Nebraska faces it's toughest test so far this season as the UCLA Bruins come to town. The Bruins are ranked anywhere from fifth to 15th (depending upon which poll you want to look at), and come in 6-2 after losing a pair of games and a series to San Jose State last weekend. They are on a two-game winning streak after winning the final game of the San Jose State series and beating San Diego State in a mid-week game.
Bruins pitcher Gerrit Cole might be the best college pitcher in the nation, turning a first-round draft selection by the New York Yankees and $$$ millions to attend and play for UCLA two years ago. He's expected to go as on of the top picks in the MLB draft at the end of this season, so far commanding a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched with 17 strikeouts while giving up only nine hits
If that ain't enough, the Bruins Saturday starter, Trevor Bauer, is considered a first-round major league prospect, with a 2.51 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched, 16 strikeouts and having given up 10 hits.
On Sunday, it gets better, but only because Bruin Adam Plutko is a freshman who's probably never had to pitch in near-freezing temperatures. Plutko is obviously no slouch either, however, coming in with a (seriously?) .69 ERA, 13 innings pitched, eight strike outs and giving up six hits.
The Huskers come in 6-3, still trying to straighten out the starting pitching rotation, but doing well on offense, currently hitting .340 as a team. Kash Kalkowski (still the best name on any Nebraska sports roster) leads the team at .500, while Kale Kiser is right behind at .429.
Something to think about - through only a few games so far this season, Nebraska has 23 stolen base attempts, having been thrown out eight times. Compare that to last season in which the Huskers had 61 attempts on the entire season. The small ball is active again at Nebraska, and it may be key to winning this series - as long as the Huskers can get some hits and get on base.
Nebraska's biggest asset may be the cold weather as high temperatures each day will range from the high 30s to the low 40s. We'll see how them Southern California boys handle that.
Friday, 1:35 p.m.: Jon Keller, SR-RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Gerrit Cole, JR-RHP (1-1, 1.88).
Saturday, 2:05 p.m.: Matt Freeman, SR-RHP (2-0, 0.00). Trevor Bauer, JR-RHP (1-1, 2.51).
Sunday, 1:05 p.m.: TBA. Adam Plutko, FR-RHP (2-0, 0.69).
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