Baseball Weekend Preview: Northwestern State & UT Arlington
The Nebraska baseball team (1-6) heads back to Arlington, Texas to play a four-game series against Northwestern State (3-5) and UT Arlington (2-5). The Huskers will play four games over two days with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. Each day NU will play the Demons of NSU in the morning, followed by the Mavericks of UTA in the afternoon.
Last weekend, the Big Red were swept in three games against TCU. Nebraska trailed early and often in all three of the games against the Horned Frogs. Friday saw TCU take a 1-0 lead in the third inning, which they turned into 4-0 before the game ended 4-1. Both Saturday and Sunday's games saw the Horned Frogs score in the first inning, and win them 8-3 and 5-3 respectively. TCU currently sits 16th in the D1Baseball rankings at 7-1 on the season.
The Huskers' first opponent of the weekend is Northwestern State, who is coming off a four-game losing streak, two of which came during a midweek series with UL Lafayette. The Demons fell to the Ragin' Cajuns 11-8 on Tuesday and 6-3 on Wednesday. Prior to that series, NSU played three games against Oklahoma where they came out hot and won the first game 4-2. OU turned things on over the weekend and took down the Demons 2-1 and 5-1 on Saturday and Sunday.
UT Arlington is the next opponent for the Big Red, and they are coming off a midweek loss to a familiar opponent. The Mavericks took on the Horned Frogs of TCU on Tuesday and fell 8-5. On opening weekend, UTA split a two-game series with Stephen F. Austin where they lost the first game 5-3, but emerged victorious in the second 12-2.
Friday, 11:00 a.m. vs. NSU: RHP Koty Frank (0-0, 1.08 ERA) vs. LHP Cal Carver (0-1, 5.59 ERA)
Friday, 3:00 p.m. vs. UTA: LHP Kyle Perry (0-1, 12.71 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Wong (1-0, 1.80 ERA)
Saturday, 11:00 a.m. vs. NSU: TBA vs. RHP Johnathan Harmon (1-0, 1.80 ERA)
Saturday, 3:00 p.m. vs. UTA: TBA vs. RHP David Moffat (0-2, 6.00 ERA)
***All three games are unavailable to stream video, but are available to hear on Husker Sports Radio Network.
What to watch for
A new rotation
Nebraska is rolling out with a new Friday starter in this series. Kyle Perry has been the Game 1 starter the past two weeks, but this time around it will be Koty Frank. The senior started the fourth game in the series against Sam Houston where he went 4.2 innings and allowed just three hits and no earned runs. He also made an appearance in the first game against TCU where he threw 3.2 innings and allowed two hits and an earned run.
Dawson McCarville and Shay Schanaman are names to watch as they will very possibly be the starters that are TBA. Schanaman pitched Game 2 of both series this season, and McCarville pitched Game 3 of each. Schanaman has recorded a 10.13 ERA this season and McCarville a 6.75 ERA.
Time to bounce back
The Huskers have lost four straight games now, the worst run since the start of the 2020 season when they lost seven straight after a season-opening win. There is no better time to bounce back than now. NU will be playing two of the weaker teams on the schedule so far and have a chance to get the momentum rolling.
Northwestern State and UT Arlington have losing records. The Demons have allowed 17 runs in the last two games, and the Mavericks 10. If the Big Red get the bats going early, they could get some of that momentum rolling into the rest of the season.
Gomes working both sides
Colby Gomes has been a major asset to this Nebraska team. The junior has the best batting average on the team, hitting .400 from the batter's box. Gomes also comes in with the highest On Base Percentage, getting on the base paths 40.7 percent of the time. He has also driven in the second most runs on the team with 4 RBI.
On the other side of things, Gomes is doing work on first base and on the mound. The righty threw two-thirds of an inning against Sam Houston where he secured NU's only win, and at first, he has a 1.000 fielding percentage.
The junior is a leader on the field with his words, but also his actions.
Know your opponents
***Friday's starter Cal Carver was born in Lincoln and lived there for 10 years. He is coming off a six-inning outing in NSU's 4-2 win over Oklahoma where he allowed just two runs on five hits.
***The Demons are 2-1 when it comes to series, as they won their opening series against Stephen F. Austin 2-1, then lost 2-1 to Oklahoma and 2-0 to UL Lafayette.
***Nebraska's director of player development Rob Childress was once the pitching coach at NSU from 1995-97 before he and Dave Van Horn came to Nebraska in 1998.
***Three Mavericks hit home runs in their weekend series. Zach Henry, Matt Cavanagh and Steven Saunders were the three players, and it was the first of their career for each of them.
***Wilson Galvan, a transfer from Howard CC has hits in each of his first six games with the Mavericks.
***In five of UTA's first seven games they have recorded double-digit hits, and in five of the seven, they have outhit their opponent.