The Iowa Hawkeyes took two out of three games from the Nebraska Cornhuskers this weekend, dropping the Huskers’ record to 17-25 overall and 5-9 against Big Ten teams.
Iowa picked up a 1-0 win Friday night, but the two teams were weathered out on Saturday, which meant a doubleheader on Sunday at Haymarket Park. Nebraska won the first game on Sunday 12-1 in seven innings, but fell 5-3 in 10 innings in the backend.
“My message to the team was, they gave each other everything they had. That’s all we’re ever going to ask,” Nebraska head coach Will Bolt said after the game. “Play a certain brand of baseball, compete a certain way, don’t back down, don’t ask questions, don’t make excuses, just go compete as hard as you can. I have no qualms about nothing how this week went down with this team. I think there’s a lot more wins coming if we keep doing that and staying in that same mindset.
“You see it’s in there. We have to have some big performances from some guys down the stretch, but I feel pretty good about the mental headspace we’re in.”
Game two: Iowa 5, Nebraska 3
Iowa’s first three runs came via the longball. In the first inning, Keaton Anthony put a charge into a pitch for a two-out solo home run to right-center to give the Hawkeyes a 1-0 lead. The advantage didn’t last long as the Huskers tied the game at 1 when Cam Chick, who led off the first with a single, scored from second thanks to an error in center field following a single off the bat of Garrett Anglim.
Peyton Williams then gave the Hawkeyes a 3-1 edge in the third, and in a powerful way. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound first baseman launched a two-run home run to right-center off Husker starter Koty Frank to put Iowa on top 3-1. It was Williams’ team-high 10th home run of the season, and it traveled 487 feet.
With Iowa starter Ty Langenberg out of the game in the sixth, the Husker bats took advantage against reliever Dylan Nedved. Singles from Griffin Everitt, Max Anderson and Brice Matthews loaded the bases with one out. Nedved continued to have issues and wound up walking Core Jackson, which cut the Husker deficit to 3-2. Then Gabe Swansen did his job, plating the game-tying run after reaching on a fielder’s choice to second.
Iowa had a runner on third with two outs in the ninth, but Bragg forced a deep fly ball to center to end the threat. Then in the tenth, Iowa loaded the bases with no outs as Bragg started to lose his command. Anthony plated one run with a sacrifice fly to center to give the Hawkeyes a 4-3 lead. Then with Tyler Martin on the mound in relief, Izaya Fullard hit an RBI single to left to put the Hawkeyes up 5-3.
Nebraska couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the tenth. Chick led off the inning with a single, but a strikeout and double-play ball ended the threat.
Braxton Bragg tossed 5.1 innings of relief and allowed just four hits and two runs while striking out six batters.
Frank gave his team four innings on the mound. The right-hander from Tushka, Oklahoma, allowed three runs and four hits while striking out seven and walking two.
Nebraska was outhit 9-7 in the loss. Chick went 3-of-4 at the plate.
Nebraska 12, Iowa 1 (7 inn.)
Nebraska got things rolling right away against Iowa in the first game to tie the series at one game apiece. The Husker offense outhit the Hawkeyes 10-4 and had a team batting average of .370 while going 10-of-27 at the plate. The Hawkeyes hit just .160 as a team, going 4-of-25.
The Huskers jumped the Hawkeyes early, scoring four runs in the first inning, two in the second and a whopping six in the third. During that stretch, Big Red smacked four home runs, three of which were off Iowa starter Connor Schultz, who came into the game with an earned-run average of 1.97.
Anglim was the story of the game. The redshirt freshman from Papillion-La Vista entered Sunday without a home run, but he smoked three in his first three at-bats to become the first Husker to do that since Dan Johnson against Southern Utah in 2001. Anglim’s third homer, a two-run shot in the bottom of the third, put the Huskers ahead 11-1.
In the first, Anglim hit his first longball of the season, a 431-foot shot to the left-center gap. He would later hit his second homer in the second frame, a two-out, two-run shot to give his team a 6-0 advantage. Anglim became the first Husker since his teammate, Leighton Banjoff, to homer in consecutive at-bats. Banjoff did it against Arizona State in 2020.
After Anglim’s homer in the first Matthews got in on the fun, stepping to the plate and blasting a two-out, three-run homer, his sixth of the season, to give Nebraska a 4-0 advantage.
The third inning was eventful, more so for the hosts.
Iowa got on the board in the top of the inning with a leadoff solo home run from Sam Petersen, but Schultz had trouble finding the strike zone in the bottom half and loaded the bases with one out. The Hawkeyes went to the bullpen to bring in reliever Jacob Henderson, but the change didn’t affect Efry Cervantes and Chick. Cervantes knocked in two runs with a single while Chick connected on an RBI single as well.
After Anglim’s third homer of the day, Matthews recorded an RBI walk with the bases loaded to give Big Red a 12-1 edge.
Anglim went 3-of-4 with a team-high five RBIs while Max Anderson was 2-of-4. Matthews finished with four RBIs.
While the offense found a groove, so did Emmett Olson on the mound. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder from Des Plaines, Illinois, threw all seven innings and gave up just one run and four hits while striking out seven batters.
Next up for the Huskers is a three-game series at Minnesota starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.