Date: 26th - 28th
Time: March 26th (Fri.) @ 2:00 p.m, March 27th (Sat.) @ 12:00 p.m & 4:00 p.m, March 28th (Sun) @ 12:00 p.m
Location: Hawks Field at Haymarket Park, Lincoln, Nebraska
Record(s): Minnesota (4-7) 11th in Big Ten
Nebraska (7-4) 3rd in Big Ten
Head Coach(s): John Anderson
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Baseball (and fans) are BACK! With the recent announcement that fans will be allowed to attend sporting events this spring, the Cornhuskers are eager to keep it rolling against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Nebraska comes off of a strong series win against the rival Iowa Hawkeyes, where they outscored the Hawkeyes 24-19 going 2-1 on the weekend. Junior Infielder Cam Chick was tabbed Big Ten player of the week after going 4-8 with 9 RBI’s, 2 doubles, and 2 Home Runs against the Hawkeyes. Do it all shortstop and closer Spencer Schwellenbach also joined an elite list after hitting 99mph on the gun off the mound for the Huskers, recording his second save on the season. With the offense continuing to soar, and the bullpen outperforming its expectations, (and the #1 defense in the nation) if the starting pitching shows up this weekend there is no reason the Huskers won’t take the series against the Gophers.
March 26th: vs Minnesota @ 2:00 p.m
March 27th: vs Minnesota @ 12:00 p.m & 4:00 p.m
March 28th: vs Minnesota @ 12:00 p.m
The Gophers are having a rough go of it in the early goings of the season so far. They’re coming off of a disappointing series loss against Northwestern, capped by a 7 inning 4 hit gem by Sam Ireland where the offense failed to score any runs.
Their offense is lead by second baseman Zach Raabe who has been amazing for the Gophers so far. He has hit .484 in 31 AB’s so far this season with four home runs and only two strikeouts. Preseason All American Jack Wassel has been just okay for the Gophers so far hitting .250 in 45 AB’s with nine strikeouts. They’re hoping he is able to pick it up this series as he is capable of providing a spark that this inconsistent line up has been lacking. However he is second on the team with a .250 batting average, something the whole team has been struggling to do. This lineup struggles getting on base, as opposed to a Nebraska team who has had no problems scoring runs this season.
The pitching staff is lead by a rotation of RHP’s Sam Ireland and J.P Massey and anchored by two lefties Tom Skoro and Jeff Liffrig. In ten starts the four pitchers combine for only two wins and six losses. Ireland is the clear ace of this staff as he features a live arm and a live fastball capable of punching out hitters as he leads the team with 2.89 ERA and 19 strikeouts. Closer Ryan Duffy has been somewhat reliable out of the bullpen as well recording one save so far and being third on the team in ERA and striking out 11. This staff has 16 pitchers who have pitched so far and 13 of the 16 have an ERA above 5.00. This staff has been giving it up on the mound and the Huskers offense should prove a challenge for this team as they try to figure it out.
With Minnesota struggling on both sides of the ball, the Huskers should be in good shape to put up some serious numbers offensively against a pitching staff that struggles to keep runners off the base paths. The pitching staff should be confident after coming off of their recent wins and going up against an offense that ranks almost last in every category in the Big Ten so far. However Minnesota has talent, and they’re tired of losing so don’t expect these games to just be handed to the Huskers. If the Huskers come and play baseball like they have been, there is no reason they shouldn’t take this series.