Huskers Finish Homestand with Visit from Creighton
Wednesday, March 19 – 5:05 p.m.
Probable Starters: LHP Kubat (0-1) vs. RHP Elman (1-1)
Stream: Free Radio (Huskers.com) | Video Stream (HuskersNSide - premium)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Up Next for the Huskers
The Nebraska baseball teams concludes its nine-game homestand on Tuesday night at Hawks Field when it welcomes the Creighton Bluejays for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. The game will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network at video.btn.com, subscription required.
Tuesday will mark the first game of a three-game season series between the two teams, with the other two games taking place in Omaha at TD Ameritrade Park.
Coming off a 2-1 series win over the No. 25 UC Irvine Anteaters, including a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, the Huskers are 6-2 during their homestand and are looking to keep momentum going into Big Ten Conference play this weekend at Iowa.
Junior Aaron Bummer is set to make is second straight midweek start tomorrow evening after beating Northern Colorado last Tuesday. The lefty gave up four hits in 5.2 innings of work and tied a career high with five strikeouts, including three in the first inning.
Bummer enters the game with a 2-2 record on the year in four starts with a 6.27 ERA over 18.2 innings.
Offensively, the Huskers have swung the bats well at home, hitting .362 as a team with an average of 8.9 runs scored on 13 hits per game. The offense has also had a good eye at the plate, with a 37-to-30 walk-to-strikeout ratio.
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 Huskers.com 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 Huskers.com.
The Big Ten Digital Network will provide a video stream of Tuesday’s game against Creighton at video.btn.com, (subscription required).
Nebraska holds a 73-49-2 lead in the all-time series with Creighton. Last season the teams split a pair of games, as the third game in the series was cancelled due to weather and never made up.
The first meeting came during the 1902 season when the Huskers won at Creighton, 9-3.
The Huskers last posted a season sweep of the Jays during the 2008 season when NU won at home on April 22 (4-3) and then went to Omaha the next night and won (16-7). NU completed the sweep on May 13 with a 8-1 win.
The last time the Bluejays won the season series was during the 2010 season, as the Jays took the first two games of the year. The Huskers avoided the season sweep with a 21-5 victory at TD Ameritrade Park.
Scouting the Creighton Bluejays
The Creighton Bluejays enter Tuesday night’s match up with a 9-5-1 record, including a 5-4-1 record on the road.
The Jays opened the year by losing four straight, including three straight on the road to Arkansas-Little Rock. After losing to Minnesota to start the second weekend in Fort Myers, Fla., the Jays won the series with a pair of wins and then went to Charlotte and won a pair of games before settling for a tie on Sunday.
Creighton is 8-1-1 over its 10 games, including a two-game sweep of South Dakota State last weekend in Omaha. Game three of the series was canceled on Sunday due to weather.
The Huskers will likely see a slew of pitchers on Tuesday night, starting with right-hander Taylor Elman. The sophomore is 1-1 on the year, with all four of his appearances coming in starts. Over 19.1 innings of work he has a 5.59 ERA, as he has given up 14 runs (12 earned) on 18 hits and 11 walks. Opponents are hitting .247 off the 6-3 Omaha Creighton Prep product.
Elman pitched against the Huskers last season in Nebraska’s 12-9 win on May 14 at TD Ameritrade Park. He was the first Jay out of the bullpen and gave up a pair of runs on two hits in 1.1 innings.
Pitching has been the key to the Jays’ success, as they have a team ERA of 3.99 and are holding opposing hitters to a .247 average. Over the last 10 games the Jays have allowed more than four runs only three times and have allowed two runs or less four times.
At the dish, the Jays are hitting .250 as a team with only two players hitting over .300 on the year in Brad McKewon (.358) and Joey Mancuso (.313). McKewon leads the Jays in hits (24) and doubles (6), while he and Mancuso are the only Jays with more than 10 runs scored on the year at 12 and 11, respectively.
Senior Mike Gerber leads the Jays in RBIs with 17 and the Big East Preseason Player of the Year has also hit a team-best four home runs, but is only hitting. 254 on the year.
The Jays have been prone to striking out with 116 on the year (7.7 per game), while only walking 57 times (3.8 per game).
Freshmen Stepping Up
Freshmen Ryan Boldt and Ben Miller have been key cogs in Nebraska’s success this year, as both are hitting over .330 on the season.
Boldt has started 17 of Nebraska’s 18 games and is hitting .339 with 13 RBIs, while also tied with Michael Pritchard for the team lead in doubles with six. In each of Nebraska’s last two weekend series Boldt has hit .600 or better for the weekend, hitting .600 (6-for-10) in a three-game sweep of St. John’s and .615 (8-for-13) this past weekend in a 2-1 series win over No. 25 UC Irvine with four doubles against the Anteaters.
Miller started a pair of games against the Red Storm and hit .429 with five RBIs, while he was even more impressive against the Anteaters with a .455 average. The Iowa product had five hits, including two doubles, and scored four runs against UCI’s potent pitching staff.
Miller has also made three appearances to the mound for the Huskers in 2014, producing five strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Turn on the Jets
Entering Tuesday, Nebraska has produced 11 triples on the year, including three from Michael Pritchard. Ryan Boldt, Austin Darby and Blake Headley each have a pair of triples on the year.
Last season the Huskers didn’t have 11 triples until the 52nd game of the season on May 16, when the Huskers slugged two triples in the series opener against Michigan at Hawks Field.
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.
Nebraska has scored over a third of its runs in two innings this year, as 45 of the Huskers 133 runs have come in the second and sixth innings.
The Huskers are out scoring opponents 18-4 in the second inning and 27-9 in the sixth inning of games this season.
Nebraska needs to get off to a better start thought, as opponents hold a 15-9 run advantage in the first inning this season.
The Huskers have struck out 83 times this year, an average of 4.6 times per game, but more impressively the Huskers have 71 walks on the year, an average of 3.9 per game.
Combined with their eight HBP, the Huskers have nearly drawn more free passes then strikeouts this season, 83-78.
Leadoff hitter Austin Darby has led the charge with 11 walks to six strikeouts.
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 Tuesday’s game with Creighton he is one hit shy of 200 and ranks 21st in school history with 199 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.
This is Our House
When Nebraska opened its 2014 home slate with a 12-4 over St. John’s on March 7, the Huskers posted their 36 straight home opening win. A streak that dates back to the 1979 season. Nebraska is now 13-0 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 267-97-1 (.732) since opening the park on March 5, 2002 with a 23-1 win over Nebraska-Kearney.
Packing the Park
With just seven home dates in the books this season, the Huskers enter the week ranked 23rd in the country with an average of 2,474 fans through the gates at Hawks Field.
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.
All Good Thing Come to an End
Senior Michael Pritchard saw his 57-game on-base streak come to and end on Friday, March 14, in Nebraska’s series opener against UC Irvine.
The streak began during the 2013 season on March 19 against Cal St. Fullerton after Pritchard went 0-for-4 against the Anteaters on March 17 in the series finale at Anteater Ballpark.
Since becoming a regular starter in 2012, Pritchard has played in 123 games and has failed to reach base by a hit, walk or hit-by-pinch in just 10 games.
Including his freshman season in 2011, Pritchard has played in 157 games during his career and has failed to reach in 19 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 nine times.
Pritchard’s streak is the longest by a Husker since 2000. That is how long Nebraska game-by-game stats are available digitally.
Lean on Hirsch
Zach Hirsch has been one of Nebraska’s best arms out of the bullpen in 2014.
The one-time starter has made nine appearances out of the pen in 2014 and holds a 2.31 ERA, while holding opposing batters to a .128 average over 11.2 innings of work.
Hirsch enters Tuesday ranked tied with Bob Greco for second on the team with 12 strikeouts.