Huskers Take Series Over Lopes With 10-8 Win in Finale

Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletic Communications Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletic Communications

A wild back-and-forth affair, including a six-run third inning by the Huskers, gave Nebraska its first series win of the season as they took down Grand Canyon, 10-8, in the weekend finale on Sunday afternoon at Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark.

Nebraska (4-3) scored 10 runs on nine hits with an error, while Grand Canyon (5-3) had eight runs on 12 hits and trio of errors.

Cayden Brumbaugh and Cole Evans led the way at the plate for the Huskers, each finishing with a pair of hits. Josh Caron and Tyler Stone both added a knock and RBI for the Big Red. In four games this weekend, Caron finished .353 (6-for-17) at the plate and drove in a team-high 10 runs across the series.

Caleb Clark allowed four runs, all earned, on six hits and struck out a pair of batters in his 4.0 innings of work. Timmerman appeared in his second game of the weekend while Jalen Worthy tossed a trio of shutout frames, retiring 9 of 11 batters faced to earn his first career collegiate win. Bobby Olsen and Grant Cleavinger combined for a scoreless eighth inning, while Kyle Perry recorded the save for the Huskers.

Nebraska got on the board first as Carey’s two-out double set the table for an RBI single from Caron, his 10th RBI of the weekend, to give the Huskers a 1-0 lead. The Lopes quickly responded with a run off Clark in the bottom half following a triple to tie the game after an inning of play.

Garrett Anglim continued his strong series with his fourth hit of the weekend, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt put down by Ben Columbus in the second inning. The junior stole third and gave the Huskers the lead back after a balk from GCU starter Hunter Watkins brought him home.

Following two quick outs in the third frame, Nebraska's offense rallied for six runs as 10 Huskers came to the plate. Stone drove in Riley Silva after his fifth hit-by-pitch of the weekend, before the Big Red loaded the bases and forced the Lopes to turn to their bullpen. 

A wild pitch plated Columbus, followed by RBI knocks from Brumbaugh and Evans, which gave Nebraska an 8-1 advantage and its highest scoring output in a single inning this season.

Clark surrendered runs in the third and fourth frames to trim the lead to 8-3 but came out for the fifth inning. The southpaw allowed a leadoff single to begin the fifth frame which spelled the end of his day, despite producing his longest outing of the season.

Timmerman was the first man out of the bullpen for his team-leading fourth appearance this season, hitting a batter and walking the next to load the bases. Tyler Wilson made the Huskers pay with a game-tying grand slam as GCU evened the game at eight, despite trailing by seven runs.

Worthley retired his first four batters faced in relief of Timmerman, shutting down the Lopes’ offense to keep the contest tied 8-8. His three innings were a career-high, as the sophomore earned his first career collegiate win and kept GCU at bay in the sixth and seventh frames.

Nebraska’s bats came alive in the eighth inning with Brumbaugh leading off with a single, his second hit of the day, before advancing to second on Silva’s sacrifice bunt. Dylan Carey was subsequently hit by a pitch and both runners moved up one base on Caron’s groundout.

The Huskers regained the lead in the next at-bat after Brumbaugh scored on a passed ball, followed by a straight steal of home by Carey to make it 10-8 with Nebraska in front. 

Olsen and Cleavinger combined for a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning, before turning the ball over to Rans Sanders who retired his only batter faced. Perry entered with one out in the ninth frame and set down two of the three Lopes he faced to secure the win and his first save of the season.

The Huskers continue play next weekend with a four-game series at the College of Charleston on Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 29-March 3 in Charleston, S.C. at Patriots Point.