Behind six RBIs from redshirt freshman Garrett Anglim and a Michigan pitching staff that hit four batters and issued 11 walks, Nebraska beat the Wolverines 13-9 in its Big Ten opener to take game one of a three-game series Friday night at Haymarket Park in Lincoln.
Nebraska improved to 9-11 while Michigan dropped 11-10. Shay Schanaman gets the ball in Saturday’s game, which is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Dawson McCarville will get the start for Big Red in Sunday’s matchup, which has an 11 a.m. start.
On Friday, pitcher Koty Frank was settling in on the mound and had seven strikeouts as he entered the fifth inning with a 3-2 lead. But after Frank struck out a batter and forced a groundout, the Wolverines unsettled him quickly.
Michigan hit four consecutive solo home runs off Frank in the top of the fifth—all with two outs—to take a 6-3 lead. Matt Frey, Jimmy Obertop, Ted Burton and Tito Flores homered. The Division I record for consecutive home runs in an inning is five, set by South Carolina on June 10, 2006, when the Gamecocks beat Georgia 15-6 in an NCAA Super Regional.
But like the Huskers did last week when they rattled off three walk-off wins, Big Red showed fight.
That fight came in the form of a six-run bottom of the fifth to answer the four Wolverine homers. Anglim hit a three-run, bases-clearing double while Max Anderson knocked in an RBI single and Brice Matthews earned an RBI walk with the bases loaded. The last run of the inning came when Michigan relief pitcher Willie Weiss tried to pick off a runner at second with the bases juiced. The ball missed the second baseman and rolled into center field as the Huskers took a 9-6 lead.
“Crazy Friday night game,” Nebraska head coach Will Bolt said after the win. “Four solo home runs in a row there in the fifth inning, I’ve never seen anything like that. And for us to respond with a six-spot. There was just a lot of small moments in the game for us that I think were the biggest difference. I think we won 3-2 counts offensively and some to keep the line moving, some with two outs, just a lot of really competitive pass-the-line, top to bottom, I thought it was just super competitive tonight.”
After a quick 1-2-3 inning from freshman righty Jaxon Jelkin in the sixth, Michigan’s pitching struggled to find the strike zone as it hit three straight Husker batters with the bases loaded. Anderson then reached first after an error at short that allowed Luke Sartori to score Nebraska’s fourth run of the inning, ballooning the hosts’ lead to 13-6.
Michigan tacked on two runs in the ninth—both of which came via solo home runs; the Wolverines blasted six on the night—but that was all the rally had in the tank.
Frank went five innings and struck out nine batters without a walk. The righty allowed six earned runs and 10 hits. Jelkin, a 6-foot-4 freshman from Bellevue West, did well on the mound, throwing 2.2 innings while giving up just two hits and one earned run. Tyler Martin and Chandler Benson each saw action down the stretch as well.
“I felt comfortable going with Jelkin when we were ahead, he was hot and ready to go,” Bolt said. “He’s not scared of the moment. He’s a freshman that has good stuff and he’s going to come at you.”
Anglim gave Nebraska two different leads in the first three innings. In the bottom of the first, the Papillion-La Vista product hit a two-out, two-run double to put the Huskers on top 2-1. Then in the third with the game tied at 2, Anglim knocked in Cam Chick with a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Huskers a 3-2 edge.