After losing a midweek game against the Creighton Bluejays, Nebraska continues their road swing as they head to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers. Minnesota sits in second place in the league, sweeping Michigan State and Ohio State before falling in a series to Indiana last weekend.
Minnesota is lead by an offense that has clicked this season to a .293 team batting average. Cole McDevitt leads a quintet of Gopher batters who are over .300 on the season. Toby Hanson leads the Gophers with 40 hits on the season. The good news for Nebraska is that no Minnesota player has hit more than 5 home runs on the season. As a team, Minnesota has hit 20 long balls on the season.
Minnesota offensively is a team that puts the ball in play. They have struck out less than 200 times, compared to the Huskers 253 strikeouts. They have speed, as they have hit 16 triples on the season. They play a similar style to Nebraska, as they will go the other way, and take what pitches give them.
On the mound, Minnesota has a pair of studs. Lucas Gilbreath is the undefeated Friday night starter for the Gophers. Gilbreath shut down the Indiana offense last weekend, allowing just two hits in 7.2 innings pitched. Gilbreath has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his eight starts. Gilbreath pitched in relief against the Huskers during the 2015 series.
The other two starters for Minnesota, are Brett Schulze and Toby Anderson. Schulze is 3-2 with a 4.89 earned run average, while Anderson is 4-3 with a 6.75 ERA. The Huskers have seen Anderson before, as they hit him well in a 7-4 victory in Lincoln during the 2015 campaign.
Outside of the starters, Minnesota has a potential All-American leading the bullpen in Brian Glowicki. Glowicki has allowed a single run in 20 innings out of the bullpen. Besides Glowicki, the Gopher pen is littered with some quality arms, but no eye popping statistics.
The Gophers are coming off a midweek victory against South Dakota State so they should be feeling good coming in against a cold Nebraska team. Nebraska will need to make pitches, play defense, and scratch out runs to win this series. Make no mistake, Minnesota is a legitimate contender for the Big Ten Title, and a series win would go a long way towards getting the Huskers off of the bubble for the NCAA Tournament.