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Nebraska vs. Michigan, 5.17

Nebraska's Nate Fisher will get the start against Connecticut on Friday.

Oklahoma State

Record: 36-18 (14-9 Big 12).

RPI (vs. Top 50): 6 (13-8).

National seed/Regional seed: 9/1.

Last 10 games: 8-2.

National ranks: Batting, 118th (.272); pitching, 49th (3.94); defense, 141st (.968).

Top hitters: Trevor Boone, .294, 19 HR, 8 2B, 51 RBIs, .649 slugging; Carson McCusker, .316, 54 hits, 16 2B, 36 RBIs; Andrew Navigato, .303, 63 hits, 14 2B, 12 HR, 40 RBIs.

Top arms: Parker Scott (L), RP/SP, 3-1, 1.45 ERA, 42 K, 37 1/3 IP; Elliott Jensen (R), SP, 9-3, 3.59 ERA, 3 complete games; Brett Standlee (R), SP, 3-1, 4.14; 51 K, 63 IP.

Their strength: Right now, it's the Cowboys' mojo. They're one of the hottest teams in the country. Since getting swept at Texas Tech, the Pokes have won 11 of 13 games, and that included winning the Big 12 Tournament at the same stadium hosting the regional. OSU swept three games at Oregon State after losing at Tech.

Their weakness: Outside of a 13-run showing against TCU on May 25, the Cowboy offense hasn't been torching anyone. But that's being awfully nitpicky. Make no mistake, the Cowboys have hitters up and down the lineup that can hit.

UConn

Record: 36-22 (12-12 AAC).

RPI (vs. Top 50): 29 (8-8).

Regional seed: 2.

Last 10 games: 6-4.

National ranks: Batting, 156th (.266); pitching, 57th (4.09); defense, 143rd (.968).

Top hitters: Michael Woodworth, .319, 72 hits, 8 2B, 5 HR, 36 RBIs, 14 SB; John Toppa, .318, 69 hits, 12 2B, 33 RBIs, 36 BB; Anthony Prato, .311, 69 hits, 15 2B, 30 RBIs, 38 BB.

Top arms: Jacob Wallace (R), RP, 3-1, 0.73 ERA, 56 Ks, 15 saves; Mason Feole (L), SP, 3-3, 3.50; 75 Ks, 72 IP; CJ Dandeneau (R), RP, 4-1, 2.54 ERA, 61 Ks, 46 IP.

Their strength: Left-handed ace Mason Feole can cause headaches, but so can the Huskies' bullpen. Jacob Wallace is one of the top closers in the country, CJ Dandeneau has a 1.96 ERA and opponents are hitting .165 against Caleb Wurster. In other words, if you're Nebraska, you don't want to be trailing in the later innings Friday.

Their weakness: The bottom of the lineup is not great. The Huskies are also an aggressive baserunning team, which works for them and against them. They rank first in the AAC in caught stealing (28).

Nebraska

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Record: 31-22 (15-9 Big Ten).

RPI (vs. Top 50): 35 (10-12).

Regional seed: 3.

Last 10 games: 7-3.

National ranks: Batting, 210th (.256); pitching, 90th (4.38); defense, 146th (.968).

Top hitters: Aaron Palensky, .324, 68 hits, 11 2B, 6 HR, 31 RBIs; Spencer Schwellenbach, .278, 42 hits, 5 HR, 21 RBIs; Joe Acker, .274, 7 2B, 19 RBIs.

Top arms: Nate Fisher (L), SP, 7-3, 2.88 ERA, 68 Ks, 78 IP; Matt Waldron (R), SP, 3.11 ERA; 6-4, 82 Ks, 92 2/3 IP; Colby Gomes (R), RP, 0-2, 2.70 ERA; 19 SO, 20 IP, 12 saves.

Their strength: Nate Fisher and Matt Waldron are tone-setters and two great starts by the two seniors could have the Huskers in great position Saturday night. On the back end, Colby Gomes has emerged as a shutdown closer.

Their weakness: Nebraska has struggled against left-handed pitching this year (case in point, the Big Ten Tournament final against Ohio State). What do the Huskers get Friday? A lefty.

Harvard

Record: 27-14 (14-7 Ivy League).

RPI (vs. Top 50): 100 (0-0).

Regional seed: 4.

Last 10 games: 6-4.

National ranks: Batting, 62nd (.285); pitching, 146th (.490); defense, 160th (.967).

Top hitters: Patrick McColl, .399, 69 hits, 12 HR, 47 RBIs, .734 slugging, .462 OBP; Jake Suddleson, .382, 63 hits, 11 HR, 63 RBIs; Hunter Bigge, .319, 7 HR, 7 2B, 34 RBIs.

Top arms: Enzo Stefanoni (R), RP, 2.95, 5-1, 34 Ks, 42 2/3 IP; Hunter Bigge (R), SP, 7-1, 4.72 ERA, 67 Ks, 68 2/3 IP; Buddy Hayward (R), SP, 4-1, 4.12 ERA, 47 Ks, 48 IP.

Their strength: Jake Suddleson, the Ivy League player of the year, and Patrick McColl are a potent 1-2 punch from the middle part of the lineup. They have combined for 23 of the Crimson's 44 homers.

Their weakness: Take a look at that record against top-50 RPI teams. These will be the toughest teams the Crimson will season this season. Will the lack of a tough schedule hurt Harvard in critical situations or in moments of adversity?

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.

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