Nebraska baseball looks to stay atop the Big Ten conference standings this weekend as it battles the reigning conference regular season and tournament champions. The Huskers (17-7, 3-0 Big Ten) take on Illinois (10-12, 2-1 Big Ten) in a three game series at Hawks Field.
Nebraska will try to continue its eight-game winning streak, winning 14 of its last 15 games. The Huskers come off series victories against Indiana State and Purdue, as well as an 8-2 victory over in-state rival Creighton.
Illinois is coming off a tough 5-4 loss to Indiana State after a dropped strike three allowed the winning run to score in the ninth inning with two outs. The Fighting Illini sit just one game back from Nebraska and Michigan State in the Big Ten conference standings.
Nebraska is all too familiar with Illinois. The Illini’s last conference series loss was to the Huskers in 2014, but Illinois swept the Huskers in 2015.
Junior right-handed pitcher Derek Burkamper will likely take the mound for the Huskers to start the series Friday. Burkamper has a 3-1 record with a 3.32 ERA in five appearances.
Starting at pitcher for the Fighting Illini in Friday’s contest will likely be junior righty Cody Sedlock. In Sedlock’s first six appearances he holds a 4-1 record with a 3.26 ERA.
The Huskers hope the hot stretch from leadoff hitter Ryan Boldt continues heading into the weekend. The junior outfielder has had 12 hits in his last 20 at bats. Boldt holds a .358 average with 18 RBIs and four home runs this season.
After an impressive three-hit, four-RBI and two-home-run game against Creighton, Boldt said in an interview with the Omaha World Herald that his success is due to seeing the ball better and not missing on pitches in his zone.
The series starts Friday with first pitch coming at 6:35 p.m. The series continues Saturday afternoon at 2:05, and wraps up Sunday at 1:05 p.m.