Husker baseball takes on the Oklahoma State Cowboys this weekend in the first home conference opener of the season.
Nebraska comes into the weekend 1-2 in conference play after dropping a very close series at Texas Tech last weekend. Oklahoma State is at 3-3 after losing a series to Kansas to start the season, then upsetting highly ranked Texas last weekend.
Oklahoma State is ranked third in team batting average in the Big 12 at .306, while the Huskers are ranked fourth at .301. The Cowboys are ahead of Nebraska in team pitching, ranked second in conference at a 2.18 ERA, compared to the fifth-ranked Huskers at 3.48.
Husker third baseman Cody Asche returns this weekend after suffering a concussion at Texas Tech. Asche is highly ranked in a number of Big 12 offensive categories - 14th in batting average at .349, third in hits with 38, first in runs scored with 27, second in home runs with five, first in doubles with 17 (also leading nationally in this category), and second in RBI with 29.
Kash Kalkowski isn't too far behind Asche, ranked third in the Big 12 in batting average at .410, fourth in home runs with four, fifth in RBI with 24, and sixth in total bases with 54. He's also third in both on base percentage (.490) and slugging percentage (.651).
Considering what Oklahoma State brings in terms of a pitching staff, the Huskers will need a good, consistent offense this weekend. While it's too early in the season to say this is a critical series, the Huskers need to win at home if they're expected to have a shot at competing at the top of the conference.
Matt Freeman, Sr., RHP (4-1, 1.77) vs Mike Strong, Sr., LHP (2-0, 1.05)
Jon Keller, Fr., RHP (2-2, 2.70) vs Brad Propst, Sr., RHP (4-1, 1.51)
Dylan Vogt, So., RHP (1-0, 3.75) vs Andrew Heaney, So., LHP (3-1, 2.65).
Friday April 1 6:35 p.m.
Saturday April 2 2:05 p.m.
Sunday April 1:05 p.m.