Junior Jake Meyers recorded the first complete-game shutout of his career and the Husker offense exploded for 10 runs on 12 hits on Sunday afternoon at Hawks Field. With four runs on 15 hits through the first two games of the series, the Nebraska baseball team (6-8, 0-0 Big Ten) avoided a sweep by the Western Carolina Catamounts (7-8, 0-0 SoCon) with a 10-0 victory.
For the second straight Sunday Meyers was dominant on the mound. The lefty went a career-high 9.0 innings and allowed five hits and one walk, while striking out four. Meyers was efficient, needing 104 pitches for the complete game, and needed 10 pitches or less in an inning four times on the afternoon. Last week against previously unbeaten Arizona Meyers tossed 5.0 innings in a 1-0 shutout of the 2016 national runners up.
Following a leadoff double by Caleb Robinson in the fourth, Meyers retired 18 of the final 20 Catamounts he faced. Meyers sat WCU down in order in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings, and needed just six pitches to get through the eighth.
The Catamounts never had more than one runner on base all afternoon and had a runner in scoring position just twice.
Meyers is the first Husker to record a complete-game shutout since May of last season when Matt Waldron did it against Penn State.
All nine Huskers notched a hit on the day, including three from Scott Schreiber and two from Alex Rabun. Schreiber was also one of four Huskers with a pair of RBIs on the afternoon, he was joined by Mojo Hagge, Angelo Altavilla and Jake Schleppenbach.
Western Carolina got a pair of 7.0-inning outings from its starters in the first two games of the series, but had to go to its bullpen early on Sunday. Junior Brendan Nail was unable to get out of the third inning, as he gave up eight runs on eight hits and four walks over 2.2 innings.
After Meyers hung a zero on the board in the top of the first the Husker offense gave him a 2-0 lead. Hagge led off with a single and Altavilla was hit-by-pitch to put two runners on and no out. The Catamounts caught a break when Meyers hit into a 5-3 double play, but the Huskers still had Altavilla at second with two down. Schreiber stepped in and picked up his 10th RBI of the season with a single to right field. Without an RBI on the season, Ben Miller belted a two-out RBI double to left field that plated Schreiber and gave Miller his 100th career RBI.
Meyers made quick work of the Catamounts in the second and NU’s offense went back to work, scoring three times in the second for a 5-0 lead. Raburn and Brady Childs started the frame with back-to-back singles and Schleppenbach drove both in with his first career triple. Hagge then picked up his fifth RBI of the season with a RBI groundout. Later in the inning Meyers notched a two-out single and Schreiber followed with a single, but was thrown out at second base to end the inning.
All nine Huskers came to the plate in the third and the Huskers added three more runs to take a 8-0 lead. After not allowing a walk in the first two innings, Nail issued four in the third. With two outs and the bases full following a two-out walk to Schleppenbach, Nail issued his fourth walk of the inning to Hagge and the freshman picked up his second RBI of the game. WCU went to reliever Chad Mabini, who gave up a two-RBI single to Altavilla and then walked Meyers to reload the bases. Mabini finally put an end to the bleeding with a groundout off the bat of Schreiber.
The Huskers picked up another two-out run in the fifth, increasing their lead to 9-0. Meyers worked a two-out walk and then scored all the way from first on double by Schreiber, his third hit of the game. Meyers scored again with two outs in the eighth when he was hit-by-pitch to open the frame before later scoring on a double by Luis Alvarado.
The Huskers will be back on the field next weekend at Hawks Field when they host the College of Charleston Cougars for a three-game series. The series opener is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 4:05 p.m.