The Huskers’ pitching—outside of the disastrous ninth inning against University of Texas at Arlington on Friday—continued to be strong Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader in Arlington, Texas.
In the first half of the doubleheader on Friday, it was Koty Frank striking out a career-high 10 batters along the way to a 2-0 win. Then in the back half against the host Mavericks, Kyle Perry threw five scoreless innings—his longest of the season—before UT Arlington scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to earn the come-from-behind win.
On Saturday morning, it was Shay Schanaman’s turn.
The 6-foot, 195-pound right-hander from Grand Island, Nebraska, threw a complete-game shutout, the first of his career and the first for Nebraska since Jake Meyers did it against Western Carolina in 2017. Schanaman’s final line: 9 innings, 8 Ks, 1 BB and 3 hits on 95 pitches.
Schanaman has been one piece of a starting rotation that has largely disappointed prior to this weekend’s doubleheaders. In his first two starts, he had a 10.15 earned-run average. But on Saturday, Schanaman turned things around. By the top of the fifth, that ERA was lowered to 5.22. It sits at 3.76 after his win.
With Schanaman doing his thing on the mound, the Husker offense gave him run support, which meant a largely drama-free final couple innings. Nebraska racked up eight singles in the win and only struck out twice, with Leighton Banjoff leading the way with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate while scoring a team-high two runs.
Garrett Anglim, a redshirt freshman from Papillion La-Vista, got Nebraska on the board first in the bottom of the second with a two-out RBI single that scored Banjoff, who singled.
The fifth inning is where Nebraska extended its lead by scoring three runs. Luke Jessen, a freshman from Elkhorn South, hit an RBI single to left field with runners on the corners. Nebraska picked up two runs on Jessen’s hit, as an error by the Demons’ defense led Efry Cervantes to score from first. Jessen later scored from third on a wild pitch.
A couple sacrifice flies later in the game added to the Huskers’ total, too. In the sixth, Core Jackson, the Huskers’ freshman from Canada, lobbed a fly ball to left field that scored Banjoff. Then in the eighth, Jack Steil, a sophomore, put enough on a ball to right that allowed Griffin Everitt to head home safely.
Big Red will look to get revenge on UT Arlington after the way Friday’s game ended. First pitch for that game was originally scheduled for 3 p.m., but was moved up 15 minutes to 2:45 p.m.
The win over Northwestern State improves Nebraska’s record to 3-7 while Northwestern State drops to 3-7.
Nebraska never trailed in the second game of its Saturday doubleheader, beating Texas-Arlington 8-2 behind 5.2 innings from Dawson McCarville. The Huskers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third and added another run in the fifth on Giffin Everitt’s second RBI of the day. The Mavericks got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, ending McCarville’s outing. He would earn the win, scattering five hits and allowing two earned runs.
Unlike yesterday’s loss, the Huskers avoided any late-inning drama by adding four runs in the top of the ninth. The win gave Nebraska a 3-1 record on the weekend. The Huskers next take the field Tuesday, March 8, in Manhattan, Kansas, against Kansas State before making their home debut Friday afternoon at Haymarket Park.