In his second MLB start Cade Povich faces friend, former college teammate

When O’s rookie lefty Cade Povich makes his second big league start tonight facing Atlanta, his mound opponent will be a friend and former college teammate.

Right-hander Spencer Schwellenbach was a two-way player at the University of Nebraska. He and Povich were on the team together there in 2020 and 2021. Schwellenbach was both a starting shortstop playing behind Povich and also closed out some of his wins too as a late-inning reliever.

During the 2021 season, when Povich was 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA for the Cornhuskers, Schwellenbach hit .284 with a .862 OPS in 48 games at short. On the mound he went 3-1 with an ERA of 0.57 and recorded 10 saves.

In the 2021 MLB Draft, Atlanta selected Schwellenbach in round two, No. 59 overall. Minnesota selected Povich in round three, No. 98 overall.

Tonight, the two former Cornhuskers face each other on the mound at Camden Yards.

“We still talk all the time,” Povich said yesterday in the O's clubhouse. “He just made his debut recently too (on May 29). Us two lining up to go against each other, we’ve been talking about it. We knew there was a possibility last week. It’s cool, we’re excited. Some of our Nebraska coaches and teammates will for sure be watching.”

And the head coach then and still coach now, Will Bolt, will be in the stands at Camden Yards. He’ll have two former players to root for tonight, one on each team.

“I think it’s going to be really cool,” said Povich. “When I called him when I was getting called up he wanted to come. To be able to watch both of us must be something really exciting for him. Seeing two of his former players that are rookies that got drafted in the same class.”

In his debut game last week at Toronto, Povich allowed five hits and six runs over 5 1/3 innings with a couple of runs scoring after he left the game. His poise, pitchability and mound presence impressed the club that day.

Schwellenbach meanwhile, went 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA this year in the minors, starting the season at High-A and moving to Double-A. He threw two scoreless starts at Double-A over 13 innings and here he is in the bigs.

He gave up three runs in five innings to Washington May 29 and allowed six runs over 4 2/3 innings on June 5 at Boston. So he is 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA in two big league games.

Schwellenbach touched 99 mph in college and then had Tommy John surgery not long after that 2021 draft. He has averaged 96.0 mph this year in his two big league games with his four-seamer.

Meanwhile Povich is looking to take some positives from his debut at Rogers Centre into tonight’s game.

“I mean, I think it just kind of brings me back down to it’s baseball (for my second start). The whole debut thing was awesome. But there is still a job to get done. Have to make pitches, compete and win games," he said. 

Povich said it was helpful for him the last few days to watch the other O's starters pitch their games.

“Just watching the guys, the relievers too, and seeing how they prepare for games and how they look at hitters. How they go about things between innings and learning their processes has been helpful," he said.

Tonight, former Nebraska teammates, taken one round apart in the 2021 draft, take the mound at Camden Yards. 

Win streak reaches five: The Orioles have their second five-game win streak of the season and shoot for a new season-best six-game streak tonight.

The O's run of good pitching continued as Albert Suárez and four relievers teamed on a five-hitter in last night's 4-0 win over Atlanta. It was the O's sixth shutout of the year and second in the last four games. Baltimore pitchers have 33 shutouts since the start of the 2022 season to rank second-most in the AL and tied for fourth-most in the majors.

Over the last 13 games, the O's are 10-3 with a team ERA of 1.87. Over the past 39 games they are 27-12 with a 2.56 ERA. During the win streak, O's pitchers have allowed just four earned runs. The O's bullpen has an ERA of 0.44 the last 13 games, allowing two earned runs in 40 2/3.

The Orioles (44-22) have won 15 of their past 19 while Atlanta (35-29) is 9-16 its last 25 games. 





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