Huskers Open Series with Purdue on BTN
Probable Starters: RHP Christian DeLeon (4-2) vs. RHP Robert Ramer (2-2)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Saturday, April 20 – 6 p.m. (CT)
Probable Starters: LHP Aaron Bummer (1-0) vs. LHP Jordan Minch (4-4)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Sunday, April 21 – 11 a.m. (CT)
Probable Starters: LHP Kyle Kubat (1-0) vs. TBA
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Next for the Huskers
After notching a doubleheader sweep of the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks on Tuesday at Hawks Field, the Nebraska baseball team (16-19, 8-4 Big Ten) has a shot to get to .500 on the season with its three-game series against the Purdue Boilermakers this weekend in West Lafayette, Ind.
The Huskers are 4-0 in Big Ten series openers this season and won their first three conference series of the year before dropping their series with Ohio State last weekend, 2-1.
The Huskers and Boilermakers kick off the weekend on Friday night with a 6 p.m. (CT) game in front of a national-television audience on the Big Ten Network.
The series continues on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT) and concludes on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT).
Nebraska returns home next Tuesday, April 23, when it completes a three-game season series with the Kansas State Wildcats with a 6:35 p.m. game at Hawks Field.
The Wildcats will be looking for a season sweep after already winning the first two games of the series in Manhattan, Kan.
On the Radio this Weekend
Fans across Nebraska and around the world can listen Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle call all of the action on the Husker Sports Network - including KLIN 1400 AM and 94.5 FM in Lincoln - and on the Internet at Huskers.com or the Official Husker App. A complete list of HSN affiliates can be found on page 14.
TV Coverage this Week
Friday’s at Purdue is scheduled to be shown live on the Big Ten Network, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. (CT).
Time Warner (SD-24, HD-333)
DISH Network (SD/HD-439)
Web Streams this Week
Friday’s series opener at Purdue will be shown live on BTN2Go.com, while both Saturday’s and Sunday’s games will be shown live on BTN.com (subscription required).
Next Tuesday’s game with Kansas State will be shown live on HuskersNSide (subscription required).
Scouting the Purdue Boilermakers
After winning the Big Ten title for the first time since 1909 last season, the Purdue Boilermakers (11-22, 4-8 Big Ten) enter the weekend tied for the No. 8 spot in the conference standings with Northwestern at 4-8.
A veteran team in 2012, the Boilermakers have had to replace their weekend rotation, seven position starters and a total of 18 letterwinners from a year ago.
The Boilermakers started the year 3-2, but then dropped seven straight games before breaking the slump with a win at Illinois-Chicago on March 10. They went on to win three of their next five, but then were swept by Ohio State at home to open Big Ten play.
Purdue bounced back with a sweep at Penn State the following weekend to get back to .500 in league play. They then lost 2-of-3 at home to Northwestern and was swept on the road at Illinois last weekend.
The Boilermakers are 2-8 over their last 10 games, and enter Friday on a six-game losing streak.
Purdue is 1-7 at home this season, with the lone win coming in its series opener against Northwestern, 13-4.
Overall on the season, Purdue is second to last in the conference with a team batting average of .253 and has the highest ERA in the league at 6.99 after having one of the top pitching staff’s in the conference a year ago.
During league play, the Boilermakers have swung it a bit better with a .263 average, but have seen their ERA rise to a league-high 7.65.
At the plate, the Boilermakers don’t have one regular hitting over .300, as Connor Hudnall leads the team with a .280 average and is tied with Kyle Wood for the team lead in home runs with two.
Each Purdue regular had at least two doubles on the year, while nine players have three or more doubles, including a team-high seven from Stephen Talbott
Purdue’s two returning position starters, Talbott and Angelo Cianfrocco, have each seen their numbers dip this season.
Talbott hit .347 a year ago with 60 hits and 32 runs, while striking out 28 times. This season Talbott is hitting just .209 and has already struck out 31 times.
Cianfrocco hit .235 with two home runs and 25 RBI last season, while this year he is hitting .221 with seven RBI and no homers.
On the base paths the Boilermakers are 38-for-48 in steals and have 19 sacrifice bunts on the year.
Friday night the Huskers are schedule to see righty Robert Ramer. The senior from Sunnyvale, Calif., who started his career at UC Riverside, is 2-2 in eight starts and 10 appearances with a 4.64 ERA.
Ramer has thrown a team-high 54.1 innings and had also given up a team-high 12 doubles, while no other pitcher has given up more than seven doubles. The 6-4 Ramer has given up 75 hits and just nine walks to 25 strikeouts. Opposing hitters are batting .336 off Ramer
Saturday night the Boilermakers are set to start freshman lefty Jordan Minch. A product of Highland high school in Highland, Ind., Minch is 4-4 on the year with a 6.38 ERA. He ranks second on the team with 48.0 innings and is giving up more than one-hit and inning with 55 hits on the season.
The 6-3, 175 pounder has struck out 37 on the year, but has also given up 23 walks and hit another eight batters. Minch has given up five homers, while opposing offenses are hitting .289.
Brett Andrzejewski has seen the most work out of the Purdue bullpen with a team-high 17 appearances. Over 19.2 innings, the 6-2 senior has given up 10 runs (all earned) on 28 hits and four walks, while striking out six.
Keep on Raking
After joining the 200-hit club earlier this year, Chad Christensen is now trying to hit .400 on the season.
He would be just the 12th Husker in school history to achieve the feat.
The senior outfielder from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, enters Friday with a .394 average and has been tearing the cover off the ball during Big Ten play with conference-best .491 batting average.
Christensen leads Nebraska in multi-hit games with 18, including five, three-hit games and one four-hit game, and also leads the Huskers in multi-RBI games with seven.
The 6-3 left fielder is hitting .341 with runners in scoring position and .875 (14-for-16) with a runner on third and less than two outs, he had produced an RBI in 14 of his 16 opportunities.
A first-team All-Big Ten selection last season, Christensen was picked by the Miami Marlins in the 35th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, but chose to return to Nebraska for his senior season.
Former Major Leaguer Ken Harvey holds the school record with a .478 average in 1999.
The last Husker to hit over .400 a season was John Cole in 2001, when he hit .418.
Since taking over as Nebraska’s leadoff hitter at Cal State Fullerton on March 19, Rich Sanguinetti has turned around his season senior season.
Over the past 18 games, Sanguinetti is fourth on the team with a .357 batting average, while producing a team-high tying five doubles and six RBIs. He has posted a .426 on-base percentage and is slugging .417.
A first-team All-Big Ten pick a year ago, Sanguinetti has nine multi-hit games in the 18-game stretch, including a four-hit game and four, three-hit games.
Since switching to the leadoff spot, Sanguinetti has seen his overall season average rise over .100 points from .175 to .284.
Over Nebraska’s first 17 games of the season, Sanguinetti hit .175 with just two multi-hit games.
Junior Christian DeLeon has been a welcome addition to the Husker pitching staff in 2013.
Projected to be a long-relief arm and a spot starter, DeLeon was throw into the weekend rotation to start the season and has been the Huskers’ top starter, posting a 4-2 record.
The 6-3 righty has gone at least 6.0 innings in seven of his nine starts, including three 8.0-inning starts. The junior leads the team with 58.1 innings pitched, while no other pitcher on staff has thrown more than 40.0 innings.
DeLeon holds a 3.70 ERA on the year and leads the team with 31 strikeouts, while issuing nine walks.
Back in the Mix
After being sidelined with shoulder soreness for the first 33 games of the year, sophomore Kyle Kubat made his season debut on Tuesday, April 16 against the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks in the first game of a doubleheader.
A freshman All-American last year and third-team All-Big Ten pick, Kubat dealt 5.0 innings of no hit ball. Kubat retired the first six Arkansas batters he faced, before issuing a leadoff walk in the third. He then sat down seven straight, before hitting Isaac Hellbusch with two out in the fifth.
Tyler Niederklein and Dylan Vogt combined to through 4.0 innings of no-hit ball down the stretch to finish off NU’s first no hitter in over 20 years.
One of the top pitchers during Big Ten play last season, Kubat returns to the weekend rotation against Purdue, as he is scheduled to take the mound on Sunday against the Boilermakers.
Last season during conference play, Kubat was 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA in six appearances, including three starts.
First Time in 20 Years
On their way to sweeping a doubleheader with the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks on Tuesday, April 16, the Huskers posted their eighth no hitter in school history.
A trio of Huskers combined for the eighth no-hitter in school history, as Kyle Kubat, Tyler Niederklein and Dylan Vogt held the Razorbacks hitless in a 3-0 Nebraska win.
It was the fourth combined no-hitter in school history and the first no-hitter since four Huskers no-hit Peru State on March 6, 1993. It was the first no hitter against a Division I program since April 5, 1981, when Anthony Kelley no-hit the Oklahoma Sooners in seven innings. The last nine-inning no hitter against a Division I team was on April 20, 1954, when Richard Geier threw a perfect game against the Kansas Jayhawks.
We’ll Take that Start
Rich Sanguinetti has started four Big Ten Conference games with a double in Nebraska’s first at-bat of the game and has scored each time.
Nebraska also won each game that Sanguinetti has started with a double.
Returning to Form
Michael Pritchard played in the first two games of the 2013 season, but then missed 10 games with an oblique injury.
A third-team All-American a year ago, Pritchard was just 6-for-28 (.214) in his first seven games back in the Husker lineup.
He has since found his groove and is on an 16-game hitting streak and has produced a pair of hits in six of his past seven games.
During the 16-game streak, Pritchard is hitting .377 (26-for-69) with four doubles and has produced 11 of his 12 multi-hit games on the year.
Overall on the year, Pritchard is third on the team with a .317 average and is tied for third on the team with six doubles.
Prior to the 2013 season, Pritchard was selected as the second-team designated hitter on the 2013 NCBWA Preseason All-America team.
The last Husker to earn All-America accolades in consecutive seasons was Alex Gordon, who was a first-team selection by multiple publications in 2004 and 2005.
B1G Series Openers
Last season the Huskers were 4-4 in Big Ten series openers, but only got back to .500 by winning their last three series openers.
This season, Nebraska has started its first four series on the right foot, going 4-0 in Big Ten series openers.
Nebraska started the Big Ten play with a 9-5 win on Friday, March 22 at Illinois. The teams then split a doubleheader on Saturday, earning the Huskers a series win, 2-1.
The Huskers improved to 2-0 in series openers with a 9-8 16-inning win over Northwestern on Friday, March 29 at Hawks Field. Nebraska went on to sweep the three-game series to improve to 5-1 on the year in Big Ten play.
Nebraska took its third series opener of the year with a 12-5 win at Iowa on Friday, April 5. Nebraska won the series, 2-1, to win its fifth straight conference series dating back to last season.
Nebraska picked up its fourth-straight series opening win with a 11-2 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes on April 12 behind an 8.0-inning performance from Christian DeLeon. The Buckeyes came back to win the final two games of the series to send Nebraska its first conference series loss of the season.
Nebraska lost on Friday night in four of its first five Big Ten series openers last season, including a loss to Illinois to open Big Ten play in Lincoln.
At home last season, Nebraska was 1-3 in Big Ten series openers, with the first win coming in its finale against Minnesota, as the Huskers swept the Gophers.
On the road last year, NU was 3-1 in conference series openers, with the only loss coming at Ohio State. Nebraska went on to win the series with the Buckeyes.
The last time Nebraska won four straight conference series openers to start the season was 2008, when the Huskers won series openers over Kansas State (2-1), Oklahoma (4-2), Texas (14-4) and Texas Tech (6-2).
Nebraska will now try to win five straight conference series openers in a row for the first time since 2001 on Friday night.
During the 2001 season, Nebraska was 9-0 in series openers with wins at Texas Tech (3-2), Missouri (14-4), at Oklahoma (7-1), Texas (10-8), Baylor (6-2), at Kansas (9-0), at Texas A&M (6-4), Oklahoma State (9-7) and at Iowa State (16-8).
We’re Going Streaking
Five Huskers have put together hitting streaks of 11 or more games this year, including Michael Pritchard, who carries an active 16-game streak into Friday’s series opener with Purdue.
Austin Darby and Chad Christensen have each put together 15-game hitting streaks, while Rich Sanguinetti had a 13-game hitting streak and Kash Kalkowski came up one game shy of tying his career-high with a 11-game hitting streak.
Last season, Pritchard put together one of the top individual performances at the plate, as he rattled off a 25-game hitting streak.
Pritchard tied Derek Dukart for the third-longest hitting streak in NU history at 25 games.
Teammate Richard Stock also put together quite a streak of his own at 21 games, marking the first time in school history that a pair of Huskers produced hit streaks of 20 or more games in the same season.
Francis Collins holds the NU school record with a 38-game hitting streak in 1996, while Ken Ramos is second with a 28-game streak in 1987.
So far in 2013, the Nebraska baseball has played one of the tougher schedules in the country.
The Huskers will/have played 17 games against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams, including a doubleheader 2012 College World Series qualifier Arkansas at Hawks Field.
Both Boyd’s World and Warren Nolan rank Nebraska’s scheduled as the 14th-toughest in the country through Tuesday, April 16.
The series with the Razorbacks marked the third straight year that the Huskers have hosted a CWS team from the previous season, as the Huskers took a three-game series from UCLA, 2-1, in 2011 and California split a four-game series at Hawks Field last season.
Nebraska has four teams on its 2013 schedule who were ranked in one of the four preseason polls, including Arkansas, who was ranked No.1 in the country in three polls.
Through the first 35 games of the year, Nebraska has played 12 games against a ranked opponent, but are just 3-9 in those games.
Join the Club
Earlier this season, senior Chad Christensen became the 14th player in Nebraska history to join the 200-hit club with his walk-off single in the bottom of the 16th inning against Northwestern on Friday, March 29.
On the year, Christensen leads the Huskers with a .394 average (54-for-137) and leads the team with 23 RBIs.
Prior to Christensen, Jake Opitz was the last Husker to join the club, as he ended his four-year career in 2008 with 227 career hits.
Matt Hooper holds the school record with 338 career hits and is one of just two players in school history to have topped 300 hits. Jeff Leise sits second on the career charts with 305 career hits.
Head of the Class
Since Josh Scheffert got hurt in Nebraska’s second Big Ten game of the season, sophomore Blake Headley has stepped in a third base and made the most of his opportunity.