Iowa City, Iowa – After dropping the series opener on Friday, the Nebraska baseball team (7-4) responded with two straight wins, including a 13-8 victory on Sunday, to take a series at Duane Banks Field for the first time since 2013. Entering the weekend the Hawkeyes had won the last three series between the two teams in Iowa City.
Nebraska’s offense woke up after being shutout, 3-0, in the series opener, as NU responded with 23 runs over the final two games. On Sunday the Huskers got multi-hit games from four different players, including Max Anderson and Luke Roskam, who each homered on the day. Anderson added a career-high five RBIs and Cam Chick notched three RBIs, while Jaxon Hallmark and Spencer Schwellenbach each scored three runs.
Chick broke out of an early-season slump and feasted on Iowa pitching over the final two games of the series, going 4-8 with two home runs, two doubles and nine RBIs. Chick entered the weekend hitting .174 (4-for-23) with one extra-base hit and two RBIs on the season
One week after striking out six and allowing one run on two hits over 6.0 innings against the Huskers in Minneapolis, Iowa starter Duncan Davitt was tagged for five runs on four hits and two walks over 1.2 innings. The Hawkeyes went through eight pitchers on Sunday, who combined to allow 11 hits and issued eight walks.
Nebraska starter Shay Schanaman didn’t last much longer than Davitt, as the junior was pulled after 2.2 innings. Schanaman allowed four runs on four hits and five walks. Four Husker relievers combined for 6.1 innings and allowed four runs on six hit, while striking out seven.
The Huskers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first without getting a hit. Joe Acker and Hallmark drew consecutive walks to start the game and then Acker moved to third on a fly out from Schwellenbach. Chick stepped in and picked up his seventh RBI of the series with a sacrifice fly and then Davitt stranded Hallmark with a fly out.
Working with a 1-0 lead, Schanaman started the bottom of the first with a strikeout and a fly out before Iowa strung together a two-out rally. Austin Martin singled, Peyton Williams walked and then Tyler Snep put the Hawkeyes ahead 3-1 with a three-run homer. With the bases empty Iowa got a double and a walk before Schanaman put an end to the rally with a fly out.
Trailing by two runs Nebraska’s offense put together a six-run second inning on five hits, and four runs were scored with two outs. Following a leadoff fly out the Huskers produced three-straight extra base hits, including triples from Mojo Hagge and Jack Steil as well as a double from Roskam. Following the Roskam double Davitt got the second out of the inning before Hallmark singled to put runners on the corners and Iowa went to reliever Jacob Henderson. The right hander promptly walked consecutive batters, scoring Hallmark, and then Anderson delivered a two-RBI single. Iowa went to its third pitcher of the inning, Cam Baumann and he committed a balk, allowing Chick to score. Baumann then walked the third batter of the inning before he recorded a strikeout to end the frame. Following a long top of the second, Schanaman came out and put the Hawkeyes down in order.
The Hawkeyes were able to get one run back in the bottom of the third when Snep scored on a wild pitch from reliever Tyler Martin. Nebraska pushed the lead back to four runs, 8-4, in top of the fourth when Hallmark led off with a single and then scored all the way from first on a failed pickoff attempt that ricocheted into foul territory down the right-field line.
Following a scoreless fifth from both teams the Hawkeyes brought in reliever Will Semb to start the sixth and he walked Hallmark and Schwellenbach on eight pitches. Semb bounced back with a strikeout of Chick before Anderson sent a full-count offering over the centerfield wall for a three-run home run. Iowa got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth when Ben Norman made Koty Frank pay for a two-out hit-by-pitch when Norman hit his second home run of the series, cutting Nebraska’s lead to 11-6.
Nebraska tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh, starting with a leadoff home run from Roskam. The Huskers added its fifth two-out run of the game later in the frame when Schwellenbach reached on a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double from Chick.
Iowa chipped away with two runs in the eighth and would have had a third without a self-inflicted base-running error. The Hawkeyes started the frame with back-to-back singles before Max Schreiber came in and got a fly out. Norman then looked to have his second home run of the game, but he passed his teammate on the bases and was called out, resulting instead in a two-RBI single. With the bases empty Schreiber registered a strikeout to end the inning.
Working with a 13-8 lead Schreiber tossed a scoreless ninth to secure the series win.
After playing 11 straight games away from Lincoln to start the season the Huskers are set to host their home opener on Friday with the first game of a four-game series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.