Evanston, IL-(NU ATHLETICS MAR 29) Brett Sears recorded his sixth straight quality start with seven strong innings, as Nebraska took the weekend opener over Northwestern with a 5-2 win on Friday afternoon at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park.

It marked the Huskers’ eighth straight victory, which is tied for the third-longest win streak across the last 10 seasons and the longest since 2021.

Nebraska (18-5) scored five runs on eight hits and two errors, while Northwestern (10-13) totaled two runs on eight hits.

Sears earned his fifth win of the season, tossing seven frames while allowing six hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. It was Sears’ sixth consecutive quality start, which is tied for the longest streak by a Husker hurler since Matt Waldron recorded six straight in 2019.

Evan Borst walked his only batter faced out of the bullpen, while Kyle Perry threw a season-high 1.1 innings and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning. Rans Sanders got the final two outs to secure his second save of the season.

Will Walsh led the Big Red at the plate, going 1-for-2 with a two-run blast in the second inning. Riley Silva finished 2-for-4 on a pair of singles and stole his 15th base of the season. Cole Evans drove in two runs for the Huskers, while Josh Caron and Cayden Brumbaugh added a hit apiece.

Northwestern struck first in the opening frame off Sears, launching a solo home run to right field to bring an end to the right-hander’s 15.1 inning scoreless streak. It also snapped NU’s scoreless starter streak at 23.2 consecutive innings.

The Huskers responded in the second inning, starting with a one-out single from Anglim through the right side. Walsh followed suit, smashing his fourth long ball in just his 16th at-bat of the season over the left field fence to give Nebraska a 2-1 lead.

In the third inning, the Wildcats continued to apply pressure leading off with a single and a hit-by-pitch. Northwestern’s Bennett Markinson followed it up with an RBI single into right field to even the game at two after three frames.

Both teams went quietly in the fourth, before Joshua Overbeek reached to begin the fifth on a hit-by-pitch. Overbeek stole second and moved to third after Brumbaugh singled to put runners on the corners for the Big Red. A Silva groundout neutralized the Husker threat and kept the game tied.

After a rocky first two innings on the mound, Sears settled in and retired 12 straight Wildcat batters to keep the game tied at two after six innings.

Nebraska finally broke through in the seventh inning, as a full-count walk by Sanderson and single from Silva put runners on the corners. Silva stole second base, paving the way for Evans’ RBI sacrifice fly to right field to plate Sanderson and put the Big Red ahead 3-2.

Caron then singled to the shortstop to drive in Silva and double the lead, recording his team-leading 27th RBI of the season.

Sears began the eighth inning by issuing a walk and hitting the next batter, drawing on Borst who entered the game with runners on first and second and no outs. The right-hander walked the only Wildcat he faced to load the bases for Perry.

The southpaw forced a flyout and two straight groundouts to escape the bases-loaded jam and keep the Huskers in front 4-2. For Perry, it marked his ninth scoreless appearance of the season and fourth straight outing without allowing a run.

The Huskers tacked on another run in the top half of the ninth frame to make it 5-2 with Nebraska ahead. Rhett Stokes singled to begin the frame and scored after Evans’ single to third base bounced off the bag and trickled into left field.

Perry came back out for the bottom half, pegging the leadoff man and walking the next before forcing a flyout to end his day. Sanders allowed a single to load the bases, but set down the final two Wildcats to secure the Huskers’ 18th win of the season.

Nebraska and Northwestern continue the weekend series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park. Saturday’s matchup can be seen on B1G+, while fans can listen to Greg Sharpe and Ben McLaughlin call the action on the Huskers Radio Network.