Nebraska baseball went 2-1 at the Cambria College Classic, highlighted by a victory over No. 7 Vanderbilt.
The Huskers ended the event with a blowout loss against No. 4 Ole Miss, but the two wins had already made it a successful trip. Friday’s victory over the Commodores marked Nebraska’s first regular-season triumph against a top-10 opponent since 2019.
Nebraska trailed 3-1 in that contest before scoring the final four runs and coming away with a 5-3 win.
“I thought our guys did a great job of staying in the fight,” head coach Will Bolt said on Husker Radio Network after Friday’s game. “I think we felt like we had outplayed them at the beginning of the game and we weren’t winning on the scoreboard and that didn’t change the way we went about our business.”
Vanderbilt put two runners on base in both of the first two innings, but Nebraska starting pitcher Emmett Olson held off any scoring. The Huskers then struck first in the bottom of the second inning, as Griffin Everitt hit an RBI double. They loaded the bases after that, and continued to put runners in scoring position in the following innings, but still had just one run heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Meanwhile, the Commodores took the lead strictly from home runs. They hit two solo shots in the fourth inning, then added one more in the sixth. Those accounted for three of their five hits in the game, and all of their scoring.
Nebraska bounced back quickly in the bottom of the sixth. Vanderbilt made a pitching change after Carter Holton hit Garrett Anglim to lead off the frame, and it didn’t pay off. Anglim stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored soon after thanks to an RBI double from Casey Burnham. Charlie Fischer — who reached on an eight-pitch walk and got to third on Burnham’s hit — recorded the tying run on a passed ball.
Shay Schanaman’s took Olson’s place on the mound starting in the seventh inning and shut Vanderbilt down, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced. That opened an opportunity for the Huskers to take the lead back, and that’s what they did in the bottom of the eighth. The Commodores made another pitching change, and Anglim sent Thomas Schultz’s third pitch over the left field wall.
Back-to-back doubles from Burnham and Matthews made it 5-3 before the inning ended, and Schanaman closed the door without allowing a baserunner in the ninth inning.
Nebraska’s game against Hawaii had much less tension down the stretch. The Rainbow Warriors ended up beating the two other Big Ten teams they faced in the event, but trailed 10-0 against the Huskers before losing 12-3.
The first runs came in the fourth inning, where Gabe Swansen hit a two-run double. Things didn’t get out of hand until the top of the sixth, however. Nebraska loaded the bases with one out, then hit three singles in a row and took advantage of a failed pickoff attempt to score five runs in the frame. It was smooth sailing from there, as Jace Kaminska’s six scoreless innings pitched helped build the cushion.
Swansen finished with three hits and four RBI in the game, including a two-run home run. Nebraska
No. 4 Ole Miss clinched its spot as the undefeated winner of the event Sunday. The outcome was not in doubt for most of the game after the Rebels opened with an eight-run first inning. Freshman Caleb Clark struggled once again, allowing five hits, hitting two batters and walking another. He left the mound with the bases loaded and Nebraska down 5-0, then Michael Garza gave up a bases-clearing double to the first batter he faced.
Garza finished with no earned runs in 3.1 innings pitched, a strong outing that allowed Nebraska to cut its deficit to 8-4 in the top of the fifth inning. The rest of the bullpen wasn’t quite as successful, however, as the Rebels scored in every inning after the fourth. The Husker offense only added one more run as well.
Nebraska returns to Lincoln with a 5-4-1 overall record and a win over a top-10 opponent. The Huskers will be in their home state for the rest of the month, with 14 home games and a matchup against Creighton in Omaha.
“Don’t know how the schedule is going to turn out with the weather. We know it’s going to be cold, we know it’s not going to be ideal. We know we’re going to have a chance to play on our home field, probably earlier in the week at least,” Bolt said Sunday. “So we’re going to be ready to play. We’re excited to play in front of our fans and play our brand of baseball.”