Kyle Kubat is scheduled to make his first start of the season Friday
Photo by Eric Miller

Huskers Host St. John's For Home Opener on Friday

By NU Athletic Communications

Friday, March 7 – 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starters: LHP Kubat (0-0) vs. RHP Lomangino (0-2)

TV: None
Stream: Free Radio ( | Video Stream (HuskersNSide, premium)
Radio: Husker Sports Network

Saturday, March 8 –1:05 p.m.
Probable Starters: RHP DeLeon (1-1) vs. RHP McCormick (1-1)

TV: None
Stream: Free Radio ( | Video Stream (HuskersNSide, premium)
Radio: Husker Sports Network

Sunday, March 9 – 12:05 p.m.

Probable Starters: RHP Sinclair (2-0) vs. RHP Graziano (0-1)
TV: None
Stream: Free Radio ( | Video Stream (HuskersNSide, premium)
Radio: Husker Sports Network

Up Next for the Huskers
After the Nebraska baseball team played its first 10 games of the year on the road, the Huskers are set to host their first home game of the season on Friday, March 7, when they open a three-game series against the St. John’s Red Storm. The series continues on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. and concludes on Sunday at 12:05 p.m.

The Huskers were scheduled to open a 10-game home stand on Tuesday, March 4 against Kansas State, but the game was postponed to Wednesday, April 9.

Nebraska holds a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series with St. John’s. The Huskers only loss in the series came in the first meeting between the two programs, which was in the 1989 NCAA Tournament at Northeast Regional in Annapolis, Md., with the Red Storm winning, 5-0.

This weekend’s series will mark the first time that either team has hosted a game at its home park, as the first six meetings all came at neutral sites. The last meeting came in 2006 at the Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas, and Nebraska won the game, 12-4.

Junior Kyle Kubat is set to make his first start of the 2014 season when he takes the hill for Friday’s series opener. The lefty is 10-1 during his career at Nebraska with a 2.23 ERA.

Senior Christian DeLeon will move to Saturday after staring on Friday the first three weekends of the season. DeLeon is coming off a bizarre start that saw him give up four runs to the first four hitters he faced last weekend at The Citadel, but he then gave up just one run on four hits over his next 6.0 innings of work and tied a career high with seven strikeouts.

Newcomer Chance Sinclair will stay in his Sunday spot and will look to improve to 3-0 on the year. The righty is coming off a 4-0 win over The Citadel where he cruised through his 7.0 innings, allowing four hits and no walks, while striking out five. The junior never allowed a runner past second base and faced the minimum of three Bulldog batters in five of his seven innings.

On the Radio this Week
Fans across Nebraska and around the world can listen to 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 live on the Internet at or the Official Husker App.

TV Coverage this Week
No TV coverage this weekend.

Web Streams this Week
A free radio stream of the game will be provided on HuskersNSide will provide a video stream of the game (subscription required).

Scouting the St. John’s Red Storm
The Red Storm enter Friday with a 3-7 record, including a 3-5 record in true road games. The Red Storm opened the  season with a 2-0 win at Pepperdine, but then lost the next two games in Malibu, Calif., all three games the following weekend at the ODU Tournament in Norfolk, Va., and its series opener last weekend against Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, Fla., to fall to 1-6. St. John’s broke the six-game losing streak with a win over Florida Atlantic in game two of the series, but then lost the series finale. The Red Storm are coming off a 18-1 win over Florida Memorial, a NAIA program, on Tuesday.

Historically, the Red Storm have been to the College World Series six times (last in 1980) and have made 34 NCAA Tournament appearances (last in 2012). They have won the Big East regular-season title and tournament titles seven times each, most recently sweeping the titles in 2012. In 2012, they made it to a Super Regional, but were swept by eventual NCAA champion Arizona.

Offensively, the Red Storm are hitting .223 as a team and are led by junior infielder Robert Wayman, who is red hot with a .415 average and 17 hits on the season. The Salinas, Calif., native transferred to St. John’s for the 2014 season after spending two seasons at Hartnell College CC (Salinas, Calif.). Bret Dennis is the only other hitter on SJU’s roster with an average of .300, but he is only 3-for-8 on the year. Looking at players with at least 20 at-bats, Troy Dixon has the next highest average behind Wayman at .261 (6-for-23).

On the mound, the Red Storm have a team ERA of 4.80 and have 69 strikeouts (6.9 per game) to 42 walks (4.2 per game). As a team they’ve given up 25 extra-base hits, including 17 doubles, two triples and six home runs. Their staff has had problems with control, as they have eight wild pitches and have hit eight batters through 10 games.

None of SJU’s scheduled starting pitchers this weekend have an ERA under 3.94. Senior righty James Lomangino (0-2) is scheduled to get the ball on Friday night and leads the team in innings pitched at 16.0 and has an ERA of 3.94 with a team-high 15 strikeouts. Sophomore Ryan McCormick gets the ball on Saturday and is the only other pitcher on the roster with more than 10.0 innings of work, as the righty has thrown 15.0 innings over two starters in three appearances and has a 5.40 ERA with six strikeouts. Joey Graziano is scheduled to make his third start of the year on Sunday, and will bring an 0-1 record with a 10.57 ERA into the contest.

With the glove the Red Storm are fielding at a .959 clip, as they committed 15 errors on the year, an average of 1.5 per game. Shortstop Jarred Mederos leads the team with four errors, while Wayman, outfielder Michael Donadio and catcher Tyler Sanchez each have two.

Get on Base
Senior Michael Pritchard enters Friday’s game with St. John’s with an on-base streak of 52 straight games dating back to last season, which ties him for the longest active streak in the country, along with Texas’ Mark Payton. The current streak betters Pritchard’s 31-game streak during the 2012 season.

Since becoming a regular starter in 2012, Pritchard has played in 116 games and has failed to reach base by a hit, walk or hit-by-pinch in just eight games.

Including his freshman season in 2011, Pritchard has played in 150 games during his career and has failed to reach in 18 games.

During his career when Pritchard has at least three official at-bats in a game, he failed to reach base at least once just eight times.

Pritchard’s is the longest by a Husker since 2000. That is how long Nebraska game-by-game stats are available digitally.

Since 2000, 10 Huskers have reached base in 30 or more consecutive games.

This is Our House
Entering Friday’s home opener with St. John’s, the Huskers have won their last 35 home openers dating back to the 1979 season. Nebraska is 12-0 all-time in home openers at Hawks Field.

The Nebraska baseball program is celebrating its 13th year at Hawks Field in 2014. The Huskers are 261-95-1 (.732) since opening the park on March 5, 2002 with a 23-1 win over Nebraska-Kearney.

Join the Club
Last season Chad Christensen became the 20th 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.

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.

Michael Pritchard is now looking to join the club, entering Friday’s game with St. John’s he is 11 hits shy of 200 and ranks 21st in school history with 189 hits.

Matt Hopper 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.

Kelly Keeps Hitting
Opposing pitchers don’t want to see junior Pat Kelly after he has an 0-for-3 or worse game, which he had in his last game, going 0-4 at The Citadel on Sunday, March 2.

Kelly was 0-for-3  in the season opener against Pacific and responded by going a career-best 5-for-5 against No. 2 Oregon State the next afternoon.

In 110 career games, Kelly has gone 0-for-3 or worse 18 times. Only twice following those has he not produced at least one hit in the following game. Following three 0-for-games he has rallied with at least four hits.

Through 10 games this season, Kelly leads the team with 14 hits, including three doubles and one triple.

Last season, Kelly led the team in hits with 85, while ranking third in batting average (.331), RBIs (33) and doubles (12). The Red Wing, Minn., native tied former first-team All-American John Cole (2001) for sixth in the single-season record book with 70 singles on the year.

Kelly is one of just six players in program history to produce 70 of more singles in a single season, while school-record holder Francis Collins (86 in 1997; 79 in 1996) achieved the feat twice.

Packing the Park
During the 2013 season, Husker Nation proved once again why the Nebraska baseball team plays in front of the best fans in the country.

Even with the below average temperatures last spring, Nebraska ranked 19th in the country with 2,859 fans per game in 2013.

In its 12 home Big Ten games, the Huskers averaged  3,294 fans through the gates at Hawks Field.

The Huskers have ranked in the top 30 in average attendance the past 12 seasons, including nine times in the top 15.

Turning on the Jets
Through Sunday, March 2, Nebraska and Kansas are tied for the national lead in triples with eight each, including three from Michael Pritchard, who ranks fifth in the country

Last season the Huskers didn’t have eight triples until the 49th game of the season on May 11 at Minnesota, and ended the year with 13 triples.

The single-season team record for triples is 38 by the 1980 squad, while Shawn Buchanan set the individual single-season record in 1990 with nine.

Rely on Roeder
Junior Josh Roeder has picked up right where he left off in 2013, as the right-handed has earned a pair of saves in three appearances this year and has a 0.00 ERA over 2.2 innings of work.

Roeder was a welcome addition to the Husker pitching staff in 2013, as he helped solidify the back end of NU’s bullpen. He ended the season with a team-best 1.74 ERA and six saves in 31.0 innings of work over 21 appearances. The 6-0 righty posted 29 strikeouts to seven walks (one intentional), while holding opposing hitters to a .209 average.

Roeder is one of 50 pitchers named to the NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch list, given annually to the top relief pitcher in college baseball.

Roeder was one of four Big Ten pitchers on the list, joining Michigan’s Jacob Cronenworth, Ohio State’s Trace Dempsey and Indiana’s Ryan Halstead.

Savvy Veterans
Not only do seniors Zach Hirsch and Bob Greco each have their bachelor’s degrees, but both have been two of Nebraska’s best arms out of the bullpen in 2014.

The two have combined for 10.1 innings of relief, giving up just one run on four hits, while striking out 11.

Both are holding opposing hitters to under a .200 batting average with the right-handed Greco at .143 and the left-hand Hirsch at .071.

Need to Finish
The Huskers were likely just one win away from reaching the NCAA Tournament a year ago, but failed to qualify with a 29-30 record.

Close games hurt the Huskers all year, as they were 4-11 in one-run games.

Nebraska was 28-1 when leading after eight innings, but 0-24 when trailing after eight and 1-5 when tied. Nebraska was also just 4-24 when trailing after six innings and 1-26 when trailing after seven innings.

Through 10 games in 2014, the Huskers are 5-0 when leading after eight innings, but 0-5 when trailing. The Huskers are yet to win a game this season when they are trailing after the sixth inning.

Like Your Chances with Sinclair
Junior Chance Sinclair has put together a pair of 7.0-inning gems over his first three starts as a Husker. The  6-4 righty is 2-0 on the year with a 0.00 ERA over 15.2 innings.

Sinclair stepped up in his first career start, as the Neosho County Community College transfer earned a win against Gonzaga on Saturday, Feb. 15.

After the Huskers had just lost to the No. 2 Oregon State Beavers, 15-7, earlier in the day, Sinclair took the mound and delivered 7.0 strong innings, allowing a pair of unearned runs on three hits.

During the four-game weekend, Sinclair was the only Husker starter to throw more than 4.1 innings.

After struggling to find the plate in his second starter, where he last only 1.2 inning after giving up an unearned run on four walks and two hits, Sinclair responded last weekend at The Citadel.

Sinclair cruised through 7.0 shutout innings in a 4-0 win, as he allowed only four hits and no walks, while striking out five. The junior never allowed a runner past second base and faced the minimum of three Bulldog batters in five of his seven innings.

The outing at The Citadel came after Nebraska’s starters gave up four runs in the first inning of each of the first two games of the series. Overall, the Citadel had scored 18 runs on 20 hits through the first two games off Husker pitching, including 12 runs on 15 hits off Nebraska’s starters.

MLB Talent
Three Huskers were tabbed in Baseball America’s top-10 prospects in the Big Ten for the 2014 MLB Draft, including junior left-handed pitcher Aaron Bummer (No. 4), junior outfielder Austin Darby (No. 7) and junior infielder Pat Kelly (No. 8).

The Huskers and Indiana Hoosiers were the only teams in the Big Ten with more than one player on the list, with three each.

Pritchard Earns Preseason Honors
Senior outfielder Michael Pritchard was been named a preseason All-American by both the Sporting News and College Sports Madness.

Pritchard, a native of Omaha, was one of 21 players named to the Sporting News list, while he was a fourth-team pick by College Sports Madness.

Pritchard was joined on the Sporting News team by fellow Big Ten players Dustin DeMuth and Kyle Schwarber, both from Indiana. Schwarber was a first-team pick by College Sports Madness, while DeMuth was a fourth-team pick and Sam Travis, also from Indiana, was a second-team selection.

Pritchard has been one of the top hitters in the country during his first three years at Nebraska, posting a career batting average of .353. He also holds a pair of 20-game hitting streak, including a 25-game streak in 2012 that is tied for the third-longest in school history.

Huskers Picked Second by League Coaches
The Big Ten coaches picked Nebraska to finish second out of the league’s 11 teams in 2014.

Indiana was picked as the league favorite by the coaches after winning both the regular-season and conference titles last year. The Hoosiers ended the season with a trip to the College World Series.

NU Signs Versatile Class
The nine-member class Nebraska signed in November 2013 contains eight players that are ranked in the top 1,000 by Perfect Game, including five top-500 prospects and three top-300 players, highlighted by Nebraska native Jakson Reetz, who is ranked as the No. 28 recruit in the country. Six of the prep standouts are regarded as top-15 players in their state, including four who are tabbed as a top-five prospects.

Spanning six states from coast-to-coast, the class is led by three Nebraska products, while two future Huskers hail from Missouri along with one recruit each from California, Kansas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Extending the Season
After missing out on the postseason for three-straight seasons from 2009-2011, the Huskers have qualified for the Big Ten Tournament the past two years.

The last time the Huskers made three-straight trips to the conference tournament was 2006-2007-2008.

Nebraska is looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.

Huskers Across the Country
The 2014 Huskers hale from 12 different states from all across the nation. Nebraska natives make up 11 of the 34 players on the 2014 roster, while Minnesota has the second most representatives at five. Other states with more than one player include, Colorado (4), Iowa (3), Illinois (2), Missouri (2) and Texas (2).

Taking Down No. 1
On Saturday, Feb. 22, at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz., the Nebraska baseball team took down No. 1 Oregon State, 9-2. The win came one week after the Huskers lost to the then No. 2 Beavers 7-4 in Tempe, Ariz.

Prior to beating the Beavers, Nebraska’s last win over a No. 1 ranked team came in the 2005 Big 12 home opener when the No. 4 ranked Huskers beat Texas, 4-3, in 16 innings at Hawks Field.

Last season the Huskers played 19 games against a ranked team and posted a 5-14 record.

The Huskers best wins came in a double-header sweep of Arkansas on April 16, as the Razorbacks were ranked 10th in the country.

Rubber Arm
Senior Tyler King enters the season with 64 career appearances, which ranks 15th all-time at Nebraska.

King has averaged just over 21 appearances a season during his first three seasons at Nebraska. With 21 appearances in 2014 he would move to second on the career list, trailing school-record holder Steve Hale, who made 87 appearances from 1999 to 2003.


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