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Huskers Visit Austin for Three-Game Series
Pat Kelly opened the season with a pair of double last weekend
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
02/20/2013
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Nebraska (0-4, 0-0 Big Ten) at Texas (3-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Friday, Feb. 22 - 7 p.m. (CT)
RHP Brandon Pierce (0-1) vs. RHP Parker French (1-0)

Saturday, Feb. 23 - 1 p.m. (CT)
RHP Christian DeLeon vs. LHP Dillon Peters (1-0)

Sunday, Feb. 14 - Noon (CT)
RHP Ryan Hander (0-0) vs. RHP Nathan Thornhill (0-1)


This Week:
The Nebraska baseball team (0-4, 0-0 Big Ten) heads back to Big 12 country this weekend as it heads to Austin, Texas, for a three-game series with the No. 25 Texas Longhorns at Disch-Faulk Field. The series opens with a 7 p.m. showdown on Friday night, continues on Saturday at 1 p.m. and concludes on Sunday at Noon.

All three games will be shown live on the Longhorn Network and at LonghornNetwork.com.

The Huskers and Longhorns have met 57 times, with the all-time series starting in 1954. UT holds a one game advantage in the series at 29-28. The Huskers and Longhorns last met during the 2011 season, Nebraska's last in the Big 12, with UT coming to Lincoln for a three-game set. Texas won the series, 2-1, but the Huskers took the series finale, 6-3.

Nebraska last traveled to Austin during the 2010 season when it opened conference play with the Longhorns. Texas took the series, 2-1, winning the first and third games of the weekend.

On the Radio: Fans across Nebraska and around the world can listen 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 13.

TV: All three games of this weekend's series can be seen on the Longhorn Network. The Longhorn Network is available on AT&T U-verse TV, Verizon FiOS TV, Grande Communications, Consolidated Communications, En-Touch Systems, E-Tex Communications, Bay City Cablevision, Mid-Coast Cablevision and Texas Mid-Gulf Cablevision. Longhorn Network is now available online to Verizon FiOS and Grande Communications subscribers at LonghornNetwork.com.

Sophomore Slump, Not so Far
After producing one of the top freshman season in recent memory at Nebraska, Pat Kelly, has started his sophomore season on the right foot through four games.

Kelly is hitting .375 (6-for-16) on the year, with a pair of doubles.  He hit in the middle of the Husker lineup for the first two games of the season, but following and injury to Michael Pritchard, Kelly moved to the leadoff spot for games three and four.

Welcome to Nebraska
Tanner Lubach made the most of his Nebraska debut with a home run in his first career game at CSU Bakersfield on Friday, Feb. 15.

It was the first time a Husker had hit a home run in their first career game since Chad Christensen hit a homer at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Feb. 26, 2010.

Lubach, who transferred to Nebraska after one season at Hutchinson CC, had a solid weekend in three games played, as the Lincoln native hit .364 (4-for-11) with one homer and two RBIs.

Vogt of Confidence
Prior to the start of the 2013 season, Head Coach Darin Erstad announced the senior Dylan Vogt will be the team's closer.

Vogt may not be a typical closer though, as the Omaha native may come into the game in the sixth or seventh innings if needed.

Vogt became arguably the top arm in the Husker pen last season, as he pitched 53.2 innings over 25 appearances, while producing a blistering 1.84 ERA.

While striking out 34 and walking just 14, Vogt gave up just five extra base hits all season, including no home runs.

On Friday, Feb. 8, Vogt was one of 75 players named to the NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List. He was one of four Big Ten pitchers selected, joining Ohio State's Josh Dezse, Illinois' Reid Roper and Northwestern's Kyle Ruchim.

New Faces
A total of nine players made their Huskers debut this past weekend in California.

Of the nine, four were position players, including three players who saw time at catcher.

Five Huskers made their debut on the mound, including Blinn CC transfer Christian DeLeon, who started against Southern Cal on Sunday, Feb. 17.

It's Been Awhile
The last time the Huskers started a season 0-4, they were still members of the Big Eight Conference in 1994. NU was swept at Oral Roberts to start the year and then lost at Wyoming, before winning games two and three with the Cowboys.

Nebraska hasn't started a season 0-5 since 1976, when they lost four straight at Houston and then lost at Rice, before beating the Owls in game six of the season.

Overall, the last time the Huskers lost five straight games was during the 2011 season, when they lost at Creighton, was swept at Texas A&M and lost the series opener at home to Missouri.

Take it for the Team
Senior infielder Bryan Peters entered the 2013 season ranked fourth on Nebraska's career list 43 HBP.

Peters should easily move to the No. 3 spot in 2013, and possibly have a chance at moving to the No. 2 spot on the all-time list.

In 2012, Kale Kiser moved to third on the all-time list with 46 HBP after getting hit 14 times during his senior season.

DJ Belfonte (2007-10) sits second on the career list with 59 HBP and Daniel Bruce (2002-05) holds the NU career record with 67 HBP.

NU Career Hit-by-Pitch Top 10
1.         67         Daniel Bruce     2002-05

2.         59         DJ Belfonte      2007-10

3.         46         Kale Kiser         2009-2012

4.         43         Bryan Peters     2010-present

5.         37         Alex Gordon     2003-05

            37         Nick Sullivan     2006-09

7.         36         Jake Mort         2006-09

8.         34         Dave Crain        1994-95

9.         26         Brandt Vlieger   1999-00

            26         Bryan Schmidt  1997-98

            26         Derek Dukart     1993-94

Huskers Amp Up Schedule in 2013
The Nebraska baseball is set to play one of the tougher schedules in the county during the 2013 season. The Huskers will play 18 games against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams, including two games against 2012 College World Series qualifier Arkansas at Hawks Field. The series with the Razorbacks marks the third straight year that the Huskers have hosted a CWS team from the previous season, as UCLA visited Lincoln 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.

After playing 31 homes games in 2012, the Huskers are set to host 21 games at Hawks Field in 2013, while playing 31 true roads games and two neutral site games at the TD Ameritrade Classic in late April. Head Coach Darin Erstad and his staff worked hard on setting up challenging schedule that gets the team ready for not only the Big Ten schedule, but to also make a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.

Nebraska is scheduled to play 19 of its first 24 games on the road.

New Year, New Streak?
Last season, Michael 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.

The streak started in the Huskers' Big Ten opener against Illinois on March 23, when the Pritchard produced two hits. It came to an end on May 11 in NU's series opener against Minnesota at Hawks Field.

Pritchard notched at least a pair of hits 10 times during the streak, including three or more hits twice.

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.

For his efforts, Pritchard was named a 2012 third-team All-American by the NCBWA and was a 2013 preseason second-team NCBWA All-American selection.

The Bolt Effect
The Husker offense saw major improvement under the direction of Associate Head Coach Will Bolt.

Looking at NU's numbers in 2012, compared to its offensive output in 2011, the Huskers were a drastically improved team.

Nebraska struck out 106 fewer times, walked five more times, produced 150 more hits, scored 114 more runs, drove in 107 more runs, hit 45 points higher as a team at .315 and had saw its team on-base percentage go up 25 points.

NU Signs Versatile Class
Nebraska's 2013 signing class includes a talented group of 12 prep players and one junior-college transfer.

The 13-player signing class hails from eight different states throughout the Midwest, including a group-high four players from Minnesota. Nebraska also signed a pair of standouts from both Iowa and Colorado, while adding one future Husker each from Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and South Dakota.

Nebraska's coaching staff assembled an athletic class, as multiple players have to ability to play multiple positions or pitch.

The class contains nine players that are ranked in the top-1,000 by Perfect Game, including a six top-500 prospects and one top-20 player. 10 of the prep standouts are regarded as top-20 players in their state, including five who are tabbed as a top-five prospects.

Huskers Picked Second by League Coaches
The Big Ten coaches have picked Nebraska to finish second out of the league's 11 teams in 2013. One senior and a pair of Husker juniors were also named to the 'Players to Watch List', including senior right-handled pitcher Dylan Vogt, as well as junior outfielder Michael Pritchard and junior right-handed pitcher Brandon Pierce.

Indiana was picked as the league favorite by the coaches. The Hoosiers finished second in both the regular-season standings and at the conference tournament to the Purdue Boilermakers.

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