Nebraska Cornhuskers (24-17-1) at #23 Maryland Terrapins (31-15)
Location: Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium
Dates: May 5th-7th
Times (all CT): May 5th: 5:30 pm, May 6th: 1 pm, May 7th: 12 pm
Head Coaches: Will Bolt (4th season, 86-68-1) & Rob Vaughn (6th season, 172- 111)
Radio: Huskers Radio Network, Huskers.com, Huskers App
Maryland, my Maryland. The conference leading and #23 ranked Terps are sticking to the model that has been incredibly successful for them since coach Rob Vaughn took over. Lots of power hitters to go with their little league sized stadium. The fence at Bob Smith Stadium is a good 10-15 feet further in than the one you see at Haymarket Park, or most fields in the conference.
So take all their offensive numbers with a huge grain of salt. They rarely translate when they come to pitching friendly parks at say Haymarket or especially Charles Schwab Field for the tournament. This series is at “The Turtle” however, so it is what they are used to. Nebraska has only played their once, and we took the 2015 team that had great pitching and defense and not a whole lot of offense, and it did not turn out well, a 3-0 sweep for Maryland.
Game 1: LHP Emmett Olson (5-2, 4.06 ERA) vs. RHP Nick Dean (3-1, 4.70 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Jace Kaminska (6-3, 3.91 ERA) vs. LHP Kyle McCoy (4-5, 4.68 ERA)
Game 3: TBD vs. RHP Jason Savacool (4-4, 4.43 ERA)
Emmet Olson came back off a couple bad outings and had a quality start on the Friday night loss to Minnesota last week. His 3 earned runs in 6 innings had the Huskers in position to win, before the 9th inning meltdown.
The pitching performance of the weekend in Lincoln was by Jace Kaminska. He bounced back big time and had his best start as a Husker. 7 innings of shutout ball with a season high 7 strikeouts. He righted the ship just a few hours after the 9th inning heartbreaker.
While no starter has been named for Sunday, the staff is leaving it open for Will Walsh to be used should the need arise on Friday or Saturday. If he’s still unused by Sunday though, expect to see him climb on the bump. He also threw a quality start, and had Minnesota scoreless until he started to get fatigued in the 6th inning.
Jason Savacool has gone from pre-season All American, to being removed from the Friday night spot in the rotation. His up and down season has led to a 4-4 record, and after giving up 6 earned runs to a les than stellar Purdue team, he transitioned to Sunday. He didn’t seem to enjoy his first outing as he gave up 7 runs in 5 innings to Indiana. Luckily it didnt matter as Maryland won 14-8.
Taking over Savacool’s spot in the rotation is Nick Dean. Coming off a 3rd team all conference selection last year as a starter, Dean is basically repeating his numbers from last year. Kyle McCoy was one of the top left handed pitchers in the nation as a high schooler. He has the talent, but has been struggling adjusting to the college game so far. He is coming off his best outing against Indiana, 1 earned run over 7 innings.
Maryland Scouting Report
As stated above, Maryland is going to be tops in the B1G in a lot of offensive categories. They have 2 position players selected to the preseason All-American team, and they are both living up to the billing. Luke Shliger is considered by some to be the top catcher in college baseball. He is expected to be a top 2-3 round pick if he declares for the MLB draft. He is the rare leadoff catcher, and leads the team with 72 runs scored, while batting .333 with 11 HRs, and 46 RBIs.
Short stop Matt Shaw is right in the heart of the offense again. He’s batting .353 with a conference leading 18 HRs and 51 RBIs. Both players are also the players most likely to run for the Terps, with double digit steals. The batter that took his numbers to the next level is third baseman Nick Lorusso. He is hitting .377 with 17 HRs and a conference leading 71 RBIs.
Even for their park, Maryland is having a down year on the pitching staff. No pitcher that gets in games on a semi regular basis has an ERA under 4. They have a whole host of guys that have 15+ appearances on the year, much more so than most teams. One of their top stoppers is Nigel Belgrave. He has a 4.62 ERA and 32 Ks over 28 innings. David Falco Jr is the closer. He has 7 saves on the season, with a 5.65 ERA.
The Terps defense has been very good this season. The sit 3rd in the conference with a .976 fielding percentage.
Maryland owns a 7-6 advantage in the series. Nebraska won the last series 2-1 in 2021. The series clinching game in that series was the coming out party for Brice Matthews. The freshman had a home run, a double, scored 3 runs and had 5 RBIs. The last time the Huskers trekked to College Park is 2015, when Maryland swept them in 3 games.
- Efry Cervantes (leg injury) and Ben Columbus (illness) are expected to be able to be good to go for this series after being limited last weekend and for Wednesday’s loss to NDSU.
- Max Anderson is 3 hits shy of 200 in his career.
- Anderson needs 1 home run to break into the top 10 in the Huskers all time ranks.