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Weekend Preview: Husker Baseball Set To Take On Oregon State

Nebraska faces uphill challenge against Beavers

College World Series - Arkansas v Oregon State - Game Three Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

After a successful opening weekend, the Nebraska baseball team (3-1) heads to Surprise, Arizona to take on the defending national champion Oregon State Beavers. Nebraska and Oregon State will take part in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge for the third consecutive year.

Oregon State started the 2019 campaign undefeated, finishing the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic with a perfect 4-0 record. Oregon State played Minnesota, Gonzaga, and New Mexico twice during the opening weekend. The Beavers pummeled the Gophers in a Sunday afternoon 13-1 win.

Oregon State returns some of their core pieces that helped propel them to a College World Series victory last season. Junior catcher Adley Rutschman is projected by many to be the top overall pick in the MLB Draft in June. Rutschman opened the season by hitting a grand slam against Minnesota, and picked up eight runs batted in during the opening weekend.

The pitching staff of the Beavers is also remarkably intact. Kevin Abel, a preseason All-American returns to lead the staff. He threw 5.0 innings in his first game of the season. Nebraska avoided Abel last season, when he threw in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Huskers will also see Bryce Fehmel, Sam Tweedt, and Grand Gambrell to round out the weekend series.

Abel faces off against freshman Kyle Perry who struggled in his first relief appearance of the season last weekend. Perry will need to throw strikes to have a chance to go deep into the contest.

Nebraska will then throw three pitchers who all got starts last weekend in Chad Luensmann, Nate Fisher, and Colby Gomes. Luensmann and Gomes pitched well last weekend, but did not get through five innings with the lead to get season opening victories.

Nebraska will look to be competitive with Oregon State this weekend, as this starts a stretch where the Huskers will play 12 of their next 15 contests against opponents who qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2018. If the Huskers keep it close, and steal a game or two it would bode well for the future.

Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge

Nebraska (3-1) vs. No. 7 Oregon State (4-0)

Feb. 21-24, 2019

Surprise, Ariz. • Surprise Stadium

Thursday, Feb. 21 • 2 p.m. (CT)

Video Stream: None

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Kyle Perry (0-0) vs. Kevin Abel (0-0)

Friday, Feb. 22 • 2 p.m. (CT)

Video Stream: None

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Chad Luensmann (0-0) vs. Bryce Fehmel (1-0)

Saturday, Feb. 23 • 6 p.m. (CT)

Video Stream: None

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Nate Fisher (1-0) vs. Sam Tweedt (0-0)

Sunday, Feb. 24 • 10 a.m. (CT)

Video Stream: None

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Colby Gomes (0-0) vs. Grant Gambrell (0-