.
That allowed the Husker offense to cut down on the lead. In the 7th, Josh Caron hit a solo home run off the top of the hitting complex behind the left field wall. That made it a 6-3 ballgame. Pinch hitter Griffin Everitt drove in Max Anderson in the 8th inning, and the Huskers seemed to be going for a big inning, with 2 on and 1 out, but could not get either run across.
Hang it and bang it. pic.twitter.com/oyPqQRSkWw— Nebraska Baseball (@Husker_Baseball) May 6, 2023
After coming in with 2 on and 1 out, Husker hurler Jake Bunz had 2 wild pitches in a row, that allowed 2 big insurance runs to come across and make it an 8-4 game. Nebraska would get a leadoff walk in the 9th, but Maryland brought in their closer, and after a fly out, he struck out the final 2 Huskers to end the game.
Max Anderson was the only Husker to record multiple hits, with 2. He added 2 RBIs and 2 runs as well. As mentioned above, Casey Burnham could have easily been 3-5, but had a home run stolen from him by Maryland’s centerfielder. And in the next at bat, hit maybe the hardest ball of the game, but the sure double was snagged right on the line by the third baseman, who got up and still somehow threw out the speedy Burnham at first.
Nebraska will look to even the series on Saturday, as Jace Kaminska climbs the bump for the Huskers with first pitch scheduled for 1 pm CT.