Nebraska Baseball vs. NMSU 3.15 Photo No. 1

Nebraska’s Brice Matthews (14) takes off for first in the game against New Mexico State University at Hawks Field in Haymarket Park on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nebraska baseball had its best performance of the season on Sunday, crushing Ohio State 17-5 in the series finale. The 17 runs are a season-high for the team, and eclipse the Huskers’ total runs from the first two games of the series.

The Husker bats were so dominant that Ohio State cycled through nine pitchers in the blowout loss.

Leading the charge for Nebraska was sophomore shortstop and leadoff hitter Brice Matthews. Matthews hit safely on three of his five at-bats, and drove in two runs. Junior center fielder Luke Sartori also had an excellent day, driving in four runs on his two hits. 

Despite the dominant victory, Nebraska trailed after the first inning. The Huskers put two first inning runs on the board with junior right fielder Nick Wimmers delivering a sharply hit ground ball single with the bases loaded. 

In the bottom of the first, Ohio State answered with three runs of its own. Freshman first baseman Tyler Pettorini drove in a run on his only hit of the day. An ensuing single and a groundout put runners on second and third for senior third baseman Colton Bauer’s single to send them home. However, Bauer’s baserunning was too ambitious and he was thrown out at second to end the inning. 

After falling behind 3-2, the next eight runs would all belong to Nebraska. Sophomore first baseman Jack Steil was walked to open the fourth inning, and reached third after a sacrifice bunt and a balk. Matthews’ groundout plated Steil, and the Huskers knotted the game at three. 

Although the Huskers were down to two outs, the offense continued, with two more of Nebraska’s 13 two-out RBIs happening in the fourth. Senior left fielder Cam Chick walked, and junior third baseman Max Anderson singled to put a runner in scoring position. Senior catcher Griffin Everitt then cleared the bases with a bloop double to right field, giving Nebraska a 5-3 lead. 

Nebraska added two more two-out RBIs in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and second, Matthews’ single drove in a run, and Chick’s slap single to left field plated another.

Heading into the seventh, the Huskers had a 7-3 lead, and scored three in the inning to reach 10 runs for the second consecutive game. Anderson drove in the first run of the frame on a bases-loaded groundout. 

With Nebraska again down to two outs and runners on second and third, freshman right fielder Garrett Anglim hit a double into the left field corner to give the Huskers a seven-run cushion. 

Ohio State inched closer in the bottom of the eighth, with freshman left fielder Trey Lipsey hitting a two-run homer to cut the lead to 10-5. 

However, any hopes of a late rally were dashed with Nebraska’s seven-run ninth. Matthews led the inning off with a single, and advanced to third on a steal and throwing error. Chick then drew a walk for the fifth time in the game. 

After an Anderson single drove home Matthews, and Chick scored on a fielder’s choice, Ohio State changed pitchers for the second of three times in the frame. The new arm did not slow down the Husker bats, as they loaded the bases for Sartori’s exclamation point grand slam. 

The win gave Nebraska its first three-game series sweep of the 2022 season. Nebraska returns to action on the road against Omaha at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

sports@dailynebraskan.com