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Nebraska Baseball Preview: Creighton

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Huskers are 1-5 in their last five games as they head to Omaha for a midweek matchup against the Creighton Bluejays.

NCAA Baseball Regional - Fayetteville Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Nebraska vs Creighton Preview:

Date: March 29th

Time: March 29th (Tue.) @ 6:30 p.m

Location: Charles Schwab Field, Omaha, Nebraska

Record(s): Nebraska (8-11) Michigan (11-9)

Head Coach(s): Will Bolt, Ed Servais

Stream: Nebraska Public Media

Radio: Husker Sports Network

The Cornhuskers did not play that bad this weekend despite going 1-2 in the series against the Michigan Wolverines. After running away with game one in the later innings, the Huskers could’ve easily won Saturday’s game and were a strike away from doing so. A couple walks and an error that came back to haunt them (nothing new) were the difference as Jimmy Obertop came through for the Wolverines with a two-run double.

In Sunday’s game, the Huskers managed six hits but, much like the first two games, continued to struggle with getting their lead-off hitter on base and hitting with runners in scoring position. The Huskers greatly improved their defense last weekend with one error all weekend, however.

Garrett Anglim has continued to find success at the plate for the Huskers. Anglim had a hit in each game this series and finished the weekend 5-10 with seven RBI. Anglim continues to lead the team in hitting with an extremely impressive 1.019 .OPS and a .367/.448/.571 slash line. The Huskers are also getting a bit more production out of Cam Chick after he raised his batting average to .200 with three hits and five walks. Overall though the Huskers still would like to improve their timely hitting as a team and become more consistent and less streaky.

On the pitching end, somebody finally was able to get to Shay Schanaman a bit on Saturday as he was cruising into the sixth inning, where he was taken deep and left the game after allowing five runs.

Dawson McCarville took the loss on Sunday after allowing three runs on just six hits and eight strikeouts as the offense couldn’t bail him out. Emmett Olson had another solid outing and has been the most consistent arm out of the pen for Will Bolt this far.

Creighton Bluejays

March 29th: 6:30 p.m

The Creighton Bluejays. This may surprise a lot of people but the Bluejays are arguably one of the hottest teams in the country. They’ve won 10 of their last 12 games and come into this one with an 11-7 record after starting the season 0-4 against perennial baseball powerhouse...Portland. In that span however they’ve outscored opponents 82-39 and are .263 as a team. They have relied heavily on their pitching staff that has been pretty solid up to this point so far. Creighton however hasn’t played many teams with a positive record or many power five teams however, aside from two impressive wins over Wichita State.

Leading the way offensively for the Bluejays is Alan Roden batting .358 on the season and he’s followed closely behind by Andrew Meggs (.348) and Freshman Nolan Sailors (.319). Jared Wegner (.294) and Brant Voth (.218) are tied for the team lead in homers at three a piece. Creighton is currently outhomering Nebraska 13-14 but the Huskers (22) have stolen more bags than the Bluejays (16). Kyle Hess leads the team with five swipes in six attempts.

The Bluejays pitching staff has been solid this year and the majority of that production has come from the bullpen. Servais has stuck to just four pitchers receiving starts this year in Dylan Tebrake (6), Dominic Cancelle (6), Cade Lommel (4), Hudson Leach (2). Of that group, Tebrake has been tremendous thus far, with a 3-1 record and a 2.86 ERA to his name. He is also keeping opponents to just .214 against him with 33 strikeouts.

Dominic Cancelle has also been relatively reliable with a 5.00 ERA and 29 strikeouts of his own. Lommell and Leach have struggled with ERA’s above 8.00 in their starts, though Leach didn’t pitch much in either start with just 4.1 innings on the season. What this does, is tell us just how good their bullpen has been.

When Creighton has a lead, it’s rarely been lost when the ball has been handed over to their relievers. They certainly aren’t striking out hitters at the rate Nebraska has, but they’ve kept hitters to a .245 batting average against. Of the group, Redshirt Junior Tommy Steier has been the most impressive. Steier has pitched himself to a 1.17 ERA with a .177 batting average against while compiling 22 strikeouts in eight appearances. Paul Bergstrom is right behind him with 16.1 innings under his belt and keeping hitters to a 2.76 ERA with 15 strikeouts. Marc Lidd also owns a nice 1.69 ERA in 10.2 innings. Alex Loosbrock, Griffin Holderfie, and Daniel Hammond are often called-on arms but in less action so far. Servais is no stranger to letting guys come in and eat several innings during games so the Huskers could see a bunch of arms used in this one.

Verdict:

Both team's strength comes in their pitching, and in a one game series anything can happen. Creighton has been hot and Nebraska has not, but each team has similar statistical data on paper and Nebraska arguably has the more talented roster. With both offenses sitting at similar clips, one should expect there to be a lot of different arms coming out of each team’s bullpen. This one will most likely come down to which team strikes first.

Prediction: Huskers take this one on a late game hit because why not.