Huskers Host No. 12 Arkansas Tuesday
Probable Starters: LHP Kyle Kubat (0-0) vs. RHP Trey Killian (3-2)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Tuesday, April 16 – 6:35 p.m. (CT)
Probable Starters: RHP Brandon Pierce (1-3) vs. LHP Tyler Wright (1-1)
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Up Next for the Huskers
The Nebraska baseball team (14-19, 8-4 Big Ten) looks to get back on the winning track after dropping its first Big Ten series of the year this past weekend to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
After winning the opener of the series on Friday, 11-2, the Huskers dropped an 11-inning game, 6-5, on Saturday and then fell, 7-4, in the series finale.
Nebraska continues its five-game homestand on Tuesday, April 16 when the Huskers host the No. 12 Arkansas Razorbacks (25-12, 9-6 SEC) for a doubleheader, with games scheduled for 3:05 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. The second game will start no earlier than 6:35 p.m., as the game is scheduled to be shown live on the Big Ten Network.
The Huskers and Razorbacks were scheduled to play on Tuesday and Wednesday, but impending weather pushed the two-game series to a doubleheader.
Nebraska heads back to its Big Ten schedule this weekend with a three-game series against the Purdue Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Ind. The teams kick off the weekend on Friday night with a 6 p.m. (CT) game on the Big Ten Network.
The series continues on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT) and concludes on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT).
On the Radio this Weekend
Fans across Nebraska and around the world can listen Greg Sharpe, Jeff Culhane 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 13.
TV Coverage this Week
The second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader with Arkansas is scheduled to be shown live on the Big Ten Network. The game is set for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch
Time Warner (SD-24, HD-333)
DISH Network (SD/HD-439)
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
The first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader will be streamed live on HuskersNSide (subscription required).
The second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader will be shown live on BTN2Go.com
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).
Scouting the Arkansas Razorbacks
The Arkansas Razorbacks enter Tuesday with a 25-12 overall record and a 9-6 record during SEC play after dropping a series at LSU, 2-1, last weekend.
The Razorbacks have taken advantage of playing at home this year, with 26 of their first 37 games at Baum Stadium.
The Hogs have played well in true road games with a 5-1 record, while they are 1-4 in neutral site games.
Arkansas won seven of its first eight games on the year, but then hit a snag at the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz., where it lost a pair of games to Arizona State, as well as one game each to Gonzaga and Pacific.
Since the four-game slide, the Razorbacks have lost consecutive games just once, when they lost their series finale at Alabama and then lost three days later at home to New Mexico.
The Razorbacks are built on pitching, as they enter the week ranked No. 1 in the country in ERA (1.72) and hits allowed per nine innings, allowing just 6.32 hits a game. Teams are hitting just .197 on the year.
Arkansas’ staff has totaled 295 strikeouts on the year, while allowing just 235 hits and 112 walks. Teams have totaled 97 runs, but only 64 earned runs, as the Razorbacks have committed 64 errors in 37 games.
In the first game on Tuesday the Huskers are scheduled to face righty Trey Killian, who will be making his fifth start of the season and his 12 appearance. Killian is 3-2 on the year with a 2.67 ERA over 30.1 innings of work. He has given up just 12 hits on the year and seven walks, while striking out 27.
In game two, Nebraska will face lefty Tyler Wright, who is yet to give up an earned run on the season over 14.0 innings of work. In eight appearances, Wright is 1-1 and has given up more walks than hits, 7-5. Wright is averaging over a strikeout an inning with 16 K’s on the year.
At the plate, four Razorback regulars are hitting over .300 on the year, including a team-high .333 average from Tyler Spoon, who also leads the team with 37 RBIs and three home runs.
11 Razorbacks have hit a home run on the year for a total of 17 home runs.
Jacob Mahan is a tough out with an on-base percentage of .429. He has 22 walks on the year to just 12 strikeouts.
On the base paths, the Razorbacks have 41 steals in 33 attempts.
Return of Van Horn
Former Nebraska Head Coach Dave Van Horn makes his second trip to Lincoln on Tuesday since leaving the Huskers after the 2002 season for the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.
Van Horn led the Huskers from 1998-2002, producing a 214-92-0 record and four trips to the NCAA Tournament, including two appearances at the College World Series.
The Huskers won three Big 12 Tournament crowns under Van Horn (1999, 2000, 2001) and also won a regular-season title in 2001.
Van Horn and the Razorbacks made a trip to Lincoln in 2008, where the teams split a two-game series. The Huskers traveled to Fayetteville, Ark., in 2009, where the teams again split a pair of games.
While at Arkansas, Van Horn has led the Razorbacks to 10 NCAA Tournament berths, including three trips to the College World Series.
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 16 games, Sanguinetti is second on the team with a .372 batting average, while producing a team-high tying five doubles and six RBIs. He has posted a .430 on-base percentage and is slugging .436.
A first-team All-Big Ten pick a year ago, Sanguinetti has nine multi-hit games in the 16-game stretch, including a four-hit game and four, three-hit games.
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.
Since switching to the leadoff spot, Sanguinetti has seen his overall season average rise over .100 points from .175 to .289.
Over Nebraska’s first 17 games of the season, Sanguinetti hit .175 with just two multi-hit games.
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 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 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 33 games of the year, Nebraska has played 10 games against a ranked opponent and will add two more games when it played the No. 12 Razorbacks on Tuesday.
Nebraska has already played four doubleheaders this season through 33 games entering the week, after playing three doubleheaders all last year.
Nebraska will play its fifth doubleheader of the season on Tuesday when its play two with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
This season, Nebraska is 4-4 in its first eight 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.
Nebraska is 1-3 in the first game of doubleheader this year, but 3-1 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.
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 11th Husker in school history to achieve the feat.
The senior outfielder from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, enters the week with a .400 average and has been tearing the cover off the ball during Big Ten play with a .491 conference average.
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.
Dating back to the last season the Huskers had won five-straight Big Ten Conference series.
Winners of its first three Big Ten series in 2013, Nebraska’s streak was snapped on Sunday when the Ohio State Buckeyes won the third game of a three-game series to capture a 2-1 series win over the Huskers.
Nebraska took the series opener, 11-2, but then fell on Saturday and Sunday.
Nebraska was looking to win four straight conference series in the same season for the first time since 2008, when the Huskers opened the season by winning four straight series before losing 2-of-3 at Oklahoma State.
From the end of the 2007 season through the beginning of the 2008 season, Nebraska won seven straight Big 12 series.
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 14-game hitting streak and has produced a pair of hits in five straight games.
During the 14-game streak, Pritchard is hitting .371 (23-for-62) with four doubles and has produced nine of his 10 multi-hit games on the year.
Overall on the year, Pritchard is third on the team with a .309 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.
Hits in Bunches
Senior Chad Christensen has been tough on opposing pitchers this season, as the NU left fielder leads the team with 17 of the Huskers’ 86 multi-hit games. Pat Kelly is next with 12 multi-hit games, while Rich Sanguinetti has 11.
Christensen also leads the team with five, three-hit games, while Austin Darby and Rich Sanguinetti are second with four, three-hit games each.
Kelly had a pair of four-hit games, while Christensen, Sanguinetti and Kash Kalkowski each have one.
12 different Huskers have produced a multi-hit game this season, including 10 who have a three-hit game.
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).
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 .400 average (52-for-130) and is third on the team with 20 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.