Photo Credit: Eric Francis

‘They Dominated Us’: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Routs Huskers, Wins Series

March 20, 2022

The weather was quite good on Sunday in Lincoln—sunny and 75 degrees with a breeze.

That’s about the only positive that the Husker faithful enjoyed during Nebraska’s 21-4 loss to the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders in the rubber match of a three-game series at Haymarket Park. The 17-run loss was the worst since 2008 when the Huskers were defeated 19-2 at Oklahoma State. It was also the worst home loss since 1992 when Creighton won by 18 with a score of 19-1.

After posting a career-high 10 strikeouts in last Tuesday’s win over New Mexico State, Dawson McCarville didn’t have the same stuff in Sunday’s outing against Corpus Christi. The right-handed transfer from Grand Canyon lasted just two innings and gave up seven hits and seven earned runs with a walk and a hit batter.

The Islanders jumped the Huskers early, holding leads of 3-0 after the first inning, 4-0 after two and 9-0 after three.

“It’s all mindset, that’s all it is,” Nebraska head coach Will Bolt said after the game. “We were chasing nine runs before the game even started. Obviously McCarville is on short rest, we were short in the pen today, but it comes down to mindset and finding a way to move the line offensively.”

When asked if Bolt has ever been a part of a game like Sunday’s in his career, the third-year coach kept his answer short and sweet.

“No, never. Nope,” he said.

In Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Islanders, pitcher Shay Schanaman went 6.2 innings and the Huskers used four total arms. Sunday, they used seven, including McCarville, Jackson Brockett, Mason Ornelas, Corbin Hawkins, CJ Hood, Drew Christo and Quinn Mason. Hood, Christo and Mason each pitched an inning and didn’t give up an earned run. Hood, a freshman 6-foot-4 righty from nearby Norris High School, struck out three batters in the seventh. Christo, a freshman from Elkhorn High School, struck out two.

“Shay gave us a great start on short rest yesterday, and McCarville obviously wasn’t fooling anybody from the get-go after a great outing earlier this week, and they were all over him,” Bolt said. “We just didn’t really have anybody, we knew we were stretched thin, so we knew we couldn’t just go to the pen super early today or we were going to run out of pitchers. So credit to Corpus Christi, they dominated us in every area.”

Corpus Christi racked up 23 hits, which beats the 22 that UConn recorded against the Huskers in an elimination game at the Oklahoma City regional in 2019. The Islanders scored at least one run in seven of the nine innings and it only took them until the third to reach 10 hits. Corpus Christi blasted five home runs for the game and eight of the 11 players that saw an at-bat had two or more RBIs.

Nebraska managed as many hits as it had errors in the game—that’d be four—and left nine runners stranded. Big Red’s offense struggled against Corpus Christi starter Leo Perez, a 6-1, 240-pound righty senior from Palmview, Texas. Perez threw six innings of scoreless baseball and gave up just two hits while striking out three and walking two. Griffin Everitt’s single in the bottom of the fourth counted as Nebraska’s first hit of the contest.

“This was a bad one, probably one of the most embarrassing ones I’ve been a part of,” captain Cam Chick said. “Nothing went our way and we didn’t help ourself out when we needed to the most. Weren’t making the plays, weren’t making the hits. When we had runners on, we couldn’t get them in. Anything that could’ve went wrong did go wrong for us.”

Chick went 2-for-3 at the plate while Everitt and Brice Matthews each had one hit. Matthews’ was a double. Josh Caron had an RBI groundout while both Core Jackson and Jack Steil were hit with the bases loaded in the ninth to get an RBI.

Up next for the Huskers (8-11) is a Wednesday contest at home against South Dakota State (6-12). First pitch for the midweek game is slated for 6:35 p.m. The Big Ten season starts this weekend on Friday, March 25, with a three-game home series against Michigan.

“As a captain you just have to go out there and lead by example and lead, but all of us, from top to bottom, we just have to do a lot better than that, because that was just embarrassing,” Chick said.

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