Where: McClane Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
TV: BTN (on Monday)
Radio: 590 AM KXSP
12:05 p.m. Saturday
Pitchers: Jr. RHP Derek Burkamper (4-1, 3.04) vs. So. RHP Ethan Landon (6-1, 2.45)
12:05 p.m. Sunday
Pitchers: Fr. RHP Matt Waldron (5-1, 3.35) vs. Jr. LHP Joe Mockbee (1-0, 2.97)
12:02 p.m. Monday
Pitchers: So. LHP Jake Meyers (3-1, 1.17) vs. TBD
Scouting Nebraska (28-16, 9-6): Does a path to an at-large NCAA regional bid still exist for the Huskers? Perhaps. We'll probably know the answer to that question after this weekend. I've always thought that if Nebraska reached 37 regular season wins, it would have a strong case. That would require a 9-2 finish. Not easy. NU needs to make a 15- to 20-spot jump in the RPI over the final three weeks. Three road games against a 30-11 MSU team will help boost its RPI rating -- as would a series win. Two years ago, the Huskers went 11-2 in May and saw their RPI rise from No. 43 to No. 26. So... not impossible. But Nebraska really has to find a next-level gear, something it's not done yet in 2016. … Ryan Boldt said he'd never experienced anything like his most recent slump. He managed just three hits in 37 at-bats (.081) during a nine-game stretch, drawing just three walks and scoring only twice. But Boldt had two hits -- including a home run -- in the second game of a doubleheader at Rutgers. … Batting order changes! Darin Erstad flip-flopped senior Jake Placzek and Boldt in that doubleheader last weekend. Erstad wouldn't say Friday if he plans for that to be a permanent thing. But he had entertained, during the preseason, the idea of Boldt batting second all year long. Boldt was the leadoff guy from the season's second weekend through the Rutgers series opener. Sophomore Jake Meyers has batted third five games in a row after junior Ben Miller had held down that spot for 37 straight games. … Official RPI: 71
Scouting Michigan State (30-11, 10-5): The Spartans' ace, Cam Vieaux, isn't projected to start in the first two games of the series, what would indicate that the junior may not be fully healthy. Nothing official had been released on his status as of early Saturday morning. Vieaux lasted just 1 1/3 innings in his last outing. He has a Big Ten-best 1.69 ERA on the year. He's struck out 64 batters (just 15 walks) in 69 1/3 innings and opponents are hitting just .227 against him. MSU hasn't named a starting pitcher yet for the series finale on Monday. … The Spartans began the year 14-1 and they're still on pace for their best overall record in school history at 30-11 entering this weekend. This program has narrowly missed NCAA at-large berths twice in the last three years. And even though MSU lost seven MLB draft picks off its 2015 roster, it has rebounded nicely. … Michigan State ranks third nationally in team ERA (2.50), 16th in hits allowed per nine innings (7.7) and 18th in WHIP (1.21). Spartan pitchers have the second-best strikeout rate (8.7 per nine innings) in the Big Ten. … Junior college transfer Jordan Zimmerman (out of Mesa Community College) has been a big-time addition for MSU. He leads the team in batting average (.391), home runs (six) and runs scored (41). He's stolen 10 bases, doubled 14 times and is tied for the team lead with 28 runs driven in. He had a 21-game hitting streak snapped against Michigan last weekend. … Official RPI: 47
Injury update: Junior second baseman Jake Schleppenbach could be a game-time decision Saturday (and may be limited further) after tweaking his back this week, Erstad said. … Sophomore outfielder Elijah Dilday is expected to miss the rest of the season with an undisclosed medical condition. … Senior pitcher Colton Howell (shoulder) feels better, but is still working to regain velocity and precision, according to Erstad.
Dugout chatter: These two teams still haven't played a three-game series in Lincoln since Nebraska joined the league. This is just the second weekend series between them in five years. The Huskers swept the Spartans in East Lansing two seasons ago. … However, this MSU team is the one that ended Nebraska's 2015 campaign. NU had a four-run lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning of a Big Ten tournament elimination game. But the Spartans scored six times in the eighth, getting four of them on a mammoth grand slam by Ryan Krill. … NU's tied for fifth place in the league standings. Michigan State's in third. The conference's top two teams -- Indiana and Minnesota -- play this weekend as well. Michigan, in fourth, gets Rutgers. Maryland, the other team tied for fifth, plays ninth-place Illinois.