Michigan State Preview & Notes


Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications

NEBRASKA at MICHIGAN STATE

May 16-18, 2024

East Lansing, Mich. | McLane Stadium at Kobs Field

Thursday, May 16 – 5:02 p.m. CT

Pitching: RHP Brett Sears (7-0, 2.11 ERA) vs. LHP Joseph Dzierwa (6-2, 3.86 ERA)

TV/Streaming: B1G+

Radio: Huskers Radio Network, Huskers.com, Huskers App

Friday, May 17 – 4:02 p.m. CT

Pitching: RHP Mason McConnaughey (6-3, 3.09 ERA) vs. LHP Nick Powers (6-4, 5.69 ERA)

TV/Streaming: BTN

Radio: Huskers Radio Network, Huskers.com, Huskers App

 Saturday, May 18 – 11:02 a.m. CT

Pitching: LHP Jackson Brockett (2-0, 2.82 ERA) vs. TBD

TV/Streaming: BTN

Radio: Huskers Radio Network, Huskers.com, Huskers App

Follow the Game

• Thursday’s series opener can be seen on B1G+, while the games on Friday and Saturday will be broadcast live on BTN, with Connor Onion and Scott Pose on the call.

• Fans can also listen to Ben McLaughlin call the action this weekend on the Huskers Radio 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.

Nebraska vs. Michigan State

• Through 28 all-time meetings, Nebraska holds an 18-10 advantage over Michigan in the all-time series.

• The two teams last met in the Big Ten Tournament last season. Will Walsh pitched a complete-game four-hit shutout over the Spartans in a 4-0 win for the Huskers.

• Nebraska makes its first trip to East Lansing since the 2021 campaign, where the Big Red took two of three games over the Spartans.

 Title Scenarios

• Nebraska enters the final weekend of the regular season in the race for the regular-season title, sitting one game back of Illinois in the team standings.

Nebraska Clinches Outright

- Nebraska wins three AND Illinois loses two.

 Nebraska Clinches a Share - Scenario 1

- Nebraska wins three and Illinois loses one.

Nebraska Clinches a Share - Scenario 2

- Nebraska wins two and Illinois loses two.

Weekend Rotation

• Brett Sears is set to toe the rubber on Thursday night. Sears is 7-0 this season in 13 starts, posting a 2.11 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 85.1 innings, while holding opponents to a .176 hitting clip.

• Mason McConnaughey takes the mound on Friday for his eighth start this season. The sophomore set career highs with 7.1 innings pitched and 10 strikeouts last Saturday vs. Indiana, becoming the third Husker to post a 10- plus strikeout effort this season.

• Jackson Brockett gets the nod for the second straight series finale on Saturday. Brockett is 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA this season, allowing just three hits and three earned runs in 17 innings over his last three starts.

Clark’s Mid-Season Evolution on the Mound

• It’s been a tale of two seasons in 2024 for Caleb Clark. After a slow start to the year, the southpaw has come on strong, providing key outings in crucial moments for the NU pitching staff in the last month.

• The sophomore has made nine outings since Nebraska’s series at Rutgers in mid-April, allowing just eight earned runs in 18.2 innings for a 3.86 ERA.

• Clark has limited opposing hitters to a .179 hitting clip since making the change on the mound and has tallied 23 punchouts to eight walks.

Middle-Third Production Boosting the Big Red

• Nebraska has been successful the second time through the lineup on the mound and in the batter’s box, outscoring opponents 146-68 in the middle-third innings this season.

• The Huskers hold a 53-18 advantage in the fourth inning, while outscoring opponents 45-20 in the fifth inning and 48-30 in the sixth inning.

• The Husker offense is hitting .309 at the plate with 75 extra-base hits and 137 RBI in the fourth through sixth innings, while the NU pitching staff is limiting opponents to a .230 hitting clip and a 3.71 ERA in the middle-third innings.

Efficient Running Game for NU Offense

• With 86 stolen bases on the season, the Big Red have recorded the most swipes in a season since compiling 90 steals in 2003.

• The Huskers have been stealing bases with high efficiency this season, recording the seventh-highest success rate by a Husker offense since 2000.

Sanderson’s Early Impact at Collegiate Level

• Freshman Case Sanderson leads the Huskers with a .356 batting average along with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and 17 RBI across 42 games, including 31 starts.

• The Nevada, Mo., native has reached base in 21 of his last 22 games and is hitting .359 (23- for-64) with six extra-base hits and eight RBI over that span.

• Sanderson has reached base at a .511 clip this season for the Huskers, which ranks 21st in the nation and second in the Big Ten.

Silva’s Speed With Stolen Bases

• Riley Silva is one of seven D1 players to steal 30-plus bases and be caught three-or-fewer 3

times, joining K-State’s Brendan Jones as the only Power Five players this season.

• Silva is the 10th NU player since 2000 to swipe at least 20 bases, and the first Husker to steal 30-or-more bases in a season since Jamal Strong (35) in 2000.

Silva Plunked Third-Most Times in Season

• Riley Silva has been hit by pitch 22 times this season, which is third-most in program history.

• Silva is two away from tying Corey Miller (1996) in second and six shy of the program record of 28 set by Daniel Bruce in 2002.

Evans Belts First Walk-Off Homer Since 2016

• Cole Evans is hitting .282 this season with nine doubles, four home runs, and 36 RBI over a team-high 50 games played, including 43 starts.

• Evans’ three-run walk-off homer last Saturday vs. Indiana was the first for the Huskers since Steven Reveles vs. Loyola Marymount on March 11, 2016.

• The Grand Island, Neb., native also delivered the go-ahead RBI double in the sixth inning on Sunday to power NU to a 4-2 victory.

Bats in the Nebraska Lineup

• Tyler Stone is batting .315 with eight home runs and 32 RBI for the Big Red, while Ben Columbus has posted a .310 average this season with four doubles, five home runs and 24 RBI.

• Dylan Carey has hits in 14 of his last 21 games and is tied for the team lead on the Big Red with 14 doubles, raising his batting average from .236 to .258 over that span.

• Rhett Stokes holds a .333 batting average with 10 doubles, a home run and 14 RBI, while Cole Evans is hitting .282 with nine doubles, four home runs, and 36 RBI.

• Garrett Anglim holds a .265 batting average this season with seven doubles, two homers and 22 RBI. Joshua Overbeek is batting .274 with eight extra-base hits, 17 RBI and 33 runs scored.

Huskers in the Pen

• Rans Sanders has a 4.05 ERA for the Huskers across 13.1 innings with a pair of saves, allowing six earned runs this season.

• Kyle Perry’s 22 relief appearances lead all NU relievers as the senior is 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA and a career-high tying three saves.

• Evan Borst is limiting opponents to a .167 batting average (7-for-42) this season, posting 15 strikeouts over 12.0 innings of work.

• Kyle Froehlich has appeared in 17 games for the Huskers, punching out 17 batters while issuing five walks across 17.0 innings.