Nebraska catcher Griffin Everitt catches the ball to make an out
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Huskers Lose Second Straight Series with Game-Two Loss to No. 17 TCU

February 26, 2022

After dropping the first contest of the series on Friday night, it didn’t take long for adversity to find the Nebraska baseball team Saturday afternoon in game two of a three-game series against No. 17 TCU in Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The Huskers started well with a lead-off double from Leighton Banjoff. But that much-needed positive momentum for a team looking to even the series disappeared when two strikeouts and a fly out followed. Then in the bottom of the opening inning, starting pitcher Shay Schanaman walked the Horned Frogs’ leadoff batter and gave up a two-run homer one batter later, to Luke Boyers. The righty needed 30 pitches to get out of the bottom half of the inning.

Nebraska never recovered from that first inning and lost 8-3, meaning the Huskers will go home with a second consecutive series loss to begin the season. Big Red drops to 1-5 on the season while TCU improves to 5-1. Game three of the series is Sunday at 1 p.m.

Schanaman didn’t last much longer after that rough first inning. The Grand Island, Neb., native threw just 1 1/3 innings and struck out four, but also issued five free passes with three walks and two hit batters. Relief pitcher Ethan Bradford initially did well coming in for Schanaman, forcing a couple fly outs in the second. But TCU wound up scoring three on Bradford in the third to take a 5-0 edge.

The Huskers’ pitching staff had trouble finding the strike zone all game. Seven pitchers were used—Schanaman, Bradford, Mason Ornelas, CJ Hood, Jackson Brockett, Tyler Martin and Chandler Benson—and they handed out 13 free passes, including 10 walks and three hit batters.

Ornelas, a transfer from Texas A&M, pitched well and lasted the longest of anyone on the mound with 2 1/3 innings. He didn’t allow a run and struck out two while giving up just two hits. Benson, a freshman from Frisco, Texas, got the final three outs in the bottom of the eighth, forcing a couple line outs and a pop up.

Offensively, things weren’t much better for head coach Will Bolt’s club. The Huskers had five hits, but the numbers to look at are the 12 strikeouts and zero walks. They also went down in order five times as TCU right-hander Riley Cornelio was a strong presence on the mound, pitching six innings while striking out seven and only allowing three hits and two earned runs.

Nebraska’s only runs came via the long ball as both Cam Chick and Colby Gomes launched homers. Chick, who came into the game with a .188 average, pumped a bit of life into the offense in the fourth with a two-run homer to right-center that scored Max Anderson, who singled.

Chick’s homer put the Huskers within 5-2, but TCU got one of those runs right back in the sixth when Gray Rodgers connected on an RBI double off freshman and Norris High School product CJ Hood.

The 6-foot-5 Gomes put a jolt into an 0-1 pitch, but the solo shot wasn’t enough to make a meaningful dent into the Horned Frogs’ lead.

The Huskers will look to take at least one game from TCU on Sunday. Dawson McCarville, a transfer right-hander from Grand Canyon University, will get the ball on the bump.

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