s-BaseballBYU2

Nebraska’s Luke Sartori (21) bunts during the game against BYU at Hawks Field Park on Thursday, April 14, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nebraska baseball’s pitching had its finest outing of the season in its 1-0 victory Thursday, allowing just one hit to the BYU offense.

The Huskers’ starter, senior pitcher Koty Frank returned to the rotation in a big way after missing last weekend. Frank threw 6.2 scoreless innings, striking out seven and taking his no-hitter into the top of the seventh.

"I reflected back on some previous outings and realized I was almost pitching a bit conservative," Frank said postgame. "So tonight my big emphasis was just let it rip pitch-to-pitch."

Frank’s confidence, particularly in his fastball and change-up, were crucial in preserving the Husker lead, particularly because BYU’s pitching was just as strong.

BYU sophomore pitcher Jack Sterner remained hitless heading into the seventh inning, and only had one baserunner due to a walk in the fifth inning.

"I love it. I'm a competer, so I always love being in a big dogfight," Frank said. "Their dude also has a no-hitter going so it's like, alright 'let's go, let's throw down.'"

Frank’s no-hit bid was not without its threats, particularly on a scorching grounder from junior third baseman Austin Deming in the fifth inning. The ball zipped towards sophomore third baseman Max Anderson, who made a spectacular diving stop and hurled it to first just in time for the out.

"That was incredible," Frank said. "I just told him the whole time the ball was going around the field 'great play'. [I] came to the dugout and saw him sitting there and gave him a hug."

However, with two outs in the seventh, junior first baseman Jacob Wilk put the first positive number in the hit column for either team. Wilk’s ground ball found the gap in the defensive shift and Frank was then pulled for senior pitcher Tyler Martin.

Martin hit the first batter he saw, but held his composure afterward, exiting the inning on a groundout and tossing a perfect eighth.

In the bottom of the seventh, Nebraska instantly got its first hit on the board. Freshman right fielder Garrett Anglim nearly had a leadoff home run, but it drifted foul by a few feet. Anglim then stood tough, and notched a ground ball hit to right field.

However, the scoring chance took a significant hit, as Anderson grounded into a double play in the ensuing at bat.

With two outs and Sterner on the ropes, senior catcher Griffin Everitt placed a double perfectly near the foul line in right field, keeping hopes alive. Junior designated hitter Nick Wimmers instantly cashed in the run on a single, giving the Huskers a 1-0 lead.

"The way that inning went, we finally break through with a hit and then we roll into a double play the very next pitch, you could just go away," Nebraska manager Will Bolt said postgame. "Griff hit the double which was obviously huge, and Wimmers made some adjustments, he didn't just put the ball in play, he was ready to hit."

Junior closing pitcher Braxton Bragg secured the victory, retiring the final three batters consecutively to close out the game.

The win was Nebraska’s first time holding an opponent to just one hit since 2019 against Baylor.

Nebraska’s victory over BYU was its first win against a team with a winning record since its 13-9 defeat of Michigan on March 25.

"I'd like to say that it'd get us a spark and get us going," Wimmers said postgame. "Obviously we've had our lows hitting-wise, but there's been plenty of moments this year where we can take something and run with it. It's not how you start, it's how you finish."

Nebraska returns on Friday with a doubleheader against BYU starting at 2:00 p.m.

sports@dailynebraskan.com