Huskers hang on to win at Michigan State; remain in contention for Big Ten Regular Season Title

Huskers hang on to win at Michigan State; remain in contention for Big Ten Regular Season Title
Courtesy/NU Media Relations
May 16th, 2024 |

Strong outings on the mound from Brett Sears and Caleb Clark led Nebraska to a 2-1 win at Michigan State on Thursday night at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field.

Nebraska (33-18, 15-7 B1G) totaled two runs on eight hits, while Michigan State (23-26, 10-12 B1G) tallied one run on seven hits and an error.

Ben Columbus led the Big Red at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Joshua Overbeek had two hits with a double and an RBI, while Rhett Stokes was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Case Sanderson recorded a hit, while Tyler Stone scored the Huskers’ other run of the night.

Sears moved to 8-0 on the season, becoming just the second pitcher in program history to reach an 8-0 record in a season since 1999. Before Thursday night, Brian Duensing was the lone NU hurler to record the feat after beginning the 2005 campaign with an 8-0 mark.

Sears recorded his 11th quality start of the season after allowing one run on six hits in 6.2 innings of work. The senior struck out four Spartans and issued just one walk. Clark picked up his first save of the year, dealing 2.1 shutout innings in relief. The southpaw allowed just one hit while posting a strikeout and a walk.

After back-to-back singles to begin the bottom half of the first inning, Michigan State struck first on a sacrifice fly to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.

Both teams went scoreless in the second frame before Nebraska knotted the game at one with consecutive doubles down the right-field line. Stokes laced the first pitch down the right-field line, while Overbeek traded places with him for his 18th RBI of the season from the leadoff spot.

The Huskers put runners on first and second base after a walk to Stone and Evans was hit on an 0-1 offering. Columbus broke the tie with an RBI single to right field to put the Big Red up 2-1 in the fourth inning.

Sears worked around a one-out single in the fifth, while a double play in the bottom of the sixth extinguished a leadoff single from the Spartans in the inning to preserve the one-run advantage for the Big Red.

Singles from Overbeek and Sanderson, followed by a four-pitch walk to Josh Caron loaded the bases for the Husker offense with two outs in the seventh, but the Big Red couldn’t get the timely hit to build on to the lead.

A one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh put the tying run on base for the Spartans. Clark replaced Sears with two outs in the inning and induced a flyout to right field on a play where Garrett Anglim made a sprinting, full-extension catch while climbing the hill in front of the right-field fence.

Clark surrendered a double in the eighth and a walk in the ninth, but the sophomore kept the Spartans off the board in the final two innings to clinch the 2-1 win for the Huskers on Thursday night.

Nebraska and Michigan State continue the weekend series tomorrow at 4:02 p.m. CT at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field.


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