Huskers route Wildcats in series opener, 12-2
Cade Povich tossed 7.0 shutout innings and the Husker offense pounded out 16 hits, including three-hit performances from Griffin Everitt, Brice Matthews and Max Anderson.
Lincoln (Nebraska Athletics) – The Nebraska baseball team (24-11) retook first place in the Big Ten standings with a 12-2 series-opening win over the Northwestern Wildcats on (12-17) on Friday night at Hawks Field. Cade Povich tossed 7.0 shutout innings and the Husker offense pounded out 16 hits, including three-hit performances from Griffin Everitt, Brice Matthews and Max Anderson.
The Indiana Hoosiers entered the day in first place, but dropped its series opener at Michigan to fall to 23-11 on the year, while the Wolverines are also 0.5 game out of first place with a 24-12 record.
Povich was dominant in his 7.0 innings on the mound, as the lefty allowed just two hits and didn’t walk a batter, while striking out five. The junior from Bellevue faced more than the minimum in an inning just once when he stranded a two out double in the fourth. Povich gave up a two-out single in the fifth, but then picked off the runner, and also erased a leadoff runner in the sixth with a pickoff after he reached on Nebraska’s lone error of the night.
Everitt went 3-for-4, recorded a career-high four RBIs and scored three runs from the nine-hole. The junior catcher notched hits in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, including his second home run of the season in the seventh.
Matthews added his first three-hit game as a Husker, including a pair of doubles, and Anderson continued his stellar freshman season with his ninth game of the year with three or more hits.
Northwestern starter Mike Doherty limited the Huskers to one run on three hits through 4.0 innings before he was touched up for seven runs on seven hits over the fifth and sixth innings. The junior right hander walked two and struck out three.
Povich retired the Wildcats in order in the top of the second and then the NU offense gave its pitcher a 1-0 lead with a two-out hit. Logan Foster notched the game’s first hit with an one-out single up the middle and then stole second to get into scoring position. A line out from Cam Chick put two outs on the board and Doherty looked to strand Foster at second, but Matthews came through with his fifth double of the season to plate the game’s first run.
Povich retired 11 straight Wildcats to start the game before Vincent Bianchina dropped a two-out double down the left-field line. Facing Northwestern’s clean-up hitter, Povich went back to work and got a fly out to keep Nebraska on top, 1-0.
Following another scoreless frame from Povich in the top of the fifth, the Huskers offense added three runs to its lead on three hits in the bottom of the inning. Matthews led off with his second double of the game and quickly scored on a RBI single from Everitt. The lineup rolled over and Joe Acker executed a sacrifice bunt to put Everitt in scoring position before Jaxon Hallmark lined a single to right field and on the play a throwing error from right-fielder Leo Kaplan allowed Hallmark to take second base. With two runners in scoring position Spencer Schwellenbach hit a hard ground ball to short and Shawn Goosenberg threw home, but Everitt beat the throw. Schwellenbach then got in a pickle between first and second base, and was eventually tagged out but stayed in it long enough for Hallmark to score as well, pushing Nebraska’s lead to 4-0.
The Huskers put another crooked number on the board in the sixth with three more runs on four hits and all three runs scored with two outs. Anderson and Chick were on second and third with two outs after each singling earlier in the inning when Everitt plated Anderson with a RBI single. With Acker up, Everitt took second on a wild pitch and then Acker delivered a two-RBI single that pushed Nebraska’s lead to 7-0.
Povich retired Northwestern’s 2-3-4 hitters in order in the top of the seventh and the Husker offense then put up multiple runs for the third straight inning. 10 batters went to the plate and scored five runs on five hits. Everitt highlighted the five-run inning with a two-run monster blast to left-center field, marking a hit for the Husker catcher in three straight innings.
After a scoreless eighth from both teams the Wildcats broke up the shutout in the ninth with a pair of runs on three hits. With the bases loaded and one down, Braxton Bragg got a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
The Husker and Wildcats meet for game two of their three-game series tomorrow at 2 PM. The game will be carried statewide on NET.