Just like that, it’s senior weekend at Haymarket Park and Nebraska will host Michigan—the first place team in the Big Ten—with plenty to play for. Coach Darin Erstad doesn’t believe one series is more important than any other, but he did say that the Huskers have to be in playoff mode.
“We’re in the playoffs now,” Erstad said. “We understand it’s game on.”
What exactly is on the line for Nebraska this weekend? No matter how you look at it, this is a crucial series for the Huskers.
D1Baseball.com currently has Nebraska projected as a No. 3 seed in the Louisville regional. The series win over Arizona State was a big boost for the postseason resume, but the Huskers could use a couple more wins to feel confident about a regional appearance.
Nebraska has done itself no favors by dropping three straight conference series but even with the recent struggles, there is still an outside shot to win the Big Ten Championship. Nebraska would need to sweep Michigan and hope Indiana loses two of three to Rutgers.
This weekend is sure to be full of emotion with senior night and postseason implications. The series was significant enough that the Big Ten tweaked the start times in order to televise the games. Needless to say, there is no excuse to come out flat against the Wolverines.
Angelo Altavilla is a senior that has experienced just about everything in his career at Nebraska and spoke about some of his favorite memories at Haymarket Park. He mentioned the walk-off wins and the thrill of jumping on the pile after a win, but it was the fans that he will always remember.
“I love hearing that roar of the crowd,” Altavilla said. “That will never be replaced”.
Nate Fisher is another senior who really provided the turning point to the series last weekend as Nebraska went on to hold Arizona State to one run on Saturday. It was a game that realistically could’ve buried Nebraska’s confidence and hopes for the year, but Fisher was having no part of that.
Both Altavilla and Fisher are part of a senior class that has been through everything from winning a Big Ten Championship to not even making the Big Ten tournament just one year ago. Fisher knows what he wants to accomplish in his final games as a Husker.
“We’re trying to win a Big Ten Championship and then get momentum going for the post season,” he said.
The Huskers will have an opportunity to do just that against Michigan this weekend. First pitch is set for Thursday at 7:35 p.m. CT.