OMAHA–(NU Athletics May 9)–Nebraska concluded its series against Creighton with a 7-4 win on Tuesday night at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha.
Nebraska (26-20-1) scored seven runs on 11 hits, while Creighton (23-19) had four runs on 11 hits and an error.
Michael Garza pitched one inning in the start for the Huskers, allowing three runs on five hits. Kyle Perry improved to 1-1 on the season after allowing one run on two hits in 4.1 innings. Perry walked three and struck out four. Corbin Hawkins earned his first save after tossing 3.2 shutout innings. Hawkins struck out two and worked around four hits in the outing.
Brice Matthews went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a run. Max Anderson was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI, and Ben Columbus had a 2-for-4 night with two doubles, an RBI and a run. Casey Burnham scored a team-high two runs and had two hits, while Gabe Swansen, Efry Cervantes and Griffin Everitt collected one hit each.
Matthews began the game with a no-doubt 384-foot solo homer to left to give the Huskers the 1-0 lead in the first.
A leadoff double by Nolan Sailors, followed by a one-out RBI double to left-center by Sterling Hayes tied the game at one. Tyler Lozano’s RBI single up the middle in the next at-bat gave the Bluejays a 2-1 advantage through the opening frame.
Everitt opened the second with a single up the middle, and Columbus drew a walk to place runners on first and second with no outs. The Big Red had runners on first and third with two outs after Luke Sartori drew a walk on full count following a double play turned by the Bluejays. Matthews lined an RBI single off the CU pitcher to plate Everitt and tie the game at two.
Creighton responded immediately in the next half inning with Hogan Helligso’s solo home run to left that gave the Bluejays a 3-2 lead.
The two teams traded scoreless innings in the third and fourth before the Huskers locked the game at three with an RBI groundout by Cervantes. Burnham led off the inning with a single, and Swansen drew a four-pitch walk before the pair advanced to second and third on a wild pitch to set up the RBI groundout from Cervantes.
Nebraska jumped ahead 6-3 behind three runs on two hits and a CU error in the sixth. Columbus doubled to the gap in left-center to open the inning, while Dylan Carey’s sacrifice bunt attempt plated Columbus after the CU pitcher airmailed the throw to first down the right-field line. The Huskers tacked on two more runs with Anderson’s two-RBI double off the wall in left-center.
The Bluejays loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a single, followed by Sailors being hit by pitch to bring Creighton within 6-4 with three innings to go.
Cervantes led off the seventh with a first-pitch single to right, setting up Columbus’ RBI double to left-center to grow the lead to 7-4 for the Huskers.
CU opened the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second with no outs. In the next at-bat, Carey took the groundball, stepped on third and fired to second for the first two outs. Anderson threw the ball from second to first in an attempt at a triple play, but the ball ricocheted off Cervantes towards the NU dugout. Cervantes tracked down the ball and threw a dart back to Anderson to tag out the runner trying to advance to second for the third out on the play, which was scored a double play and a fielder’s choice.
The two teams combined for scoreless final two innings to clinch the 7-4 road win for the Huskers.
Nebraska returns to Big Ten play this weekend, as the Huskers welcome Penn State to Hawks Field at Haymarket Park. First pitch of the series opener on Friday night is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.