Nebraska puts up season-high 16 runs, run-rules Maryland

Nebraska tied its season high in runs as the Cornhuskers (25-12, 8-4 Big Ten) won the weekend series two games to one beating Maryland (25-16, 6-10 Big Ten), 16-4, in Sunday’s seven-inning rubber match. The game ended after seven innings due to a NCAA policy that allows (if both coaches agree) the game to be stopped if one team is ahead by ten or more runs starting in the seventh.

All of Nebraska’s 16 runs were earned as Maryland’s pitching struggled to navigate the Cornhusker lineup. Every Maryland pitcher allowed at least one earned run in their appearance, except for Meade Johnson who pitched an inning without allowing one of his runners to score. The Terps pitching finished the game allowing 16 hits — five for extra bases — and walking six while also striking out six Nebraska batters. 

Nebraska scored a run or more in every inning except the third and pushed across half of their runs against Maryland’s starter, Joey McMannis. McMannis has typically been the Terps most reliable starter against conference opponents coming in with a 3.48 ERA against Big Ten opponents. This game provided the opposite example. 

McMannis struggled from the start allowing two runs to score in the first via a two-run homer from Tyler Stone. Three more runs scored in the second on back to back RBI singles from Cayden Brumbaugh and Riley Silva. A passed ball scored the third run. 

Nebraska’s first big inning came in the fourth when the Cornhuskers pushed across five runs in the half inning for the first time in the game. Nebraska’s offense connected on seven hits and was aided by two Maryland errors to help push across its five runs. 

McMannis lasted only three batters and was replaced by Evan Smith without recording an out. Smith was replaced by Ryan Van Buren after facing three hitters allowing singles to two of them. Van Buren got the Terps out of the inning but gave up a run in the process making Nebraska’s lead, 10-1.  

The Cornhuskers would do it again in the bottom of the sixth leading to the abbreviated game. This time it was the patience of the Nebraska lineup that led to its success as they worked four walks in the inning to go along with two singles and a hit-by-pitch. Freshman Hunter Baynes made his Maryland debut coming in for Duke McCarron after he hit the first batter of the inning. 

Baynes failed to record an out walking all four of the batters he faced. He eventually gave way to Johnson who finished the game. 

The Maryland lineup managed to score just four runs after exploding for 11 in Saturday’s game. The Terps only pushed across one run through the first five innings, that run being a Kevin Keister solo home run to right field. Maryland scored three runs in the top of the sixth on a trio of RBI singles from Brayden Martin, Sam Hojnar, and Michael Iannazzo. 

All the Terps’ runs came against Nebraska starter Will Walsh. Walsh played in the first two games of the series on the offensive side of the ball going zero for four in the series. Walsh took out his offensive frustrations against the Terps lineup holding them to six hits while striking out seven. 

The loss ends a two-game winning streak on Sunday games for Maryland and means that the Terps lost their fourth Big Ten series of the year. Maryland hasn’t lost four conference series since 2019. 

The slight good news for the Terps is that coming into the weekend Nebraska ranked 20th in RPI and Maryland stood at 50. Maryland’s win on Saturday therefore qualified as a quad one win which may act as a resume builder for later in the season.   

Maryland will be on the road for its mid-week game against James Madison University before finally staying home for a weekend series against conference foe Illinois.