Nebraska versus Arkansas Preview
Dave Van Horn, the man who built Nebraska baseball into a legitimate college baseball team, (who, btw, provides some great stories to Curt McCeever in that article) returns today to Haymarket Park. Husker fans can give him a warm welcome and then hopefully we can cheer like hell when we kick the Razorbacks' butts.
I previewed Arkansas at the beginning of the season, and here's what I had to say:
In 2008, Arkansas will be looking to find pitchers after losing several last season to the MLB draft. Sean Seibert has 22 career starts, Dallas Keuchel has nine, but sophomores Stephen Richards and Scott Limbocker have only a single start apiece. Adding to the mix is that Seibert is not fully recovered yet from Tommy John surgery.
Returners third baseman Logan Forsythe (.347) and outfielder Casey Coon (.312) lead the offense, with fellow veterans second baseman Ben Tschepikow, shortstop Tim Smalling, catcher Jeff Nutt, and outfielders Sean Jones and Wayne Hrozek.
This is a mid-week game, so neither team will be throwing their weekend starters on the mound to win a non-conference game. Both teams will be throwing youngsters on the mound to see how well they do against quality competition.
The Cornhuskers will start Junior Dan Jennings on the mound. Jennings is 1-0, with a 3.78 ERA. This is Jennings' fourth start of the year and only his fifth career start. He'll be going against Junior Mike Bolsinger who is also 1-0, with a 3.75 ERA.
Neither team has announced a starter for Wednesday's game, because neither can be sure how their Tuesday starters will fare, nor how many bullpen pitchers will be available come Wednesday.
Arkansas comes into the series at 12-5, having won eleven of their first twelve games. Their losses have come to Texas A&M and Georgia, and a two-game series sweep by Arizona State. They barely beat Kansas 2-1, and their wins have come against mediocre competition.
Offensively, Nebraska comes in with a team batting average at .304. Bryce Nimmo, Mitch Abeita, and Jake Optiz lead the team with .357, .356, and .355, respectively.
The Razorbacks are at .312 overall, with Brett Eibner, Ben Tschepikow, and Andy Wilkins hitting .412, .380, and .371, respectively. Aaron Murphree is hitting .364, but has hit an amazing 13 homers and 31 RBI's so far this season. Last week, Murphree collected national player of the week honors aftter hitting eight home runs in five games, with a .524 batting average, 15 RBI's, and scoring 13 runs (gasp!).
This is a big series for both teams. Arkansas needs to pick up a 'name' win, while Nebraska has a chance for our young pitchers to prove themselves against a good midweek opponent and keep the winning streak going.
You can consider this a game day thread if you like. I hope to be listening to the game on huskers.com and following live stats.