Nicholls Colonels (11-8) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-5-1)
Location: Tointon Field, Manhattan, Kansas
Date: March 16-17 **DATE CHANGED**
Times (all CT): March 16 (Thurs.) @ 11:00 a.m., March 17 (Fri.) @ 2:30 7-innings; @ 4:30 9-innings
Head Coach(s): Mike Silva (2nd season, 37-33) & Will Bolt (4th season, 73-57-1)
Radio: Huskers Radio Network, Huskers.com, Huskers App
The Nebraska baseball team will take the field Thursday and Friday in Manhattan, Kansas for a three-game series against the Nicholls Colonels, an 11-8 team from the Southland Conference. On Monday, the Nebraska Athletic Department announced that due to the forecasted weather in Lincoln this upcoming weekend, Nebraska and Nicholls have agreed to move the series to Manhattan, Kansas. Since a game was lost last weekend against Illinois State, this move makes sense. Kansas State is on the road in Waco, Texas to play Baylor, making the field available. It has also been announced that admission and parking for all three games is free.
Nebraska’s four game winning streak was snapped Tuesday by the Omaha Mavericks with a 10-4 loss to the in-state rival. The big hitting offense was cooled down by strong Maverick pitching and the Cornhusker bullpen reverted back to the dismal showing in the first weekend playing against San Diego. Fortunately, the three starters in the upcoming series vs. the Colonels have been solid in their starts and have consistently worked into the fifth and sixth innings.
Offensively, Nebraska who had enjoyed a bevy of home runs and doubles in recent games had only two extra base hits against the Mavericks. While they had a total of ten hits, they struggled once against with runners on base, including the eighth inning with bases loaded and no one out only to see the heart of their order all strike out. With all that said, this is a hot hitting team, led by Max Anderson (.426) and Brice Matthews (.411), as well as the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Cole Evans who is hitting an even .500 in 22 plate appearances. Charlie Fischer, Josh Caron, Efry Cervantes, Gabe Swanson, Dylan Carey, Garrett Anglim, and Casey Burnham are all hitting above .300. Matthews leads the team with four home runs while Fischer, Caron, and Swanson each have three. Anderson has contributed eight doubles, two triples, and a homer. The firepower is there.
Game 1: LHP Jackson Brockett (1-0, 1.04 ERA) vs. LHP Michael Quevedo (0-0, 6.23 ERA)
Game 2: LHP Emmett Olson (2-1, 3.97 ERA) vs. LHP Tyler Theriot (2-2, 2.53 ERA)
Game 3: RHP Jace Kaminska (3-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. TBA
Jackson Brockett is going to take the hill for his third start of the season after posting his first win last week against Northern Colorado. The lefty from Omaha held the Bears to two hits and recorded five strikeouts, giving up no walks in four complete innings. As is typical in midweek games under Coach Will Bolt, starting pitchers are generally limited to four innings in order to give other pitchers an opportunity to get out on the mound. Brockett was cruising and could had gone a couple of more. His 1.04 ERA is nothing to sneeze at, even this early in the season.
No surprise that Emmett Olson takes the hill in game two as Friday is his normal start day. The big left-hander has completed six innings in each of his last two starts and was really sharp last week vs. Illinois State recording eight strikeouts. Jace Kaminska is going to pitch game three with one less day of rest, which really should not have much of an impact. He has won his last three starts and continues to extend his innings.
As noted above, the bullpen really struggled against Omaha and Coach Christy has to wonder about some of his more veteran hurlers. That said, some of the younger arms have looked good coming out of the pen the last couple of weeks. Hometown lefty Jalen Worthley, Texan J.C. Gutierrez, and Freshman transfer Will Rizzo have all shown they are not afraid of challenging hitters.
Michael Quevedo will start Game 1 for the Colonels without a decision. He has made two starts, going four innings against South Alabama and 2.2 vs. Southeastern Baptist. He also has two appearances out of the bullpen. Quevedo is a sophomore out of Deltona, FL.
Senior Tyler Theriot is the Colonels regular Friday night starter and has notched wins against Lindenwood, and University of Louisiana-Monroe. His losses were to Louisiana Tech and Memphis. He is a dependable arm and has faced quality hitters for the past couple of years.
Jacob Mayers is their regular Sunday starter and has posted a 3-1 record and a 1.35 ERA. Whether Coach Silva chooses to put him out as a starter short two days rest would not seem likely unless he is on a very limited pitch count. Graduate student Cade Evans appears to be their stopper out of the pen, making seven appearances with a 0.00 ERA and two saves.
Nicholls Scouting Report
The Nicholls Colonels compete in the Southland Conference out of Thibodaux, Louisiana. The institution is actually called Nicholls State University with the athletic teams identifying with the shortened Nicholls. After finishing seventh in the nine team Southland Conference in Coach Mike Silva’s first year, they enter the series against Nebraska with an 11-8 record. They have won series against Lindenwood, Memphis, Southeastern Baptist and UL-Monroe. They lost their game, 5-4 against South Alabama, a team Nebraska swept on the road, and lost two of three to Louisiana Tech. They also took a 12-4 loss this week against perennial College World Series participant Mississippi State.
Right fielder Xane Washington, most recently hitting from the second spot in the order, leads the team with a .338 average. He has 23 hits including eight doubles, and has also drawn 10 walks and stole six bases. Edgar Alvarez has three home runs and 12 runs batted in, while hitting .329.
Pitcher Tyler Theriot was first-team All-Southland Conference in 2022 and Xane Washington was name to the second team. First baseman Edgar Alvarez, shortstop Parker Coddou, and pitcher Devin Desandro were all on the third team. All five of these players are off to a good start in the 2023 campaign.
Nebraska is 3-1 all time vs Nicholls. They first played in 1999 in Houston, Texas and then the Colonels came to Lincoln for a three-game series in 2016.
Husker Notes from the Past Week
Garrett Anglim is still out with an injury suffered in the Cambria Classic in Minneapolis. Hopefully he is back next week when the Cornhuskers open Big Ten play against Illinois.
With hot hitting Cole Evans moving into the starting lineup, Casey Burnham has apparently lost his spot in the lineup. The same could be said for freshman Dylan Carey as senior captain Efry Cervantes has flashed his glove playing defense and just as important, is putting the ball in play. That said, Cervantes has also played 1B so perhaps the young Canadian will return to the lineup this week.