Baseball travels to Lincoln

Typically when the Longhorns travel north to face Nebraska, the ‘Huskers are a nationally ranked team and the series has conference championship implications. For Texas, that's true. But for Nebraska -- they're just looking to get back into position to qualify for the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City. Burnt Orange Beat previews the series.

The ‘Huskers have fallen on hard times of late, losing their last six games. They have allowed at least nine runs in five of those games. After being swept by Kansas State at home last weekend, Nebraska dropped a 15-0 decision to in-state rival Creighton on Tuesday.

With the Texas Longhorns sitting at just 6-6 in Big 12 play, a sweep would be important to get a leg-up on the rest of the Big 12 before the season's stretch drive.

Pitching

As Augie Garrido stated after Tuesday's game, nothing will change on the pitching front this weekend.

Thursday: Chance Ruffin, So., RHP (5-2, 2.48 ERA...54.1 IP, 46 H, 12 BB, 45 K)
Friday: Brandon Workman, So., RHP (3-3, 2.55 ERA...42.1 IP, 28 H, 8 BB, 42 K)
Saturday: Cole Green, So., RHP (2-0, 2.75 ERA...39.1 IP, 38 H, 10 BB, 24 K)

Five Texas pitchers combined to shut out TCU on Tuesday evening, including weekend starters Brandon Workman and Cole Green. Because neither pitcher threw many pitches in their start last weekend, both saw action in Tuesday's game.

Nebraska's pitching staff has been a major disappointment this season, and it's the primary reason that they're just 16-15 overall and 4-8 in the Big 12. The ‘Huskers have a 6.41 ERA overall, but that number balloons to 8.33 in conference play.

Thursday: Sean Yost, Fr., RHP (1-2, 7.83 ERA...23.0 IP, 27 H, 8 BB, 24 K)
Friday: Jordan Roualdes, Jr., LHP (4-2, 5.83 ERA...41.2 IP, 44 H, 22 BB, 13 K)
Saturday: Casey Hauptman, So., RHP (2-2, 5.30 ERA...37.1 IP, 42 H, 9 BB, 26 K)

Nebraska's most talented pitcher is hard-throwing righty Mike Nesseth. After beginning the year as a starting pitcher, Nesseth has moved back to the bullpen. He leads the team with a 3.72 ERA this season, and he has 48 strikeouts in 38.2 innings.

After Nesseth, Nebraska's two leading innings men -- Michael Mariot and Erik Bird -- both have ERA's north of 8.00 on the season.

Offense

The Texas offense has certainly underachieved for most of this season, but they have looked much better over the last few games. They will get plenty of opportunities this weekend against a Nebraska pitching staff that ranks last in the league in most pitching categories.

The Nebraska offense has been a bit of a surprise this season. They don't have a whole lot of power or raw talent, but they have carried the club at times this season. The Cornhuskers are hitting .293 as a team, but that mark rises to .304 with 11 home runs in 12 conference games.

C: Cody Neer, Sr. (.274, 2 HR, 18 RBI)
1B: Tyler Farst, Jr. (.367, 2 HR, 26 RBI)
2B: Kyle Bubak, Jr. (.322, 1 HR, 13 RBI)
SS: Ben Kline, So. (.230, 0 HR, 10 RBI)
3B: Jake Mort, Sr. (.278, 2 HR, 11 RBI)
LF: Boomer Collins, Fr. (.280, 1 HR, 7 RBI)
CF: D.J. Belfonte, Jr. (.242, 1 HR, 12 RBI)
RF: Adam Bailey, Jr. (.325, 9 HR, 34 RBI)
DH: Jeff Tezak, Sr. (.317, 2 HR, 19 RBI)


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