Nebraska infielder Efry Cervantes throws to first for an out
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Takes on Kansas State Ahead of Long Homestand

March 07, 2022

Besides the one hiccup in the ninth inning of the Friday game against the University of Texas at Arlington, the Nebraska baseball team enjoyed a strong dose of doubleheader action last weekend in Texas, ending it with three wins in four games.

Nebraska (4-7) will now set its focus to its first midweek game of the season—Wednesday at Kansas State (3-7). First pitch for the game is scheduled for 4 p.m. p.m. in Manhattan, Kansas. The game was originally set for Tuesday night at 6 p.m., but was rescheduled due to travel and weather complications. The Wildcats are coming off a weekend trip in Los Angeles, where they took two out of three games from Loyola Marymount.

A win from Nebraska against Kansas State would give it a nice boost ahead of its first home series of the year, a three-game set against Long Beach State beginning on Friday. The games with Long Beach State kick off a 12-game homestand for the Huskers, who, after the series, host a two-game midweek series with New Mexico State, a three-game series with Texas A&M Corpus Christi, a midweek game against South Dakota State and a three-game series against Big Ten foe Michigan.

The Huskers travelled to Texas last weekend looking to shake things up, especially with the pitching staff. Consider it mission accomplished. Koty Frank, who began the season as a middle reliever, started the first game of Friday’s twinbill against Northwestern State. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-hander threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings—the most of any Husker starter this season—and struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing five hits and two walks.

Then Kyle Perry, who was looking for a better outing than his first two of the year, got the ball in the second game. He found what he was searching for—a quality start. Perry, a Millard South product and team captain, pitched five scoreless innings against UT Arlington, which is the longest he’s lasted in a game this season. Fans remember how the ninth inning went, however, as the host Mavericks knocked in four runs against closer Colby Gomes to earn the 4-3 come-from-behind win.

More solid outings from Shay Schanaman and Dawson McCarville followed on Saturday. Schanaman threw a complete-game shutout, the first for the Huskers since Jake Meyers did it against Western Carolina in 2017. McCarville lasted 5 2/3 innings and only gave up two earned runs, and the relief pitchers behind him—Tyler Martin and Braxton Bragg—combined to threw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball.

The Husker pitching staff will be going up against a Kansas State offense that is averaging 5.4 runs per game, but it’s good at recording extra-bag hits. The Wildcats are averaging 2.7 doubles per game, which ranks 18th nationally. Six players have three or more doubles already this season. Dominic Johnson will be one batter to watch as he’s hitting .364 with 16 hits and a team-high six doubles.

Justin Mitchell and Salinas Jr. are two more Wildcat hitters that may cause problems. Mitchell is batting .375 with 12 hits and three RBIs while Salinas Jr. owns a .367 average with 11 hits and eight RBIs.

One Husker batter that raised his résumé over the weekend was Garrett Anglim, a redshirt freshman from Papillion-La Vista. Anglim, a 6-foot, 190-pounder, went a combined 4-for-8 with one RBI on Saturday against Northwestern State and UT Arlington. Against the Mavericks, Anglim had three hits, two of which were triples.

Another player who may have found his bat again was shortstop Brice Matthews. After going a combined 1-of-15 to start the season, Matthews has regained his form and gone 7-of-21 and is riding a five-game hit streak. Efry Cervantes is also batting well. The infielder went 4-of-11 with two RBIs in the two doubleheaders and is on a four-game hit streak.

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

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