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Nebraska Baseball Opponent Preview: University of California Riverside

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Previewing the Highlanders

It is baseball season once again! Nebraska, along with the other 12 teams in the Big Ten will take the field on Friday to start the 2019 season. Nebraska travels to the Highlanders of the University of California Riverside to start the 2019 season, after playing the Highalnders in Arizona last season.

Nebraska will send out Chad Luensmann who is returning from Tommy John surgery, while the Highlands of UC-Riverside will send out junior college transfer Hayden Petrovick in series opener.

Luensmann will be on a pitch limit for Friday nights contest. It is expected that the Junior will get between 50 and 70 pitches. It could be the second inning or the sixth depending which version of Luensmann shows up. If he got the Huskers into the fourth inning, that would be considered a win.

Luensmann will have to face a lineup that has some potential for power from the Highlanders. Connor Cannon launched a three run home run that helped the Highlanders split the season series with the Huskers last year. Cannon, a first team All-Big West slugger led Riverside with 10 home runs.

Matt Hardy and Justin Mannens are a pair of senior bats who hit over .300 in limtied playing time last season. Mannens also led the Highlanders with six steals while only playing in 21 contests. The Highlanders gave up 83 steals, while only swipping 23 bags last season.

Starting pitching for Riverside will be more of a challenge this weekend. It appears that Head Coach Troy Percival’s son Cole will not start any of the four games this weekend.

Riverside has chosen Petrovick to start Friday night after he transferred in from Citrus College. Petrovick is a big tall lefty, standing in at 6 foot 3, so he could give some of the Husker hitters a nice challenge on opening night.

Mojo Hagge and Luke Roskam are the two lefties that Petrovick could dominate if he is on. Petrovick was up to 89 with his fastball and offers a solid curveball and change up.

The rest of the weekend, Nebraska will see Shamus Lyons, Riley Ohl, and Jeremiah Priddy. Priddy is the only pitcher who was with the Highlanders last year, and he only pitcher three innings total on the year.

Lyons works 85-88 with his fastball and pairs that with his 71-74 12-6 curveball. He also offers a change up that is more of a third offering.

Ohl might be the best challenge for the Huskers. Ohl spent his first year at the University of Nevada, before heading to Cypress College last season. He has four solid pitches. His 88-92 four seam fastball and 85-88 two seam fastball will give the Huskers some heat to hit. He throws a hard change and a slider both in the 78-82 range.

Beside Luensmann, Nebraska will send out both Reece Eddins and Nate Fisher. Fisher battled injuries, but started a handful of games last season, while Eddins has battled injuries in both 2017 and 2018.

Eddins has shown a great curve when he is uninjured, while Fisher was the Huskers best pitcher in terms of limiting free passes last season.

On Sunday, the Huskers will hand the ball over to a true Freshman in Colby Gomes. Gomes was a honorable mention All-American from Rawlings.

Overall, Nebraska was picked sixth in the 13 team Big Ten, while Riverside was picked to finish ninth in the nine team Big West. Nebraska has a solid chance to come out with a winning weekend and that would be a great start to the 2019 season.

Nebraska (0-0) at UC Riverside (0-0)

Feb. 15-17, 2019

Riverside Sports Complex • Riverside, Calif.

Friday, Feb. 15 • 6 p.m. (CT)

Video Stream: BigWest.TV

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Chad Luensmann (0-0) vs. Hayden Petrovick (0-0)

Saturday, Feb. 16 (DH Game 1) • 2 p.m. (CT)

Video Stream: BigWest.TV

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Reece Eddins (0-0) vs. Riley Ohl (0-0)

Saturday, Feb. 16 (DH Game 2)

Video Stream: BigWest.TV

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Nate Fisher (0-0) vs. Shamus Lyons (0-0)

Sunday, Feb. 17 • 3 p.m. (CT)

Video Stream: BigWest.TV

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Colby Gomes (0-0) vs. Jeremiah Priddy (0-0)