After hanging on for a tight win over Ohio State on Friday night, Nebraska had more room to breathe Saturday in game two.
Thanks to an offense that racked up 11 hits—one of which was a two-out grand slam to center field from Max Anderson—and a strong performance on the mound from reliever Tyler Martin, the Huskers won the three-game series against the Buckeyes with a 10-5 victory in Columbus, Ohio.
In what was a back-and-forth affair for much of the game early on, Nebraska was nursing a 6-5 lead in the top of the sixth inning when Anderson, last year’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year, belted his second long ball of the season to give his team the five-run cushion.
The table was set for Anderson thanks to singles from Jack Steil and Luke Sartori, the 8- and 9-hole hitters, respectively, as well as a walk by lead-off man Brice Matthews, who hit a two-run double down the right-field line in the fourth that gave Big Red a 6-3 edge.
With all three bases occupied with Huskers, Ohio State sent reliever Tim Baird out of the game and brought in its top reliever to deal with the threat—the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Ethan Hammerberg, who had allowed just three earned runs in 11 appearances on the season coming into the game. Hammerberg promptly struck out Cam Chick for the second out, but he didn’t have much luck against Anderson, who smashed the two-out grand slam.
From there, it was Martin’s show.
Martin, a 6-2, 185-pounder from Missouri, came into the game with one out in the fifth and threw 3 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed just one hit and struck out four Buckeyes. Starter Koty Frank went 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs—four of which were earned—on six hits. Braxton Bragg came on in the ninth to seal the win, and he did just that by striking out two and forcing a fly out for the final three outs.
After going 2-of-16 at the plate with runners in scoring position on Friday, the Husker batters did better on Saturday, going 4-of-13. With runners on, they hit 7-of-16.
Griffin Everitt, Sartori and Nick Wimmers all collected two hits while Anderson’s four RBIs led the team. After Nebraska fell behind 2-1 early, Everitt gave his team the lead back with a two-run home run in the third. That was Everitt’s team-leading sixth long ball of the season, and it was made possible by Anderson’s at-bat—the Millard West product drew a two-out walk to keep the inning alive. Everitt now has 18 RBIs, most on the team.
Nebraska improves to 11-14 on the season and 3-2 in Big Ten play. Ohio State drops to 8-15 and is winless in three tries against conference competition.
Dawson McCarville (2-3) will get the start for the Huskers in Sunday’s matchup. McCarville, a transfer from Grand Canyon, will bring a 6.00 earned-run average into the contest. He has 26 strikeouts, which ranks third on the pitching staff.
Ohio State will likely start right-hander Wyatt Loncar (1-2), who will come in with a 5.49 ERA and 30 strikeouts, second-most on the team.