Nebraska (24-15-1, 7-4-1) @ Ohio State (16-24, 4-8)
Bill Davis Stadium- Nick Swisher Field/ Columbus, Ohio
Friday, April 28th 5:35 PM Radio: AM 590 ESPN Omaha
Saturday, April 29th 2:05 PM Radio: AM 590 ESPN Omaha
Sunday, April 30th 11:05 AM Radio: AM 590 ESPN Omaha
Ohio State rattled off 44 wins and won the Big Ten baseball tournament in 2016 at TD Ameritrade Park but lost some key members from that squad. There was some reason to be optimistic about 2017 as they handed top-ranked Oregon State their first loss of the season out in Surprise, Arizona. The Buckeyes haven't had much to celebrate since. OSU has only one conference series win and that was against Penn State, who sits last in the conference. They have lost conference series to Minnesota, Purdue, and Michigan State and are now in serious jeopardy of missing the Big Ten tournament after winning it a year ago. The Buckeyes played out of conference last weekend, losing two of three to UNC-Greensboro.
Nebraska is coming off of a huge road series victory over Minnesota, who at the time was on top of the conference standings. The Huskers are now 7-4-1 in the Big Ten and currently sit 3rd in the standings. NU has been impressive on the road with a 9-4-1 record. Nebraska also recorded a mid-week victory over in-state foe Omaha winning 13-2. The Huskers have now won three of their last four games and are 10-5-1 in the month of April.
WEEKEND PITCHING MATCUPS
Fri: NU- (Jr.) RHP- Jake Hohensee (5-2, 3.17 ERA) vs. OSU- (Jr.) RHP- Yianni Pavlopoulos (2-5, 6.39 ERA)
Sat: NU- (Sr.) RHP- Derek Burkamper (2-4, 4.50 ERA) vs. OSU- (Sr.) RHP- Jake Post ( 1-3, 3.38 ERA)
Sun: NU- (Jr.) LHP- Jake Myers (6-1, 2.91 ERA) vs. OSU- TBA
OSU: Greg Beals (6th season) 219-169-1
NU: Darin Erstad (6th season) 200-134-1
NUMBERS TO KNOW
Ohio State is hitting in the bottom half of the conference with a .243 team batting average. Dominic Canzone leads the the team with a .347 average. Jalen Washington is only hitting .240 but leads the team in RBI's (26), stolen bases (11), and tied for the team lead in home runs (5). The pitching has been shaky at best with a team ERA of 5.11. The starting pitching has struggles but the bullpen has picked up the slack for the Buckeyes. Seth Kinker has seventeen appearances with a 2.55 ERA and 36 strikeouts.
Nebraska committed zero errors against Minnesota and limiting extra chances for the Gophers proved to be big. Senior second baseman Jake Schleppenbach has yet to make an error on the season. Huskers have seen their offense on the rise over the last week as they enter the weekend with a .270 team batting average. Scott Schreiber hit his team leading fourth homerun of the season against Omaha on Tuesday. Jake Schleppenbach hit his first career grand slam on Tuesday as well. Freshmen Luke Roskam is batting .323 with three homeruns and has seen several starts in the month of April. Ben Miller enters Friday with a career-best 24-game on-base streak. It's the longest by a Husker in 2017.
The pitching staff has been stable with great outings from Jake Hohensee and Jake Myers. The two combined on four big wins against Maryland and Minnesota this month. Luis Alvarado leads the team in saves with 7 and has been tough to score on with a 1.74 ERA. Chad Luensmann picked up his sixth save of the year in Sunday's victory over Minnesota. The NU pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.39.