Daniel Eddy / Lantern photographer
Two shutout wins in one week might be enough to give any team a confidence boost.
And now, after beating West Virginia, 9-0, on Tuesday and then snagging a 5-0 win Wednesday against Marshall, the Ohio State baseball team will travel to Nebraska this Friday to take on the Cornhuskers for a Big Ten series.
OSU coach Greg Beals is eager to keep building on the team’s win streak in Lincoln, Neb.
“We need to come out and do the same things we’ve been doing,” Beals said. “Just pitch, play defense, get the timely hits, score runs, and head into Nebraska with some momentum.”
The Buckeyes are currently 21-10 overall this season and 5-4 in Big Ten play.
Sophomore pitcher Trace Dempsey said he wants revenge for last year’s home series with the Cornhuskers, where Nebraska won 2 of 3 games during a series in Columbus in April.
“It’s good to see the bats going, we’ll definitely need that this weekend and I’m excited for Nebraska,” Dempsey said. “They took the series from us at home last year so we want to go take this series from them.”
Nebraska had a rough start to the 2013 campaign, losing seven straight but was able to come back. The team sits at 13-17 going into the series. The Cornhuskers have been tough in Big Ten play, though, with a conference record of 7-2.
The Cornhuskers are sure to bring several of their strong players out against the Buckeyes. Nebraska junior right-hander Christian DeLeon is 3-2 with a 3.93 ERA in 50.1 innings pitched. DeLeon has 26 strikeouts on the season and has yet to give up a home run. Senior outfielder Chad Christensen, another key player, bats a .383 with 18 RBIs in 120 at bats.
OSU redshirt senior center fielder Joe Ciamacco said he knows taking this series will add to the Buckeyes’ confidence and standings as they continue through the regular season.
“Heading to Nebraska, we need to take at least two of three,” Ciamacco said. “Get us going in the right direction again and hopefully make up a couple spots in the Big Ten standings.”
The Buckeyes are fifth in the Big Ten standings, while Nebraska sits in second.
OSU is set to open the series against Nebraska at 5:05 p.m. Friday at Hawks Field in Lincoln, Neb.