Schwellenbach Minnesota Batting

Nebraska’s Spencer Schwellenbach bats during the game against Minnesota at Haymarket Park on Sunday, March 28, 2021, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

An outstanding starting pitching performance capped off a twinbill sweep for the Huskers over two of the top teams in the Big Ten on Saturday.

In the first game against Ohio State, the Buckeyes started proceedings on the board with a two-run home run from senior infielder Connor Pohl. It foreshadowed what turned out to be a rough day on the mound for the Huskers and junior starting pitcher Shay Schanaman.

Down 2-0, the Huskers managed to get a run back starting with a leadoff walk by junior infielder Cam Chick. He scored on an error made by Buckeye junior infielder Nick Erwin who threw the ball away down the right field line to cut the lead to 2-1 in the second frame.

Senior outfielder Jaxon Hallmark led off the fifth inning with a long ball to tie the game at two, setting Nebraska up nicely down the stretch. However, the Buckeyes had different plans.

Ohio State plated three in the fifth inning after beginning the frame with four straight hits, two of them scoring runs. An RBI sacrifice fly from senior infielder Brent Todys extended the Ohio State advantage to 5-2 with no signs of letting up.

Schanaman came out to begin the sixth frame, but got hit around again with back-to-back singles leading to another RBI sacrifice fly. Husker sophomore pitcher Ethan Bradford entered in relief, walking three batters with the latter scoring a run to make it 7-2 in favor of the Buckeyes.

A costly error from Husker junior infielder Spencer Schwellenbach let two runs come home, and extended the Buckeye lead to 9-2 as the woes continued for Nebraska. The Huskers, however, refused to lay down and began a furious comeback effort in the final three innings.

With Ohio State junior pitcher Seth Lonsway out of the game after only giving up one earned run in six innings of work, Nebraska rallied to load the bases with one out against a previously stout bullpen from the Buckeyes.

A wild pitch scored Hallmark, and freshman infielder Max Anderson walked to once again load the bases with the score now 9-3. Nebraska cashed in on the Buckeye mistakes, scoring runs on a hit-by-pitch, wild pitch and an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 9-6.

Freshman infielder Brice Matthews continued his fantastic weekend delivering an RBI single to shorten the Ohio State lead to 9-7. Called upon to hold the score, Nebraska freshman pitcher Emmett Olson escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh and worked a 1-2-3 eighth frame to keep the Buckeyes at bay.

Previously 1-63 in games over the past three plus seasons when trailing entering the ninth inning, the Huskers had their work cut out for them. Down to its last chance, Nebraska sent the top of the order to the plate with hopes to extend the game.

Nebraska started things with a leadoff walk, setting the stage for the biggest swing of the game from junior infielder Griffin Everitt. He sent a two-run homer over the wall to even the game at nine and in the process nearly sealed the improbable comeback victory.

Hallmark kept the rally going with an RBI triple, followed up by an RBI single from Schwellenbach to give the Huskers their first lead of the game at 11-9. Schwellenbach was asked to close the game and retired the side in order for the Husker comeback win.

Following the victory, the Huskers took on Indiana just a day after defeating the Hoosiers 8-5. Unlike the game early in the day, Nebraska started fast getting a 2-0 lead in the second inning.

A one-out single from Hallmark set the table for Nebraska’s hottest hitter, as Schwellenbach came through once again with an RBI double. Matthews then continued his impressive weekend with a homer in the second frame for the aforementioned two run lead.

On the mound, senior pitcher Chance Hroch went to work and pitched to his strengths. The Hoosiers had a tough time elevating pitches off the sinkerball pitcher and it resulted in a poor performance from their offense.

He worked efficiently and deep into the game, getting ahead of hitters and controlling the at bats to his desire. Hroch only allowed two hits through eight frames while keeping Indiana off the board completely.

Nebraska got another insurance run in the sixth inning as senior outfielder Mojo Hagge singled with one out. Matthews once again delivered with an RBI triple to push the Husker lead to 3-0.

Nebraska baseball head coach Will Bolt let Hroch work for his complete game in the ninth inning, even though he’d thrown 113 pitches already. He quickly set down the first two Hoosier batters and was in prime position for a complete-game shutout.

However, sophomore outfielder Grant Richardson put the first run on the board for Indiana on a home run to center field to make it 3-1. Hroch responded, getting the final out of the game on a groundout to third to complete his first career complete game.

With the sweep of the day, Nebraska improves to 28-11 and extends its lead over Michigan to 2.5 games within the conference. Four games remain for the Huskers as they meet the Wolverines next weekend in a three-game series.

Before that, the Huskers will finish their time in Bloomington, Indiana Sunday with a game against Ohio State at noon on BTN.

sports@dailynebraskan.com