Nebraska infielder Max Anderson runs to first base after hit
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Drop Season-Opening Series to Sam Houston, 3-1

February 20, 2022

It wasn’t the opening series that Nebraska baseball wanted as the Huskers leave Huntsville, Texas, with a 1-3 record following their 6-3 loss to the Sam Houston Bearkats on Sunday. Not much of the weekend went as planned, with Nebraska dropping the season-opener on Friday 8-5. The Huskers then split Saturday’s doubleheader—their first win of the season came Saturday night, 12-9—but were unable to capitalize on any momentum heading into Sunday.

Junior right-hander Braxton Bragg got the start for the Huskers on the mound on Sunday afternoon, but struggled from the get-go. He gave up two runs in the first inning and failed to record an out in the second, allowing the Bearkats to score four more times.

Nebraska—whose offense struggled much of the weekend—wouldn’t score until the eighth inning, when junior Colby Gomes singled to right field and brought in Luke Jesson to put the Huskers on the board.

Sophomore Brice Matthews followed that up with a sac fly that brought in Max Anderson and Josh Caron added an RBI single, making it a 6-3 ballgame. Caron went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a walk, while Jessen went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and run scored. Griffin Everitt tallied a pair of singles, while Gomes, Max Anderson and Cam Chick also recorded a hit for the Huskers.

Caron received a shoutout from D1Baseball’s Kendall Rogers for his contribution on Sunday.

While Nebraska’s bullpen was able to hold the Bearkats to just two hits after the second inning, the Huskers’ offense couldn’t overcome Sam Houston’s lead. The Huskers went down in order in the top of the ninth, ultimately securing the series win for the Bearkats.

Nebraska’s starting pitchers (12.19 ERA) struggled over the the weekend, combining to allow 19 hits and eight walks across 10 1/3 innings. No starting pitcher for Nebraska lasted more than four innings throughout the weekend.

Emmett Olson made his second appearance for Nebraska on the mound for the weekend, dealing a career-high 3.2 innings. He struck out three Sam Houston hitters, allowing two runs on four hits. Jaxon Jelkin made his Husker debut on Sunday, throwing for 0.2 innings. He was followed by Tyler Martin, who recorded two outs. Jackson Brocket also made his Nebraska debut, putting one inning in relief, and Ethan Bradford pitched the final inning.

As for the Husker defense, they were challenged by the Bearkats too, making seven total errors over the four games. On offense, the hitters struck out 43 times and drew only 10 walks.

Coach Will Bolt said Nebraska didn’t do much well throughout the weekend in Texas during his post-game radio interview.

“We’ve got to get a lot better,” Bolt said. “We’ve got to be better in every facet of the game. As coaches, we’ve got to try to put the team in the best position to succeed too. I’ve been part of some teams at Nebraska that haven’t started so great to start the year.

“One weekend is not going to define the season unless we let it.”

The Huskers—who were recently picked to win the Big Ten Conference by league coaches—will have an opportunity to bounce back next weekend against the 2021 Big 12 regular-season and tournament champions (as well as currently top-25 ranked) TCU. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT in Arlington, Texas, on Friday.

 

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