Nebraska vs NDSU Preview:
Date: April 20th
Time: April 20th (Wed.) @ 6:35 p.m
Location: Hawks Field at Haymarket Park, Lincoln, Nebraska
Record(s): Nebraska (13-21) North Dakota state (21-11)
Head Coach(s): Will Bolt, Tyler Oakes
Stream: Big Ten+
Radio: Husker Sports Network
The Cornhuskers dropped three one run games this weekend against BYU in arguably the most frustrating series yet. After winning Thursday’s game 1-0 after a gem of a game by Koty Frank, the Huskers could not keep the momentum going into the rest of the weekend. Frank’s final line was 6.2 innings of one hit ball with seven strikeouts and zero walks, enough to win him Big Ten Pitcher of The Week honors.
A frustrating Saturday loss saw Shay Schanaman pitch a (7 inn.) complete game giving up two hits while walking two and striking out five. All three runs scored were unearned on three Husker errors, with six total on the weekend. The defense has been a struggle for the Huskers all season as a .965 fielding percentage is not awful, but still a number that needs to be higher.
Husker hitting has also gone relatively cold. They managed eight hits in both Friday and Saturday’s games but once again struggled with getting the leadoff hitter on as well as with runners in scoring position. Griffin Everitt and Garrett Anglim, the hottest hitters for Nebraska a few weeks ago, have cooled down. Griffin Everitt leads the team with a .282 batting average and as a team, they are hitting a mere .238 with only 23 home runs and a whopping 312 strikeouts.
Only Iowa has struck out more as a team in the Big Ten with 313. Nebraska is struggling to find an identity so far this season and is surely experiencing some tough growing pains this far after winning the Big Ten a year ago. They look to take on NDSU at home for a midweek matchup.
April 20th: 6:35 p.m
The North Dakota State Bisons have had a nice season so far. With a 21-11 record they’re sitting at second in the Summit League standings and coming off of a series win against the UNO Mavericks, a team Nebraska has really struggled against so far. Strength of schedule may have a bit to do with them being ten games above five hundred as the only teams that stick out to most are Long Beach State and Florida Gulf Coast. Long Beach State has had their own fair share of struggles this far but Florida Gulf Coast has had a pleasant season to date. However, if there’s one thing about college baseball it’s that anybody can beat anybody on any given day, and that’s certainly been the case for Nebraska so far.
NDSU comes into this one leading the Summit League in a few major categories in home runs (38), on-base percentage (.383), and slugging (.438). The offense is lead by Calen Schwabe and Jack Simonsen. Schwabe comes into this one game match-up with a slash line of .342/.459/.418 in 79 at bats. Simonsen has significantly more at bats this far and still carries a slash line of .306/.364/.514 with four home runs and 21 RBI.
The Bisons other hitter above .300 is Logan Williams who leads both the team and the conference with ten home runs and 31 RBi. His ten home runs so far are good enough for most in a single season in the Division-1 era for NDSU and 11th all time for the Bisons. As a team, they’re hitting .276 and have stolen 57 bases. Schwabe is 10-11 so far in stolen bases and right in front of him is his brother Cadyn Schwabe who is 13-16.
The pitching for the Bisons has been pretty solid so far. Seven players have more than a dozen strikeouts so far and they come into this one with a team ERA of 4.04. The story for NDSU so far has been the teams closer, Jake Drew. Drew has 11 appearances so far and leads the conference with five saves and has a 0.00 ERA with 16 strikeouts while holding hitters to just a .149 b/avg.
Tristen Roehrich is also a bullpen arm that has seen success for the Bisons. Through 34.1 innings already, he has held hitters to just a 2.38 ERA and a .211 b/avg. He has impressively amassed 38 strikeouts through relief.
Cade Feeney has been alright for the Bisons as well with a team high 43 strikeouts although he has been hit a bit more than his teammates with a .273 b/avg. Longtime NDSU arm Max Loven is right behind him with 40 strikeouts and a 3.59 ERA. Loven continues to climb the all time innings pitched list at NDSU with his nine starts this year leading to a 4-2 record.
North Dakota State is another one of those teams that has put up pretty solid numbers so far this season going into the series, but looking at the teams they’ve played so far, it is easy to assume this has something to do with it.
However, Nebraska has continued to struggle both offensively and defensively and their inconsistent play has led to a frustrating four game losing streak and an up and down season. They should be able to pull this one off, but anything can happen in a one game series.