After a disappointing weekend at Northwestern, Nebraska (24-18, 13-8 Big Ten) returns home to face Arizona State (34-12, 14-10 Pac-12), one of the best opponents the Huskers have seen all season. The Sun Devils may have dropped a few recently, but they started their season with a 21-0 record.
ASU is currently just outside the top 25 after dropping two straight conference series. In a way, Nebraska and ASU have had similar paths this season. Both teams started hot but have struggled as of late.
The Huskers currently own third place in the Big Ten standings and a lot could change in the next couple weeks. As of yesterday, Nebraska was still projected as a No. 3 seed in a regional appearance, but that could also change significantly with the next two series.
It is different to play an nonconference series so late in the year, but senior Reece Eddins doesn't see it as a distraction at all.
“They’re such a good opponent,” he said on Thursday. “We’ve got to treat it like it’s a conference weekend.”
Eddins also spoke on the significance of getting to finish the season at home.
“It’s awesome, we play our best baseball at home,” he said. “Over my five years here, there is no better atmosphere than a home game.”
Nebraska was able to get the bats going in the final game of the series at Northwestern and it hopes to carry that momentum into this weekend.
“We just have to get back to what we did on Monday and just swing the bats and have some fun,” Coach Darin Erstad said.
Erstad commented on the approach against power hitting team like Arizona State.
“Pray for the wind to be blowing in, which it’s not going to be,” Erstad said. “These are the types of teams you’ve got to be able to play with if you want to get anywhere”.
It will be a fun atmosphere this weekend as it is alumni weekend and Friday night will mark the 500th game played at Hawks Field. Joba Chamberlain will be honored with his own bobble head giveaway Friday night and many other former players are set to be recognized at the game.
First pitch between Nebraska and Arizona State is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT on NET.
Other notes from practice:
>> Joe Acker will miss this weekend and be out of town with a family obligation.
>> Spencer Schwellenbach is day-to-day right now. He injured his ankle on Sunday in a collision with Acker.