Huskers Visit Bluejays on Tuesday Night
The Nebraska baseball team (11-7) heads to Omaha on Tuesday night to face intrastate rival Creighton (11-5) at TD Ameritrade Park as the first of three games between the squads in 2019. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. (CT).
The Huskers enter the week on a five-game winning streak after a perfect 5-0 start to their home schedule, which included sweeps against Air Force and Michigan State. The Bluejays also enter the night on a winning streak, having emerged victorious in four consecutive games.
Tuesday will be Creighton’s home opener at TD Ameritrade Park, home of the College World Series, after multiple cancellations due to weather and field conditions. It begins a five-game road trip for the Huskers before NU returns to Hawks Field on April 5. During this stretch, Nebraska journeys to Minnesota (March 29-31) and Kansas State (April 2). The Huskers host 2018 NCAA Tournament qualifier Purdue, April 5-7, at Hawks Field.
Later this season, Nebraska and Creighton meet again on April 9 at Hawks Field at 6:35 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. The series finale between the squads is scheduled for April 23 at TD Ameritrade Park at 7 p.m. (CT). It will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
The Huskers are ranked 40th in the latest RPI, released by the NCAA on Monday. Creighton is No. 42 in the RPI.
Last Time Out
The Huskers opened Big Ten play with a sweep of Michigan State at Hawks Field over the weekend. The two teams played a doubleheader on Friday, with NU winning by scores of 4-1 and 5-2. In Sunday’s series finale, Nebraska won a 6-2 decision.
The Huskers continue Big Ten play with a three-game series against reigning conference regular-season and tournament champion Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. The games are scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. (CT), Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT) and Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT).
How to Listen/Watch the Huskers
• Fans can listen to Greg Sharpe and Ben McLaughlin call the action on Tuesday night on the Learfield/IMG Husker Sports Network.
• Tuesday night’s game can be heard on Huskers.com and the Official Nebraska Huskers App for both iOS and android devices.
• It will be carried on TuneIn.com and the TuneIn App on the Husker Sports Network channel.
• Fans in Lincoln can listen on 1400 AM and fans in Omaha can listen on 590 AM.
• The game will be streamed live on Jays Video.
Scouting the Creighton Bluejays
• Nebraska leads the all-time series against Creighton, 85-53-2, dating back to the first meeting between the intrastate rivals in 1902. NU holds a 41-23 record when the game is played at Creighton.
• Last season, the Bluejays won all three games of the series by margins of 3-1, 12-9 and 5-4.
• This season, Creighton is 11-5 overall and enters the week on a four-game winning streak. Over the weekend, the Bluejays swept a three-game series at Maryland.
• Head Coach Ed Servais holds a 528-312-1 in his 16th season at Creighton. He is 710-394-2 in his 24th season overall. Servais is assisted by Connor Gandossy, Eric Wordekemper and Paul Weidner.
• Players to Watch
- » No. 29 Jake Holton (Junior INF): Leads the team in batting average (.361) and home runs (5), while sharing the team high in RBIs (18)
- » No. 1 Isaac Collins (Junior INF): Hitting .324 with a team-high 23 hits
- » No. 6 Parker Upton (Junior OF): Batting .311 with 12 RBIs, three home runs and a team-high 19 runs scored
Strong Starts Set the Tone
• Nebraska enters the week on a five-game winning streak in large part due to its starting pitching. NU’s starters have gone 4-0 during that stretch.
• During the five-game stretch, Nebraska’s starters have combined to pitch 28.1 innings and allowed only three runs. Those pitchers have combined to record 25 strikeouts and only three walks.
• Matt Waldron pitched a complete-game two-hitter during the first game of a doubleheader against Michigan State on Friday. He allowed only one run to go along with six strikeouts and zero walks.
• Nate Fisher, making his first start since his 8.0 no-hit innings on March 9, went 7.1 innings in the second game of the March 22 doubleheader and allowed only one run.
• Freshman Kyle Perry earned nine strikeouts in 4.0 innings as the starter on March 20 against Air Force and gave up only one run.
• Senior Reece Eddins made two starts during the five-game stretch, amassing 8.0 scoreless innings and allowed only three hits during that time.
Waldron Racking Up Strikeouts
• Senior right-hander Matt Waldron, who has made three starts and five appearances overall, leads the team with 32 strikeouts this season.
• Waldron has allowed only two walks, and his 16.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks first in the Big Ten and seventh in the nation.
• Waldron leads the Husker pitching staff in ERA (1.86) and innings pitched (29.0), while sharing the team high in wins (3) with Nate Fisher.
• Waldron has 192 career strikeouts, which ranks 10th in program history. Zach Kroenke (196) ranks ninth and Jamie Rodrigue (200) ranks eighth on the Nebraska’s career strikeouts list.
Offense Among the Best in the Big Ten
• As a team, Nebraska ranks fourth in the Big Ten in batting average (.275) this season.
• Individually, Aaron Palensky ranks tied for 12th in the conference in batting average (.324). He has two triples this season, which is tied for first in the Big Ten with five other players.
Huskers Sweep Spartans to Open Big Ten Play
• Behind strong starting pitching, Nebraska swept Michigan State at Hawks Field over the weekend to begin conference play with a 3-0 record.
• Matt Waldron threw a complete game during the first game of Friday’s doubleheader and allowed only two hits and one run. He tallied six strikeouts and didn’t walk any batters. Cam Chick led the offense with three hits as NU posted a 4-1 win.
• Nebraska took Game 2 of the doubleheader by a 5-2 margin, as Nate Fisher went 7.1 innings and allowed only one run. Colby Gomes, who tallied a game-high three RBIs at the plate, earned his team-best fourth save of the season by pitching the final 1.0 inning.
• NU clinched the sweep with a 6-2 win in Sunday’s finale against the Spartans. Reece Eddins went 5.0 scoreless innings to set the tone, while Joe Acker drove in a game-high three RBIs and smashed a triple.
There’s No Place Like Home
• Nebraska is off to a perfect 5-0 start at home after sweeping Air Force and Michigan State last week at Hawks Field.
• Nebraska played its long-awaited home opener on March 19 after each of the first eight scheduled home games had either been canceled, postponed or moved to a new location due to weather and/or field conditions.
• It marked Nebraska’s latest home opener since 1978 when the Huskers first played a home game that season on March 28. The 1978 squad played 17 games away from Lincoln before its home opener. This season, the first 13 games were played away from home.
• The Omaha game, originally scheduled as the home opener for March 5, was postponed. The North Dakota State game, scheduled for March 13, was also postponed. The teams are looking for a date later in the season to make up those games.
• The Baylor series, March 8-10, was moved from Lincoln to Waco, Texas due to cold weather and snowy conditions.
• The New Mexico State series, originally slated for March 15-17, was canceled due to field conditions.
Newcomers Making Their Mark
• Nebraska’s nationally ranked recruiting class has played a key role for the Huskers so far this season. One-third of the Huskers to register at-bats this season are newcomers (6-of-18). In addition, four newcomers have made pitching appearances.
• D1 Baseball ranked NU’s class 16th nationally and the best among all Big Ten teams, six spots ahead of second-best Illinois.
• Baseball America tabbed the group among its top-35 recruiting classes. After announcing its top 25, Baseball America released its “Next 10” in alphabetical order. Nebraska was one of two Big Ten teams on the list, along with No. 24 Illinois.
• Rawlings/Perfect Game ranked Nebraska’s recruiting class 37th nationally and third in the Big Ten, behind No. 32 Purdue and No. 36 Indiana.
• The Huskers welcome 15 newcomers to the roster this season, including 11 freshmen, as the entire recruiting class made it to campus.
• Two newcomers - Spencer Schwellenbach and Bo Blessie - were drafted in June 2018, but chose to come to Nebraska to play college baseball. Schwellenbach was selected in the 34th round by the Cleveland Indians, while Blessie was drafted in the 36th round by the Washington Nationals.
• Four newcomers - Aaron Palenksy (Southeast CC), Trey Kissack (UNC Greensboro/Southeast CC), Ty Roseberry (Nebraska-Kearney) and Gareth Stroh (Purdue/Coffeyville CC) – bring previous college baseball experience to NU’s roster. Stroh and Kissack will sit out this season.
Four Games Selected for Big Ten TV Slate
• The Big Ten Conference has released its 2019 baseball television schedule across Big Ten Network, the ESPN family of networks and Fox Sports 1, which features four Husker games.
- » April 7 – Purdue (ESPNU)
- » April 9 – Creighton (FS1)
- » April 20 – Iowa (BTN)
- » April 26 – Illinois (BTN)
• One of Nebraska’s strengths under Head Coach Darin Erstad has been the bullpen. This season, the Huskers have recorded five saves, led by Colby Gomes, who has four saves individually.
• Last season, Nebraska earned 16 saves, marking the eighth consecutive season the Huskers have recorded double-digit saves.
• Nebraska has had a pitcher earn 10 or more saves in each of the last five seasons after no Husker pitcher reached the 10-save milestone during the previous seven seasons (2007-13).
Nebraska’s Record with the Lead Since 2012
- » After six innings: 193-20 (7-0 this season)
- » After seven innings: 208-10 (11-0 this season)
- » After eight innings: 220-6 (11-0 this season)
Huskers Working Through Rigorous Schedule
• Nebraska has the No. 46 strength of schedule in the nation, according to WarrenNolan.com.
• Nebraska played eight of its first 13 games against top-25 opponents away from home. Five of those games were against 2018 College World Series teams (Oregon State and Texas Tech).
• As a whole, Nebraska’s schedule features games against five NCAA Tournament qualifiers from last season, including two College World Series participants.
• Before cancellations, Nebraska was scheduled to play 2018 CWS qualifier Mississippi State (March 3) and 2018 NCAA Tournament team New Mexico State (March 15-17), which would’ve given NU a schedule with seven NCAA teams, three of which made the CWS last season.
• The Huskers also face each of the top four teams from last year’s Big Ten standings.
• Nebraska visits reigning Big Ten regular-season and tournament champion Minnesota this weekend, a team which advanced to Super Regionals before falling to eventual national champion Oregon State.
• The other 2018 NCAA Tournament qualifiers on Nebraska’s schedule are Baylor and Purdue. NU won 2-of-3 against Baylor, March 8-10, in Waco, Texas. The Boilermakers finished second in the Big Ten regular-season standings and took runner-up honors at the conference tournament.
• Michigan and Illinois, who finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Big Ten last season each visit Hawks Field this season.
• Nebraska’s penultimate regular-season series is against Arizona State (May 10-12) at Hawks Field. The series history between the Huskers and Sun Devils includes NU’s first win in a College World Series game in 2005.
• The Big Ten teams not included in Nebraska’s 2019 regular-season schedule are Indiana, Maryland, Ohio State and Rutgers.
• The conference tournament returns to TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, May 22-26, after previously hosting the event in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The Big Ten Tournament will return to TD Ameritrade Park from 2020 to 2022.
Huskers Eye Bounce Back Season in 2019
• Nebraska has qualified for three of the last five NCAA Tournaments (2014, 2016, 2017) and looks to get back to the postseason in 2019 after missing the national and conference tournaments in 2018.
• Nebraska, who enters its eighth season as a member of the Big Ten, finished in the top two of the regular-season standings in four of its first six seasons in the conference before finishing 10th in 2018. NU won the regular-season crown in 2017 after finishing second in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
• The 2018 season was the first time NU missed the eight-team conference tournament since joining the Big Ten before the 2012 campaign. Nebraska took runner-up honors at the Big Ten Tournament in 2013 and 2014.
Erstad Among Winningest Coaches in NU History
• Head Coach Darin Erstad (246-176-1) became the fourth-winningest head coach in program history last season after reaching the 200-win milestone in 2017. He is four wins away from the 250th win of his career.
Most Wins by a Head Coach in Nebraska Baseball History
- John Sanders: 767 wins (1978-97; 20 seasons)
- Tony Sharpe: 399 wins (1947-77; 31 seasons)
- Mike Anderson: 337 wins (2003-11; 9 seasons)
- Darin Erstad: 246 wins (2012-present; 7 seasons)
- Dave Van Horn: 214 wins (1998-2002; 5 seasons)
• Erstad, the 2017 Big Ten Coach of the Year, holds a conference record of 99-68-1 as the head coach at Nebraska. He is one Big Ten win away from his 100th career conference win.
Nebraska Coaches with More Than 100 Conference Wins
- » Tony Sharpe went 240-260-0 in 31 years
- » John Sanders went 239-221-0 in 20 years
- » Mike Anderson went 125-116-1 in nine years
Hawks Field Celebrates 18th Year in 2019
• The 2019 campaign marks Nebraska’s 18th year playing home games at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park. The Huskers moved to Hawks Field in 2002 after playing at Buck Beltzer Stadium for 23 years from 1979 to 2001.
• Nebraska holds a 357-133-1 record at Hawks Field, which includes a 5-0 mark this season. NU has posted a winning record at home in each of the last 17 seasons.
• Nebraska has won 60 percent or more of its home games 14 times over the last 17 seasons.
• Since Head Coach Darin Erstad took over in 2012, the Huskers are 128-55 at Hawks Field. He has posted 20-win seasons at home in three of his first seven years at Nebraska, including 21-win seasons at home in 2015 and 2016.
• Nebraska has ranked in the top 30 nationally in average attendance in each of the past 17 years. Last season, the Huskers ranked 12th in the nation with an average of 4,203 fans per home game (over a span of 25 games).
• In 2017, the Huskers welcomed an average of 5,395 fans per home game, which ranked sixth in the nation. NU also ranked sixth nationally in 2016 when a school-record average of 5,423 fans attended home games for the Huskers.