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Nebraska Baseball Preview: Kyle Kubat To Miss Opening Weekend

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The Huskers have set their rotation for this weekend's roadtrip to SoCal, but 2012 freshman All-American and Husker ace Kyle Kubat is out with shoulder soreness.

How Will Darin Erstad's Team Fare In His Second Year As Head Coach of Nebraska Baseball?
How Will Darin Erstad's Team Fare In His Second Year As Head Coach of Nebraska Baseball?
Dennis Hubbard

Nebraska announced the starting rotation for this weekend's road trip to Southern California, naming four starting pitchers for games against Cal State Bakersfield, #22 Cal State Fullerton, and USC.

Strangely, sophomore Kyle Kubat, named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball after last season, is missing from the rotation. Officially he's out this weekend with soreness in his shoulder, but expected to return for the Huskers' roadtrip to Texas. Kubat was widely expected to be the ace for Nebraska this season.

In his place, Junior RHP Brandon Pierce will take on Bakersfield's senior LHP Jeff McKenzie. Pierce finished last seaosn with a 5-4 record and a 4.21 ERA. McKenzie went 6-5 with a 2.57 ERA in 2012. The game will be radio only and live audio will be available online on the Husker Sports Network.

On Saturday, senior RHP Ryan Hander will take the mound for the Huskers. Hander moved from the bullpen into the starting rotation late last season, with a 2.97 ERA in 16 appearances including four starts. He faces Fullerton's redshirt sophomore RHP Grahamm Wiest, a freshman All-American in 2012 who posted a 5-5 record with a 3.12 ERA.

In game two of the double header, Nebraska starts Junior LHP Zach Hirsch, who finished 2012 with a 4-5 record and a 5.52 ERA, but led the team in innings pitched at 60.1 while issuing just 14 walks. He will face true freshman RHP Justin Garza, pitching in his first collegiate game. Garza was a 26th round selection by the Cleveland Indians in the 2012 MLB Draft. Both games from Fullerton will have live-streaming video coverage on BigWest.Tv

On Sunday's game at USC the Huskers will start Blinn Community College in Brenham, Texas transfer Christian DeLeon. The junior right-handed pitcher pitched to a 3-5 record with a 4.04 ERA while striking out 52 and only walking 14 in 2012. He faces USC True freshman RHP Kyle Twomey, who was drafted in the third round by the Oakland Athletics in 2012 and turned down the money to play for USC. The game against USC will video-streamed online by the Pac-12.

Nebraska (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at CSU Bakersfield (0-0, 0-0 WAC)
Friday, Feb. 15 - 5 p.m. (CT)
RHP Brandon Pierce (0-0) vs. LHP Jeff McKenzie (0-0)
Live Radio - Husker Sports Network
Video Stream - None

Nebraska (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at No. 22 Cal State Fullerton (0-0, 0-0 Big West)
Saturday, Feb. 16 - 4/7p.m. (CT)
(Gm. 1) - RHP Ryan Hander vs. RHP Grahamm Wiest (0-0)
(Gm. 2) - LHP Zach Hirsch vs. RHP Justin Garza (0-0)

Live Radio - Husker Sports Network

Video Stream - BigWest.TV (Free)

Nebraska (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at USC (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12)

Sunday, Feb. 17 - 3 p.m. (CT)
RHP Christian DeLeon (0-0) vs. LHP Kyle Twomey (0-0)
Live Radio - Husker Sports Network
Video Stream - Pac-12 (Free)