Florida Baseball: Nebraska insider lays out how the Gators can beat the Cornhuskers

Florida will take on Nebraska in the opening game of the Stillwater Regional on Friday
Cyndi Chambers Sports?Special to the

Despite protests from fans around the country, Florida Baseball is still dancing and will be taking part in the Stillwater Regional in the NCAA Tournament. To move on to Super Regionals, the Gators will need to outlast Oklahoma State, Nebraska, and Niagara.

Florida's opening game will be against Nebraska, and so we reached out to Oliver Vandervoort of our Fansided sister site Husker Corner to get his take on how the season has gone for the Cornhuskers and what the Gators need to be on the lookout for on Friday.

Hail Florida Hail:

Oklahoma State's stadium has been dubbed a “launching pad” and is known for being a home run-friendly ballpark. How does that play into Nebraska’s style of play?

Oliver Vandervoort:

The Huskers don't have a ton of true sluggers, so it could be a bit of a detriment. Having said that, if Josh Caron and Drew Swansen can stay hot like they were in the Big Ten Tournament, then there's a decent chance they can take advantage.

Swansen hit .520 with three homers and 10 RBI, and Caron set the Big Ten record for homers in the tournament, with six going along with a .409 average and 11 RBI.

Basically, the Huskers are going to need to rely on pitching to keep Florida in the park.


Brett Sears will start for Nebraska with a 9-0 record and a 2.00 ERA. Last year, he had an ERA of 5.29. Did Nebraska fans expect him to have a breakout season, or was this year a surprise?


Being this dominant was definitely a surprise, but he was a weekend starter from the beginning of the season, so there was an expectation of improvement for sure.


The Big 10 hasn't had a team in the CWS since 2013 (Indiana). What do you think holds the conference back as a whole from making deep runs in the NCAA Tournament?


There's an extreme lack of interest in college baseball from top to bottom. Northwestern's baseball stadium has a capacity of 600. SIX HUNDRED. It's pretty hard to recruit top-of-the-line talent to the Big Ten with that little investment in the sport.

They also just don't get many teams into the tournament which is going to kill off a lot of chances of anyone moving on. Three Big Ten teams this year is about the most we can ever expect. The regular season champ (Illinois) is a 3 seed. It's just not a good baseball conference, really at all.


If Nebraska is going to make it out of this Regional and move on to Super Regionals, what has to go correct for the Cornhuskers?


Basically a repeat of the Big Ten Tournament. Starter depth has been a concern all season long (we were awful in midweek buy games), but other than the tournament opener where the Huskers got run-ruled, the starters behind Sears stepped up big time.

Overall, the Huskers have the second-best team ERA in the tournament, behind only Oklahoma State. They're going to need to pitch like that.

I don't see the Huskers winning much if they get into home run derbies.

We thank Oliver for his time. You can check out his coverage of Nebraska at Husker Corner.