Huskers Play Four Games at TD Ameritrade Classic
Probable Starters: RHP Christian DeLeon (5-2) vs. RHP Tommy Strunc (5-1)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Saturday, April 27 – 11:05 a.m. (DH)
Probable Starters Gm. 1: LHP Aaron Bummer (1-0) vs. RHP Mark Robinette (3-0)
Probable Starters Gm. 2: RHP Tyler Niederklein (0-0) vs. TBA
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Sunday, April 28 – 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starters: LHP Kyle Kubat (2-0) vs. RHP Charlie Law (3-4)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Up Next for the Huskers
The Nebraska baseball team (19-20, 11-4 Big Ten) takes a break from Big Ten Conference action this week with five non-conference games.
Following a 13-10 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats on Wednesday night at Hawks Field, the Huskers will play four games in three days at TD Ameritrade Park, starting with a 6:35 p.m. game on Friday against the Creighton Bluejays.
The Huskers then play their seventh doubleheader of the season on Saturday when they face the No. 24 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Game one is scheduled for 11:05 a.m., with game two set to start approximately 45 minutes after the end of game one.
Nebraska wraps up the weekend on Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. It will be a Big Ten preview between the two teams, as Rutgers scheduled to joining the Big Ten Conference starting in 2014-15.
On the Radio this Weekend
Fans across Nebraska and around the world can listen Greg Sharpe, Lane Grindle and Jeff Culhane 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 15.
TV Coverage this Week
There will be no TV coverage of any of games this weekend.
Web Streams this Week
No games this weekend at the TD Ameritrade Classic will be streamed online.
Scouting the Creighton Bluejays
The Creighton Bluejays enter the weekend with a 22-9 overall record and an 8-4 record in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Jays are 11-2 at TD Ameritrade Park this season and even though Friday’s game will be played at their home field, the Huskers will be the home team on the scoreboard.
The Jays have found their bats this season, as they are hitting .303 as a team after hitting .251 a year ago.
Kevin Lamb and Jake Peter lead the team with .385 and .379 batting averages, respectively, while six other Jays are hitting .300 or better.
CU knows how to use the gaps at its large park, as it have 42 doubles and 12 triples on the season, but just eight home runs.
Five Jays have at least 20 RBIs on the year, lead by Mike Gerber’s 28 RBIs.
The Jays are patient at the plate and make opposing defenses work as they have just 165 strikeouts on the year (5.3 per game), while walking 150 times.
Creighton steals just over one base a game with 34 steals in 46 attempts. They will move runs around with 56 sacrifice bunts on the season.
Friday night the Huskers are scheduled to see redshirt freshman Tommy Strunc.
The 6-1 righty is 5-1 on the year with a 3.29 ERA in nine starts. Over a team-high 52.0 innings of work, Strunc has given up 19 runs (all earned) on 30 hits and 30 walks, while striking out 44.
Opposing hitters are hitting just .169 off the Highlands Ranch, Colo., native.
Strunc was 4-0 on the year before taking the loss at Indiana State on April 12. He lasted 5.0 innings, giving up four runs on four hits and five walks.
Strunc took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Southern Illinois on April 19, but it was broken up with a single on the first pitch he threw in the ninth. CU hung on to win the game, 4-3.
Scouting the Oklahoma State Cowboys
The No. 24 Oklahoma State Cowboys enter the TD Ameritrade Classic with a 28-11 overall record and the fifth-best record in the Big 12 Conference at a 7-7.
The Cowboys have played 28 of their 39 games at home and are 22-6 on their home turf. While on the road, OSU is 5-5 in true road games and 1-0 in neutral site games.
Over their last 10 games, the Cowboys are 6-4, including a 6-5 win in 12 innings over Wichita State on Tuesday night in Stillwater.
Former Husker Tanner Krietemeier leads the Cowboys’ offense with a .346 average, two triples and 33 RBIs. He has also hit three of OSU’s 23 home runs.
A native of Castle Rock, Colo., Krietemeier played in 32 games and made 18 starts as a freshman at Nebraska in 2011, hitting .154 with two RBIs. He then played at Iowa Western CC in 2012 and was a third-team All-American.
6-7 righty Nick Dolsky also played at Nebraska in 2011, posting a 1.04 ERA and 10 strikeouts over 8.2 innings as a redshirt freshman. Dolsky played at Des Moines CC in 2012, where he was 9-3 with a 5.32 ERA.
As a team, the Cowboys are hitting .292 and have produced 85 doubles, seven triples and 23 home runs. They have a team on-base percentage of .383 and strikeout an average of 6.2 times a game.
They will bunt when they need to, but only have 44 sacrifices in 39 games. The Cowboys are aggressive on the base paths, with 60 steals in 75 attempts.
Mark Robinette is scheduled to take the mound against the Huskers in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday, the OSU hasn’t announced a start for game two.
Robinette is 3-0 on year with a 4.37 ERA, and has started in seven of his 11 appearances. Over 35.0 innings, the 6-0 righty has given up 21 runs (17 earned) on 32 hits, while striking out 29 and walking 13. Opposing hitter are batting .244 off the junior from Tulsa, Okla.
Scouting the Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Nebraska gets a preview of a future Big Ten opponent on Sunday when they face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights for the third time in program history.
Nebraska beat Rutgers twice in the 2001 Lincoln Regional, before taking two games from Rice in the Super Regional round to advance to its first College World Series.
Still a member of the Big East Conference, Rutgers is scheduled to join the Big Ten Conference starting in 2014-15.
This season, the Scarlet Knights are 20-19 and are tied for fifth in the Big East with an 8-7 record. Like the Huskers, the Scarlet Knights have played a majority of their games on the road, with just 10 for their 39 games at Bainton Field.
Rutgers is 13-16 on the road this season and will be playing their first neutral site games of the season this weekend.
The Scarlet Knights hit .273 as a team, led by Vinny Zarrillo’s .353 average. Three other Scarlet Knights are hitting over .300 on the year, including Charlie Law, who leads the team with 32 RBIs. Law is also a starting pitcher for Rutgers and is scheduled to take the mound against Nebraska on Sunday.
Rutgers doesn’t play small ball much, with less than a sacrifice bunt per game (32 on the year) and they have 37 steals in 53 attempts.
The Scarlet Knights ranks third in the Big East with 76 doubles entering the week and are second in the conference with 19 homers.
On Sunday, the Huskers are set to face Law, who is 3-4 on the year with a 5.19 ERA. Over 59.0 innings, the 6-8 righty has given up 37 runs (34 earned) on 64 hits and 23 walks, while leading the team with 55 strikeouts.
A product of Mainland, N.J., Law has hit 15 batters, while holding opposing hitters to a .278 average.
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 20-game hitting streak and has produced a pair of hits or more in 10 of his past 11 games.
During the 20-game streak, Pritchard is hitting .407 (35-for-86) with seven doubles and has produced 14 of his 15 multi-hit games on the year.
Overall on the year, Pritchard is second on the team with a .347 average and is tied with Kash Kalkowski for the team lead with nine 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.
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 20-game streak into Friday’s game with Creighton.
With his double in the first inning against Kansas State on Wednesday, Pritchard became the first player in program history to put together two 20-game or more hitting streaks while at Nebraska.
Last season, Pritchard put together one of the top individual performances at the plate, as he rattled off a 25-game hitting streak. He tied Derek Dukart for the third-longest hitting streak in NU history at 25 games.
2012 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.
This season 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.
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.
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 .386 average and has been tearing the cover off the ball during Big Ten play with second-best conference batting average,.462.
Christensen leads Nebraska in multi-hit games with 20, including five, three-hit games and one four-hit game, and also leads the Huskers in multi-RBI games with eight.
The 6-3 left fielder is hitting .320 with runners in scoring position and with a runner on third and less than two outs, he had produced an RBI in 16 of his 18 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.
Pritchard Named B1G Player of the Week
Nebraska baseball picked up its first conference honor of the week on Monday, April 22, when Michael Pritchard was named Big Ten Player of the Week after helping lead the Huskers to a 5-0 record on the field last week.
A 6-0 lefty from Omaha, Pritchard hit .500 (10-for-20) on the week, as the Huskers swept a doubleheader from No. 10 Arkansas on Tuesday, April 16, at Hawks Field and then took three from the Purdue Boilermakers on their home field over the weekend. The sweep of the Boilermakers was the first conference road sweep for the Husker baseball team since 2008.
A preseason second-team All-American by the NCBWA, Pritchard had a pair of hits in four of Nebraska’s five games last week, including a 3-for-4 performance in the second game of a doubleheader sweep at Purdue on Saturday. The Creighton Prep product had a pair of doubles at Purdue and scored four runs during the weekend sweep.
Overall on the week, Pritchard struck out just once in 20 at bats and extended his season-long hitting streak to 19 games. He slugged .600 on the week and had an on-base percentage of .545.
Monday’s award was the first for the Husker baseball team since Josh Scheffert was named Big Ten Player of the Week last season on April 16.
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 5-2 record.
The 6-3 righty has gone at least 6.0 innings in eight of his 10 starts, including three 8.0-inning starts. The junior leads the team with 65.1 innings pitched, while no other pitcher on staff has thrown more than 40.0 innings.
DeLeon holds a 3.44 ERA on the year and leads the team with 34 strikeouts, while issuing 11 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.
Kubat picked up his second win of the week on Sunday, April 21, with 5.0 innings of work against Purdue. The win secured Nebraska’s first road sweep in conference play since 2008.
Last season during conference play, Kubat was 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA in six appearances, including three starts.
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 22 games, Sanguinetti is third on the team with a .370 batting average, while producing five doubles and 10 RBIs. He has posted a .452 on-base percentage and is slugging .450.
A first-team All-Big Ten pick a year ago, Sanguinetti has 12 multi-hit games in the 22-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 nearly .125 points from .175 to .299.
Over Nebraska’s first 17 games of the season, Sanguinetti hit .175 with just two multi-hit games.
Nebraska has already played six doubleheaders this season through 39 games, and will play another one this weekend against Oklahoma State.
This season, Nebraska is 8-4 in the 12 doubleheader games.
NU was swept at then No. 22 Cal State Fullerton during the season’s opening weekend, but swept Northern Colorado at Hawks Field.
The third doubleheader of the year came at Louisiana Tech, where the two teams split the day, with the Bulldogs winning game one, 2-1, and the Huskers winning game two, 3-2.
After winning its Big Ten opener on Friday, March 22 at Illinois, the two teams played a doubleheader the following day, with Illinois winning game one on a walk-off squeeze, 8-7, while the Huskers took game two, 6-4, to win the three-game series.
Huskers picked up its second doubleheader sweep of the year when it swept No. 10 Arkansas at Hawks Field on April 16, including a combined no-hitter in game one.
NU picked up a second sweep when it took two from Purdue on Saturday, April 20. It was set to be a three-game series, but cold weather and rain on Friday resulted in a doubleheader on Saturday.
Nebraska is 3-3 in the first game of doubleheader this year, but 5-1 in game two of a double dip.
Nebraska played three doubleheaders a year ago, going 3-3. The Huskers swept at Ohio State, were swept at Indiana and split a doubleheader at home with CSU Bakersfield.
Last weekend in West Lafayette, Ind., the Nebraska baseball team did something it hadn’t done in over five years.
With its three-game sweep of the Purdue Boilermakers, the Huskers earned their first road conference sweep since March 16, 2008, when the Huskers completed a sweep at Kansas State to open Big 12 play.
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.
Entering Friday, Boyd’s World ranks Nebraska’s schedule as the 20th toughest schedule in the country and Warren Nolan ranks it as the 23rd-toughest in the country.
Nebraska’s 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 39 games of the year, Nebraska has played 12 games against a ranked opponent, but are just 3-9 in those games.
The Huskers will have a chance to improve that record this weekend with a pair of game against No. 24 Oklahoma State.
Over the past six games, senior Kash Kalkowski has taken over the team lead in RBIs with 30.
During a six-game hitting streak, Kalkowski has driven in eight runs and nearly hit for the cycle on Wednesday night against Kansas State, coming up a home run shy.
The Grand Island native drove in a career-high 37 runs last season and hit a career-best .310.
He enters Friday with a .307 batting average.