EAST LANSING, MI, IA–(NU Athletics May 17) Early offense and another strong performance from the Nebraska pitching staff helped the Huskers clinch the weekend series at Michigan State with an 11-3 win against the Spartans on Friday evening at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field.

Nebraska (34-18, 16-7 Big Ten) scored 11 runs on 13 hits and an error, while Michigan State (23-27, 10-13 Big Ten) totaled three runs on six hits and two errors.

Riley Silva and Case Sanderson pieced together three hits apiece, while five Huskers tallied a multi-hit performance on Friday. Silva went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a stolen base, followed by Sanderson’s three hits and three RBI. Josh Caron and Dylan Carey each had two hits and a home run, while Cayden Brumbaugh recorded a pair of hits and two runs.

Mason McConnaughey improved to 7-3 on the season after allowing three runs, two earned, across five hits in 5.2 innings. The sophomore struck out five Spartans and issued just one walk. Jalen Worthley pitched 1.1 scoreless innings in relief, while Casey Daiss tossed a shutout eighth inning.  Kyle Froehlich shut down the Spartans in the ninth to conclude the action for the NU pitching staff.

The Husker offense needed just one inning to get on the board with a pair of runs behind two hits in the opening frame. Brumbaugh led off the game with a first-pitch single through the right side and swiped second for his 12th stolen base of the season.

Caron broke the scoreless tie with a towering 432-foot moonshot beyond the trees in left field to give the Big Red a 2-0 advantage.

McConnaughey shut down the Spartans in the first, before Nebraska tacked on three more runs on three hits in the second to grow the lead to five. Cole Evans drew full-count walk, and Silva singled to right to put runners on first and second. Brumbaugh brought home the Big Red’s first run in the inning with an RBI single to right, scoring Evans from second.

Silva plated Nebraska’s second run in the frame on a wild pitch, while Sanderson’s RBI single to shallow left-center scored Brumbaugh from second to build the lead to 5-0.

McConnaughey worked around a walk and single with one out in the second, inducing a 6-4-3 double play to preserve the five-run lead in the bottom of the second.

A Michigan State error, walk and bunt single by Carey loaded the bases for the Huskers in the top of the third. Michigan State’s Joseph Dzierwa escaped the damage with a strikeout, followed by a double play to keep the Huskers’ lead at five.

A two-out double in the bottom of the sixth off the extended wall in right field snapped a streak of 12 consecutive retired batters for McConnaughey. Three consecutive singles after the double brought Michigan State within 5-3 after six innings.

The Huskers blew the game open in the top of the eighth, erupting for four runs on two hits and an error. Walks to Carey and Evans, followed by an infield single on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Silva had the bases loaded with no outs for the Big Red.

Overbeek kept it going for the Huskers, lacing a 1-1 pitch for what appeared to be an RBI single off the top of the glove of the leaping MSU infielder trying to make a full-extension catch, but the play was scored an error that brought home Carey.

Sanderson ripped a 3-2 pitch to right for a two-RBI single, while a sacrifice fly to center from Ben Columbus gave the Huskers a 9-3 lead in the eighth.

Carey began the ninth by lifting a first-pitch solo homer over the wall in left to plate Nebraska’s 10th run of the night. A one-out single and a steal of second by Silva set up Overbeek’s RBI double to the hill in right field, allowing Silva to come home and stretch the lead to 11-3.

Nebraska and Michigan State conclude the weekend series tomorrow at 11:02 a.m. CT at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field in East Lansing, Mich. Sunday’s series finale can be seen on Big Ten Network, while fans can listen to Ben McLaughlin call the action on the Huskers Radio Network.

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