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Nebraska Baseball: Weekend Preview vs. Northwestern

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Well last weekend went well, will the Cornhuskers be able to build off of it and continue building momentum down the final stretch of the season?

Jon Johnston

Series Preview:

Date: May 14th - 16th

Time: April 14th (Fri.) @ 6:30 p.m, April 15th (Sat.) @ 2:00 p.m, April 16th (Sun.) @ 12:00 p.m.

Location: Hawks Field at Haymarket Park, Lincoln, Nebraska

Record(s): Northwestern (12 - 16) 9th in Big Ten & Nebraska: (23 - 11) 2nd in Big Ten

Head Coach(s): Spencer Allen

Stream: BTN+

Radio: Husker Sports Network

The Nebraska boys were finally able to pass a test that a lot of college baseball fans doubted they could, and that’s defeating one of the big dogs in #17 Indiana. They also lost a game but they showed that they were able to compete with really good teams. They finished the weekend going 3 - 1 by taking the two payback games against Rutgers, blowing them out Saturday and then one of the most entertaining games all year in a 13 inning win on Sunday.

The bats as a whole have slipped a bit but they’re still piecing runs together where it counts, with Luke Roskam (.343) and Jaxon Hallmark (.340) fighting for the top average on the team. Griffin Everitt came through at the right time again with a go-ahead single on Sunday as well. Captain Spencer Schwellenbach had five hits and pitched 5.5 innings on the weekend giving up no runs and striking out six. There’s little doubt he will be playing affiliated ball in a couple months.

The real story here was the return of Omaha native and Millard South grad, the left-handed junior, Kyle Perry. Perry was not even expected to pitch this year as he recovered from Tommy John surgery but made his season debut right in time for the final stretch of the season this weekend against Rutgers. He only lasted one inning giving up three hits and two runs, but it is still incredible to see him taking the mound again.

They’re rolling again, and as a struggling Northwestern team comes into town, the Huskers look for a good opportunity to put up some wins and move into first place.

Northwestern:

May 14th: vs Northwestern @ 6:00 p.m

May 15th: vs Northwestern @ 2:00 p.m

May 16th: vs Northwestern @ 12:00 p.m

Northwestern has had a really rough stretch of baseball. The Wildcats have had almost a two week break in game action due to Covid-19 precautions and before that had lost nine of their last ten, and are currently on a five game skid. The last time the Wildcats played was April 26th. The thing that the Wildcats do have however is pop, and a lot of it. Despite missing two weeks, they still lead the conference in home runs with 54. So the Huskers will have to limit the long ball if they wanna take all three games, which is best case scenario for them to move up into first place.

Offensively the Wildcats are lead by a pair of juniors in infielder Shawn Goosenberg. Goosenberg is hitting .358 with a whopping 1.125 OPS and 11 home runs. Anthony Calarco is also right behind him with a .336 AVG, seven home runs, and 12 doubles. This pair will be a pesky back to back duo for the Huskers to beat, and if they can control them they should be in good shape. Four more players also have more than five home runs in Vincent Bianchina, Stephen Hrustich, David Dunn, and Michael Trautwein.

The Wildcat pitching should be one the Huskers are able to take advantage of with only one of their starters have a sub 5.00 ERA and a team ERA of 5.47. Mike Doherty rounds out the rotation with an impressive 2.86 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 50.1 innings this year. But once you get past him it becomes a little easier, as the second lowest ERA on the team is 4.24 in reliever Garrett Boeckle. The key for Nebraska? Get to Mike Doherty. Tyler Uberstine, Jack Dyke, and Quinn Lavelle round out the rotation with 6.00, 5.82, and 6.25 ERA’s.

The Cornhuskers should be able to make quick work of the Wildcats as they travel to Lincoln this weekend. One of the hotter teams in the country at home versus a team trying to find their footing again after taking a two week hiatus and dropping nine of their last ten, does not look like a great recipe for success for Northwestern. I expect Nebraska to pitch well and hit better.

Prediction: Huskers sweep series 3 - 0