It's a huge HUGE series this weekend at Haymarket Park as your Husker hardballers taking on the Purdue Boilermakers. Nebraska comes into the series at 25-13 and in third place in the Big Ten at 7-5. Purdue comes in at 29-5 and 10-2 in conference, leading the Huskers by 2.5 games.
Consider this your game thread for the weekend.
This weekend will go a long way in seeing how far the Huskers have come since Darin Erstad took over the program this season. Purdue is an incredible challenge - tops in the conference in team batting average at .326, second in conference in team pitching with a 2.91 ERA, and fifth in fielding percentage at .970. If that isn't enough, Purdue leads the conference in fewest hits allowed, fewest runs allowed, fewest walks allowed, and fewest doubles allowed (that's a lot of fewest).
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! The Boilermakers have won nine straight and 13 of their last 14 games.
Nebraska counters with a team that's second in team batting at .317 (10th nationally), fourth in pitching with a 4.00 ERA, and first in team fielding with a .976 percentage. The Huskers have won five of their last six, but they have yet to face a team with this kind of pitching depth.
Friday's game is televised on BTN at 6:35 PM and streamed on BTN2GO, while the Saturday and Sunday games will be streamed online at Huskers NSide (subscription required). The Husker Sports Network will broadcast the games - don't forget you can stream the audio on your iPhone using the Huskers app.
Projected Starting Pitchers:
Fri., April 20 - 6:35 p.m.
Jon Keller, So., RHP (4-0) vs. Joe Hasse, Sr., RHP (6-0)
Sat., April 21 - 2:05 p.m.
Brandon Pierce, So., RHP (4-1) vs. Lance Breedlove, Sr., RHP (6-2)
Sun., April 22 - 12:05 p.m.
Zach Hirsch, So., LHP (4-2) vs. Connor Podkul, Fr., RHP (1-0)
Jon Keller resumes his Friday night starting role after not starting the past two weekends. He'll face Joe Haase, who enters the weekend with a 6-0 record and a 3.09 ERA.
Brandon Pierce will face Lance Breedlove on Saturday. Breedlove is 6-2 and posts an ERA of 2.23. He has thrown two complete games so far this season, including throwing 53 strikeouts while issuing only eight walks.
On Sunday, Purdue's freshman Conor Podkul will start against Zach Hirsh. Podkul has come on strong, with a 2.30 ERA.
In the bushes lurks Boilermaker pitcher Blake Mascarello, with a 2.33 ERA, a 6-1 record, 31 strikeouts with only seven walks.
Holy Cow What A Challenge!
Y'all are turning in your unused spring game tickets for some baseball action this weekend, aren't ya?