Long ball powers Huskers to series win over Minnesota
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska clinched the series over Minnesota with an 11-5 win vs. the Golden Gophers on Sunday afternoon at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park.
With 36 runs on the weekend, the Huskers scored 30-plus runs in a three-game Big Ten series for the eighth time. Nebraska scored its second-highest total, falling three runs short of the 39 scored vs. Purdue in 2019.
The Huskers (24-16-1, 9-6 Big Ten) scored 11 runs on nine hits and an error, while the Gophers (12-30, 5-10 Big Ten) had five runs on nine hits and three errors.
Will Walsh allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings of work to record his second quality start in five starts. Walsh moved to 3-2 on the season while striking out five and walking one. Corbin Hawkins pitched two innings, surrendering an unearned run on one hit. Jalen Worthley tossed the ninth for the Huskers and gave up one run on one hit and a walk.
Cole Evans was 2-for-4 with a double, home run, three RBI and a run. Gabe Swansen was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs while smacking his 13th homer of the season. Josh Caron recorded a two-hit game, while Max Anderson had a 1-for-4 afternoon with a home run, three RBI and a pair of runs. Casey Burnham and Charlie Fischer tallied one hit each.
Burnham moved into a tie for 10th in program history after being hit by pitch twice on Sunday, moving his season total to 17. Despite an 0-for-4 day, Brice Matthews extended his on-base streak to 44 games after being hit by pitch in the fourth inning.
Nebraska manufactured its first run of the game without a hit in the first inning. Anderson reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on the wild throw of the attempt at a double play. Swansen reached on a two-out fielding error by the Minnesota third baseman to put runners on first and third, before a wild pitch plated Anderson to break the game’s scoreless tie.
Walsh kept the Gophers scoreless through the fourth after working around a single in the third and doubles in the second and fourth innings.
The Huskers blew the game open with eight runs on five hits and an error in the bottom of the fourth to expand the lead to 9-0. A hit batter and two walks loaded the bases, before a passed ball allowed Swansen to jog on home. Caron followed with an RBI single to center, setting up Evans’ three-run homer down the left-field line to grow the lead to six.
Matthews reached on a hit by pitch and came around to score after the Gophers’ right-fielder misplayed Burnham’s single. Burnham swiped second and scored on Anderson’s sacrifice fly to center to make it 7-0. Swansen capped the fourth-inning scoring with a 396-foot solo homer that cleared the Minnesota bullpen in right.
Walsh followed the offensive outburst by retiring the side in the top of the fifth to maintain the 9-0 lead for the Big Red.
Minnesota plated three runs on two hits in the sixth to bring the Gophers within 9-3. A one-out triple to the wall in right-center set up a sacrifice fly by Jake Perry that scored Minnesota’s first run. Kris Hokenson lined a two-run homer down the right-field line to score the Gophers’ second and third runs of the game.
A two-out fielding error and a wild pitch preceded Hokenson’s RBI single to left, trimming the Husker lead to 9-4.
Burnham was plunked a second time with two outs in the eighth, before Anderson drilled a 438-foot two-run homer that nearly cleared the batter’s eye in center.
A sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth scored Minnesota’s fifth and final run of the game, as the Huskers clinched the series with an 11-5 victory on Sunday.
Nebraska welcomes North Dakota State to Hawks Field at Haymarket Park on Wednesday, May 3. First pitch between the Huskers and Bison is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
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