After a very encouraging weekend, Maryland will head to the midwest to take on the first place team in the Big Ten, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Maryland went 3-1 over the weekend with wins on Friday and Saturday against Northwestern, and a thrashing of Michigan, 17-7 on Monday. It was the Terps’ first win over Michigan in nine tries.
Leading the way over the weekend was junior shortstop Benjamin Cowles, who was on base four times in the win on Monday, as well as senior second baseman Tommy Gardiner, who homered several times. Maxwell Costes also had a good weekend, as he went 4-5 with 4 RBIs on Saturday vs the Wildcats, and he finally logged his first extra base hit of the season on Monday against Michigan.
Maryland’s offensive onslaught on Monday was the second time they have scored at least 17 runs in a game this season, as they scored a season-high 19 against Penn State on March 20.
Nebraska is going to be a very big test for Maryland’s pitching staff, as they are currently at the top of almost all offensive categories. They are second in the conference in home runs and hits. They lead the Big Ten in runs, batting average, and RBI. The Cornhuskers pitching staff ranks sixth in the Big Ten with a 4.31 team earned run average. Their opposing batting average ranks eighth in the Big Ten at .255.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-6)
Before the pandemic shut games down, Nebraska finished last season at 7-8. They hit an impressive .281 which was ranked fifth in the Big Ten. However, their pitching struggled mightily in their 15 games as they were second-to-last in the conference with a 5.94 ERA. They were very good on defense finishing tied for first in the conference with a .980 fielding percentage.
Nebraska has not lost a series in the 2021 season, as they have been carried by their potent offense all season long. The Cornhuskers are coming off of a series win in Champaign against Illinois, as they took two out of three games. They scored at least eight runs in all three games. Prior to the series against Illinois, Nebraska swept Minnesota in a four-game series at home. Even though two of the games only went seven innings, Nebraska scored at least six runs in all four of those games.
Hitters to Watch
Nebraska is led by their junior shortstop from Saginaw, Michigan, Spencer Schwellenbach. He has started every game this season, and is hitting an astounding .353, with three home runs and 14 RBI. He has also made seven appearances on the mound, and has not given up a run. The Huskers lineup also features junior infielder Cam Chick, who is hitting .298 with six homers and has driven in 21.
Pitchers to Watch
Nebraska’s staff is led by junior left-hander Cade Povich. Povich has made five starts this season with a 3.95 ERA and is 2-1 on the season. He has thrown 27 1/3 innings, given up 12 earned runs, and has 36 strikeouts. The Terps can also expect to see right-hander Shay Schanaman. Schanaman has also made five starts on the year, but he has struggled, with a 5.87 ERA. He has given up 15 earned runs in 23 innings pitched and has also struck out 25. Schanaman has gone 2 2/3 innings in two of his last three starts, but went 7 1/3 against Minnesota on March 28.
Starting Pitching Matchups
Friday- RHP Sean Burke (1-1, 4.78 ERA) vs LHP Cade Povich (2-1, 3.95 ERA)
Burke pitched a decent game in his last time out against Northwestern. The Massachusetts native went five innings, gave up three hits, and only two runs, but he did walk five Wildcats.
Povich, in his last start, went into the sixth inning but was unable to complete it. He gave up three earned runs on six hits and only walked one. Nebraska would win the game, 8-6.
Saturday RHP Nick Dean vs RHP Chance Hroch (2-0, 5.04 ERA)
Dean threw a decent game in his last start out against the Wildcats. He went five innings, gave up three earned runs and struck out five, the Terps would go on to win the game.
Hroch, the New Mexico State transfer, is coming off of a tough outing last time out. He went just four innings, gave up seven hits, and allowed five runs. Nebraska would end up falling to Illinois late in this game.
Sunday RHP Jason Savacool (4-0, 3.82 ERA) vs RHP Shay Schanaman
Savacool, the freshman phenom, is coming off the first rough start of his college career. He was beaten around pretty bad by Michigan, but thanks to an offensive onslaught, Savacool was let off the hook and the Terps won big.
Like Savacool, Schanaman is also coming off of a tough start against Illinois. He threw two and two-thirds innings giving up five earned runs and four hits while throwing just 43 pitches.