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Husker Baseball Red White Blue

Huskers Head Back on the Road for Three-Game Series at Illinois


Husker Baseball Red White Blue

Friday, April 2 (6 PM)
Pitching: LHP Cade Povich (2-1) vs. LHP Nate Lavender (3-0)
TV/Streaming: BTN+
Radio: Husker Sports Network
 
Saturday, April 3 (5 PM) 
Pitching: RHP Chance Hroch (2-0) vs. RHP Ty Rybarczyk (1-2)
TV/Streaming: BTN+
Radio: Husker Sports Network

Sunday, April 4 (Noon)
Pitching: RHP Shay Schanaman (2-0) vs. RHP Riley Gowens (1-1)
TV/Streaming: BTN+
Radio: Husker Sports Network

Following a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Golden Gophers last weekend at Hawks Field, the Nebraska baseball team (11-4) heads back on the road this weekend for a three-game series in Champaign, Ill., against the Illinois Fighting Illini (7-8).

The Husker take a six-game winning streak into Friday's series opener, which is set for 6 PM (CT). Saturday's game is scheduled for 5 PM and the series is set to conclude on Sunday at Noon.

The two teams last met in Champaign during the 2018 season, with Illinois winning the first two games before the Huskers avoided a sweep with a win in the series finale.

The Illini also hosted their home opener last weekend, as they welcomed Northwestern to Illinois Field. Illinois took the series opener on Friday, 12-8, but dropped the series with losses on Saturday, 16-14, and Sunday, 12-5. The high-scoring series featured 22 combined home runs, including 14 during game two.

Nebraska is 7-4 away from Lincoln this year, including a 2-1 record in true road games.

All three games this weekend will be carried on BTN+, a online streaming service through the Big Ten Network. 

Fans can listen to Greg Sharpe and Ben McLaughlin call the action this weekend on the Learfield/IMG College Husker Sports Network. Every game this season can be heard for free on Huskers.com and the Official Nebraska Huskers App for both iOS and android devices.

Last Time Out
The Huskers are coming off a four-game sweep at home over Minnesota. The Huskers outscored the Gophers 39-12 and took advantage of nine Minnesota errors.

3/26: Nebraska 6 - Minnesota 1
3/27: Nebraska 6 - Minnesota 4 (DH 1 - 7 Innings)
3/27: Nebraska 17 - Minnesota 5 (DH 2 - 7 Innings)
3/28: Nebraska 10 - Minnesota 2

Next Up
Nebraska is back at Hawks Field next weekend for a three-game series against the Maryland Terrapins. The series opener is set for 6:30 PM on Friday, April 9.

4/9: Nebraska vs. Maryland (6:30 PM)
4/10: Nebraska vs. Maryland (2 PM) - on NET
4/11: Nebraska vs. Maryland (Noon)

Leading Off
• The Huskers have won their last six games. Their last loss came in the series opener at Iowa on March 19.

• Nebraska last had a six-game winning streak in 2019, including wins over Air Force (2), Michigan State (3) and Creighton (1).

• Nebraska's last winning streak of more than six games came in 2016 when it won eight straight, including wins over Wichita State (2), Indiana State (2), Purdue (3) and Creighton (1).

• Nebraska's last 10-game winning streak came in 2015 with wins over Northern Colorado (2), Florida Gulf Coast (3), Indiana State (2), Michigan (3) and Cal State Fullerton (1).
  
 - Nebraska had an nine-game unbeaten streak in 2017. The Huskers won five straight, tied Indiana, and then won three straight following the tie.

• Through March 30, Nebraska ranks fifth nationally with a .986 fielding percentage. NU has committed seven errors in 15 games. The next closest Big Ten program is Indiana at 32nd nationally (.978). The national top five includes:

  1. Notre Dame (.991)
  2. Navy (.991)
  3. Oregon (.989)
  4. Oregon State (.988)
  5. Nebraska (.986)

• NU ranks in the top three in the league in multiple offensive categories including: 

  Runs Scored - 1st (111)
  Walks - 1st (77)
  Sacrifice Bunts - 1st (15)
  RBIs - 2nd (95)  -  (Northwestern leads, 97)
  Hits - 3rd (136)  -  (Illinois leads, 149)

• Nebraska's pitching staff also ranks near the top of the conference in multiple categories including:

  Shutouts - T1st (3)  -  (Tied with Michigan State)
  ERA - 3rd (3.74)  -  (Indiana leads, 2.55)
  Fewest Runs Allowed - 3rd (58)  -  (Indiana leads, 39)

• Spencer Schwellenbach ranks second in the Big Ten with 17 runs scored and is tied for second in doubles with seven. Northwestern's Anthony Calarco leads the league in both categories with 20 runs and nine doubles. Schwellenbach is also tied for fourth in the conference in saves with three, while TJ Brock leads the way with six saves.

• Cade Povich (3rd - 32) and Shay Schanaman (T6th - 28) both rank in the top 10 in the Big Ten in strikeouts. Indiana's McCade Brown has a league-best 43 strikeouts.

• Luke Roskam ranks third in the Big Ten with a .538 on-base percentage. Tyler Snep has a Big Ten-best .564 on-base percentage. 
 
• Cam Chick (4th - 18) and Max Anderson (T7th - 15) both rank in the top 10 in the conference in RBIs. Chris Brito has a league-best 26 RBIs. Chick is also tied for the conference lead in sacrifice flies with three.

• Joe Acker is tied for third in the Big Ten with 12 walks, one behind leaders Bobby Zmarzlak (Maryland) and Skyler Hunter (Purdue). Acker led off the bottom of the first last weekend against Minnesota with a walk in two of the four games.

• Jaxon Hallmark and Griffin Everitt are both tied for the conference lead in sacrifice bunts with three each.

• 11 players have made their Husker debuts this season, including true freshmen  infielders Max AndersonBrice Matthews and Jack Steil, as well as freshman pitcher Emmett Olson

Scouting the Illini
• Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten prior to the 2012 season the Illini hold a 5-3 advantage over the Huskers at Illinois Field.

• Illinois lost 3-of-4 to Ohio State to start the year, then rebounded and took 3-of-4 at Minnesota the following week. Prior to hosting Northwestern the Illini split a pair of games against both Michigan and Michigan State at the Ann Arbor Pod.

• Illini has a potent offense that leads the Big Ten with 149 hits, ranks second in doubles with 32 and is second in average at .284. The Illini also have the second-fewest strikeouts in the league with 119.

• While the Illini offense leads the Big Ten with 149 hits, their pitching staff has also allowed a league-high 155 hits and are tied for the second-most runs allowed at 101.

• Illini ranks second in the conference with 23 home runs allowed, with 15 allowed during its series with Northwestern last weekend.

• Three Illini pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts in last Friday's series opener, including nine from reliever Nathan Lavender over 4.2 innings. 

• Lavender is scheduled to start Friday's series opener and it will be his first start of the season after making four relief appearances. Has a 0.75 ERA and 21 strikeouts to just one walk over 12 innings pitched.

• Northwestern hit nine home runs in last Saturday's game at Illinois, which matched the Illinois Field single-game team home run record. The record was set by Illinois on April 30, 1991 vs. UIC.

• The Illini have five regular starters hitting over .300 on the season, including a team-best .370 average from Branden Comia. The junior infielder also leads the team in runs (15), doubles (5) and HBP (5).

• Dan Hartleb is in his 16th season as head coach at Illinois and 31st season on the Illini coaching staff in 2021. Hartleb entered 2021 with a career record of 454-327-1 (.581). The D1Baseball.com Big Ten Coach of the Decade for the 2010s has won a pair of Big Ten titles (2011, 2015) and owns a conference record of 202-153 (.569).

The All-Time Series with Illinois
• Illinois holds a 12-10 advantage in 22 previous games between the two teams.

• Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten prior to the 2012 season the Illini hold a 11-10 advantage.

• The first time the teams meet was in 1897 and Illinois won 14-9. The two teams didn't meet again until 2012 when Nebraska hosted Illinois for a three-game series at Hawks Field.

• The teams have met for a Big Ten Conference series seven times and Nebraska won the first three series but Illinois has won the past two series. The Illini have also won the past two series in Champaign (2015 & 2018), after Nebraska won during its first visit in 2013.

2019 - Illinois won, 2-1 (Lincoln)
2018 - Illinois won, 2-1 (Champaign)
2016 - Nebraska won, 2-1 (Lincoln)
2015 - Illinois won, 2-0 (Champaign) - Game 3 canceled due to rain
2014 - Nebraska won, 2-1 (Lincoln)
2013 - Nebraska won, 2-1 (Champaign)
2012 - Nebraska won, 2-1 (Lincoln)

• The teams have met once during the postseason, with Illinois winning, 3-2, at Target Field during the 2015 Big Ten Tournament.

2021 TV Schedule
Nebraska baseball's 2021 TV schedule was released earlier this week.

Saturday, April 10 – 2 PM – Maryland (NET)
Friday, April 23 – 4 PM  – at Michigan State (BTN)
Saturday, May 15 – 2 PM – Northwestern (NET)
Friday, May 21 – 7 PM – at Indiana (BTN)
Saturday, May 22 – 5:30 PM – at Indiana (ESPNU)
Friday, May 28 – Noon – Michigan (BTN)
Saturday, May 29 – Noon – Michigan (BTN)
Sunday, May 30 – Noon – Michigan (BTN)