MANHATTAN, Kan. — An inside-the-park grand slam set the tone right away. Kyle Perry turned in his best collegiate outing from there as Nebraska cruised past Kansas State 7-0 on Tuesday.
A battle of freshman left-handers making their fourth career starts tilted drastically in the Huskers’ favor. Perry allowed four total base runners across a career-long seven innings and 90 pitches while striking out three. KSU’s Joey Martin, meanwhile, managed to secure just two outs before the Wildcats (12-17) dipped into their bullpen.
Martin walked three of the first four batters he faced. Jaxon Hallmark made him pay with two outs with a drive that got past the diving right fielder and cleared the bases for Nebraska’s first inside-the-park homer in three years. The Huskers (14-9) added a three-run fourth inning on RBI hits from Aaron Palensky and Gunner Hellstrom along with a Keegan Watson sacrifice fly.
“Talk about just an energy boost from the team,” NU coach Darin Erstad said during his postgame radio interview. “Kyle just ran with that, and boy was he ever sharp.”
Perry hadn’t lasted more than four innings before his Tuesday gem. K-State managed to get just one runner to second base, on a two-out double by Omaha Creighton Prep grad Dylan Phillips in the fifth. Perry, a Millard South product, allowed three hits and walked one. Erstad said the freshman featured a good change-up Tuesday and continued a recent trend of maintaining life and velocity on his pitches late into the game.
Three freshman pitchers combined on the Huskers’ second shutout of the season. Perry gave way to Bo Blessie — who walked a pair in a scoreless eighth in his second career appearance — before Tyler Martin closed out the contest.
In his Husker debut and fighting flu-like symptoms, Ty Roseberry added a pinch-hit single in the ninth as the dugout erupted. Roseberry joined the program as a walk-on after UNK eliminated its program in the offseason.
Returning home from Minnesota early Monday morning and busing to Kansas State had Erstad “super concerned” about the game coming in, he said. But he saw energy in all three phases, including some web gems all over the field in an error-free evening.
“They’re making plays,” Erstad said. “You make plays, good things happen.”
Nebraska moved to 4-0 in midweek games after finishing 3-7 last season. It returns to Big Ten play this weekend for a home series against Purdue.
Nebraska (14-9)………………400 300 000—7 6 0
At Kansas State (12-17)…….000 000 000—0 4 0
W: Perry (2-0). L: Martin (2-1). 2B: NU, Palensky 2; KSU, Phillips. HR: NU, Hallmark.