Huskers Head to Texas for Four Games in Three Days
Feb. 24 - 2 p.m. (CT):
So. Zach Hirsch (LHP) vs. Utah - Jr. Zach Adams (RHP)
Saturday, Feb. 25 - 3 p.m. (CT): So. Jon Keller (RHP) vs. Utah - So. Ben Mordini (RHP)
Saturday, Feb. 25 - 7 p.m. (CT): So. Jon Keller (RHP) vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi - TBA
Sunday, Feb. 26 - 11 a.m. (CT): Fr. Kyle Kubat (LHP) vs. UNLV - Fr. Erick Fedde (RHP)
This Week: Nebraska (0-3, 0-0 Big Ten) heads back on the road to Corpus Christi, Texas, for the Kleberg Bank College Classic at Whataburger Field. The Huskers will open play on Friday, Feb. 24, when they meet Utah from the Pac-12 Conference at 2 p.m. NU will then play two games on Saturday when it faces the Utes again at 3 p.m., before battling Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7 p.m. The Huskers will finish the weekend on Sunday against UNLV at 11 a.m.
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at the Whataburger Field box office, through CCHooks.com or by calling (361) 561-4665. Daily tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 4-12. Three-day packages are available for $24 for adults and $12 for children.
Television: There will be no TV, but every game of the tournament will be streamed on GoIslanders.com (subscription needed).
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 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 7.
Preview: After being swept by Gonzaga to start the season in Peoria, Ariz., the Nebraska baseball team is ready to get back on the field. The Huskers were one inning away from victory on both Saturday and Sunday against the Zags, but the Bulldogs mounted consecutive ninth-inning comebacks to steal a pair of wins.
Sophomore Zach Hirsch will get the ball once again to open the weekend for the Huskers on Friday, while sophomore Jon Keller will start the first game on Saturday and junior Tom Lemke will start his first game of the 2012 season on Saturday night. True freshman Kyle Kubat will get the ball on Sunday for the second straight weekend.
The Huskers are a combined 4-1 against their opponents this weekend, with the only loss coming to Utah during the 2001 season.
The Utes opened the season with a four-game series at UC Davis and went 1-3 on the trip, including a 9-8 loss in 10 innings to close out the series.
Preseason All-American Shaun Cooper has struggled out of the gate with a .133 batting average. A Louisville Slugger third-team selection, Cooper did hit a two-run home run against UC Davis on Monday in the top of the ninth to tie the game.
Infielder James Brooks has shined for Utah, as the senior hit .313 with two doubles and a three-run home run. In 2011, Brooks hit .372 and scored 55 runs, while tying for eighth nationally in doubles with 26.
Morin Parker has also been solid at the plate with a team-high .375 batting average. Parker, who has started two games and catcher and two at designated hitter in 2012, leads the team with five RBI's.
Closer Tyler Wagner set a school record and ranked 26th nationally in saves last season with 12, but has struggled so far in 2012 through two appearances. Wagner has a 7.71 ERA and is 0-1 on the year with three earned runs over 2.1 innings of work.
Series History: The Huskers and Utes have previously met three times, with the first meeting coming in 1979. The Huskers won the first two games in the series before Utah won 7-6 during the 2001 season.
The Huskers will be the second team from the state of Nebraska that Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has played in 2012, as Islanders opened the season with four games against Nebraska-Omaha at home. After taking 3-of-4 from the Mavs, the Islanders went on the road to Houston on Tuesday on won by a score of 3-2.
Lefty Adam Hoelscher earned Southland Pitcher-of-the-Week accolades after tossing a complete game shutout to help the Islander win 3-0 over Nebraska-Omaha in the season opener. Hoelscher gave up just five hits in the game and walked two, while striking out seven.
Junior right-hander Minor Daniel also started the season on the right foot with eight innings of shutout baseball. Daniel pitched two innings of relief against UNO and then go the win at Houston after six innings in the start. On the year, Daniel has given up five hits, struck out eight and walked one.
Three Islanders are hitting .300 or better on the season, including Eric Weiss (.364), Jeramie Marek (.312) and Bobby Buckner (.308). The three hitters have combined for seven of the team's 12 RBI's and have struck out just twice in 30 combined at bats.
The Islanders are yet to hit a home run in 2012 and have just six extra-base hits, including three doubles from Weiss.
TAMU-Corpus Christi has been aggressive on the base paths with six steals in four games, while being caught just once. Marek and Kyle Danford have two steals each
Series History: The Huskers and Islanders have meet twice, with NU winning on both occasions. Nebraska has outscored Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by a score of 30-10, including a 9-1 win in 2007 and a 21-10 win in 2010.
UNLV started the year with a 1-2 record after a three game series at Loyola Marymount, but moved its record to .500 following a 3-2 win at UC Irvine on Monday. Freshman Erick Fedde earned the win for the Rebels after holding the Anteaters scoreless for six innings, while giving up five hits and striking out three.
Head Coach Tim Chambers enters his second season as the Rebels' head man in 2012, as he led UNLV to a 33-25 mark in 2011. It marked the first time the squad had reached the 30-win plateau since the 2005 season.
Chambers ushered in a new era of Rebel baseball in dramatic fashion, racing out to the best start in program history through 21 games, posting a 17-4 mark. In that span, UNLV went from unranked to cracking the top-30 in both the National College Baseball Writers Association and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls for three consecutive weeks.
Among the 33 wins in 2011 were three over nationally ranked opponents, including No. 9 TCU, No. 11 UC Irvine and No. 14 Arizona.
The back of the Rebels' bullpen is anchored by sophomore closer Zach Hartman, who was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2011. Hartman walked just six batters and allowed only five extra base hits, including no home runs, all year in 38.1 innings of work last season.
However, Hartman has gotten off to a rocky start in 2012 with a 18.00 ERA. In one appearance this season, Hartman gave up two earned runs on two hits, threw two wild pitches, walked two batters and hit one batter.
Offensively, two Rebels are hitting over .400, while no other player is hitting above .300. Trevor Kirk leads the team with a .417 batting average (5-for-12), but has no extra-base hits or RBIs on he season. Scott Dysinger is 7-for-17 (.412) on the year and has two RBI's on two doubles. Brandon Bayardi has the team's only home run and leads the squad with five RBI's entering the weekend.
Series History: Sunday will mark the first ever meeting between Nebraska and UNLV.
Nebraska's meeting with UNLV on Sunday will matchup a pair of freshmen on the mound.
The Huskers will go with Waterloo, Neb., native Kyle Kubat, who pitched five innings of shutout baseball for the Huskers in his first career start against Gonzaga on Sunday, Feb. 19.
The Rebels will counter with righty Erick Fedde out of Las Vegas. Fedde is also yet to be scored on this year, but did pick up a win in his start against UC Irvine, when he went six innings, giving up five hits and striking out three.
The Husker coaching staff and players will see some familiar faces this weekend when Nebraska plays Utah and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Junior right-hander Travis Huber, who chose Nebraska over Utah and Virginia, transferred to Nebraska after playing the previous two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho. The Utes have two players who were also sophomores at Southern Idaho in 2011, including infielder Ryan Cooperstone and catcher Parker Morin.
The Utes Zach Adams and Kody Davis have connections to Huber as well, as all three are from West Jordan, Utah.
Nebraska Associate Head Coach Will Bolt spent the past four seasons as the Head Coach at Texarkana College and brought junior outfielder Rich Sanguinetti with him to Nebraska. One of Bolt's former pitchers, Franco Pace, is a lefty pitcher for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders also have a freshman right-handed pitcher, Matt Danton, from Conroe, Texas, the same hometown as Bolt.
Kale's on First
Senior outfielder Kale Kiser started the 2012 season with a 26-game on-base streak that reaches back to April 3, 2011. Kiser struggled to produced hits against Gonzaga, but the senior found other ways to get on base and extended his streak to 29 games.
Kiser is hitting just .083 on the year from the leadoff spot, but has produced a .313 on-base percentage with three walks and one hit-by-pitch.
In 2011, Kiser ranked second on the team in on-base percentage at .417, trailing All-American Cody Asche, who produced a .424 on-base percentage. Kiser led the team with a .467 on-base percentage as a sophomore in 2010 and hit .345.
Huskers Picked Fourth by League Coaches
The Big Ten coaches have picked Nebraska to finish fourth out of the league's 11 teams in 2012. Three Husker juniors were also named to the 'Players to Watch List', including right-handled pitcher Travis Huber, right-handed pitcher Tom Lemke and first baseman/designated hitter Kash Kalkowski.
After winning a share of the of the Big Ten title last season for the first time since 1979, Michigan State was picked as the league favorite. The Spartans were followed by Purdue, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Illinois, as only the top six teams were released by the conference office.
UNLV's second-year Head Coach Tim Chambers is keeping strong ties to his previous coaching job at the College of Southern Nevada. Chambers, who was at Southern Nevada for 11 seasons, currently has 12 players from Southern Nevada on his roster. The 12 players make up over one-third of the team's 34-man roster.
Kicking it Around
The Gonzaga Bulldogs committed seven errors against the Huskers on Saturday, Feb. 18, in a game the Zags eventually won 10-8.
It was the most errors a Husker opponent had committed since March 30, 2007, when Texas A&M also committed seven errors in College Station. The Huskers won the game 11-4.
The last time the Huskers lost a game where an opponent had seven errors was during the 1999 season, when Iowa State won 6-5 in 16 innings.
No Place Like Home
After playing its first 10 games of the season on the road, the Nebraska baseball team will open up a 17-game home stand at Hawks Field on Tuesday, March 6.
The stretch starts and ends with games against Kansas State, as the Wildcats will come to Lincoln on Tuesday, March 6, and make a return trip on Tuesday, March 27.
During the non-conference part of the home stand, the Huskers will play a pair of four-game series with California, who qualified for the CWS last season, and Louisiana Tech. Northern Colorado will come to Lincoln for two games, while Nebraska-Kearney and South Dakota will also make one-game stops.
Prior to the second game with Kansas State, the Huskers will open play in the Big Ten Conference when Illinois come to Hawks Field for a three-game series that starts on Friday, March 23.
The last time the Huskers had a 17-game home stand was during the 1992 season. During the stretch, the Huskers went 11-6 at Buck Beltzer Field.
Head Coach Darin Erstad preaches open competition and it showed during the Huskers' season-opening series with Gonzaga, as six position and two pitching newcomers saw action.
On the mound, freshman Kyle Kubat started for the Huskers on Sunday, while junior college transfer Travis Huber saw two relief appearances.
Freshmen infielders Pat Kelly and Blake Headley each earned starts, while junior college transfer Rich Sanguinetti started all three games in center field and fellow JC transfer Richard Stock earned at start at catcher. Freshman Austin Darby pinch hit twice and sophomore Ty Kildow stole a base in one of his two pinch-running appearances.