Tuesday, March 6 - 2:05 p.m. (CT): So. Jon
Keller (RHP) vs. Kansas State - So. Shane Conlon (LHP)
Wednesday, March 7 - 1:35 p.m. (CT): Sr.
Dexter Spitsnogle (RHP) vs. Nebraska-Kearney - TBA
Week: The Nebraska baseball team
(6-4, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts its 2012 home opener at 2:05 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon
against Kansas State at Hawks Field. It will be the first of 17 straight home
games for the Huskers, as they will cap the homestand with a return trip by the
Wildcats on Tuesday, March 27.
makes the short trip to Lincoln for a 1:35 p.m. game on Wednesday, March 7,
before 2011 College World Series qualifier California comes to Hawks Field for
a four-game series starting on Friday, March 9.
Tickets: Season and single-game tickets can be purchased at
Huskers.com, by calling 1-800-8BIGRED or by visiting the Nebraska Athletic
Ticket Office across the street from Memorial Stadium. The Huskers are also
offering a nine-game ticket deal this season. Named the "Diamond-Deal" fans can
pick any nine of the Huskers' 31 home games and have the same seat for all nine
Television: There will be no TV this week, but every game will be
carried on HuskersNside (subscription needed).
the Radio: Fans across Nebraska
and around the world can listen Greg Sharpe, 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 winning 2-of-3 this weekend at the Dairy Queen
Classic, the Nebraska baseball team is set to play its first game at Hawks
Field in 2012. The Huskers started the season with 10 straight games on the
road and now host a 17-game homestand starting on Tuesday against Kansas State.
Huskers send sophomore Jon Keller to the mound to face the Wildcats, as the
righty will be making his second start in four days after starting on Saturday
against New Mexico State. It was a short outing for Keller, as he went just 1.1
innings. K-State will counter with sophomore lefty Shane Conlon, who is 1-0
with a 1.29 ERA and will be making his first start of the season.
Nebraska will send senior Dexter Spitsnogle
to the mound on Wednesday, while UNK's starter is yet to be announced.
Scouting Kansas State
Wildcats are 5-5 on the year and are coming off a their home opening series
against Pacific, where they won 2-of-3. The Huskers and Wildcats played four games
last season, including one non-conference game in Manhattan and a three-game
conference series in Lincoln. The two teams split the season series, 2-2, while
the all-time series sit in Nebraska's favor at 163-105.
outfielder Jared King leads the Wildcat attack with a .476 batting average
(20-for-42), with six doubles, one triple and one home run. King has struck out
just four times in 42 plate appearances and is a perfect 4-for-4 in steals.
Hinkle is the only other Wildcat with a batting average above .300 at .395
(15-for-38) and leads the team with 11 RBI's. Overall, seven Wildcats are
hitting .250 or better.
Wildcats have been dangerous on the basepaths with 16 steals in 18 attempts, an
average of 1.6 steals per game.
State's pitching staff has given up 11 home runs on the year and opposing
hitters are batting .296 against the staff.
Series History: The
Huskers and Wildcats have previously met 268 times, with the Huskers
holding a 163-105 advantage in the all-time series.
Lopers had their first two games of the season against Metro State cancelled
due to weather in Denver, but have since posted a 5-6 record. UNK has already
started conference play in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and recently
swept a four-game series against Colorado Christian by a combined score of
Lopers are hitting .300 or better on year, including Eric Ringblom and Tommy
Barnes, who are each hitting .457 to led the team. Ringblom and Barnes also
share the team lead in home runs with Erik Montes, as all three have hit two
Miller is the only Loper with multiple steals on the year, as he is 5-for-5,
while the rest of the team is a combined 2-for-4.
pitching staff has a team ERA of 5.23 and opposing batters are hitting .315.
Adam Peters, who was at Nebraska during the fall of 2011, is the ace of the
staff with a 2-0 record and a 2.92 ERA. Over 12.1 innings of work, Peters has
given up four runs on 17 hits, while striking out 10.
Series History: The
Huskers hold a 46-1 advantage over the Lopers. UNK's lone win came by the score
of 1-0 on April 19, 1976.
Home Sweet Hawks
The Nebraska baseball program is celebrating
its 11th year at Hawks Field in 2012. The Huskers are 229-78-1 (.745) since
opening the park on March 5, 2002 with a 23-1 win over Nebraska-Kearney.
Nebraska will play 31 games at Hawks Field in
2012, including a 17-game homestand that start on Tuesday against Kansas State.
Off to a Good Start
Huskers have won their last 33 home openers dating back to the 1979 season.
Nebraska is 10-0 all-time in home openers at Hawks Field.
Nearly one year to the day that Bryan Peters
beat No. 5 UCLA with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning on
March 6, 2011, junior Rich Sanguinetti completed a ninth-inning comeback
against New Mexico State at the Metrodome on March 3, 2012, with a two-run
walk-off home run.
The two-run shot was the first home run of
Sanguinetti's Husker career and polished off a four-run ninth inning to seal
victory. The Huskers entered the ninth down 4-2 and quickly had life following
a pair of hits. Michael Pritchard led off with a single and then scored from
first on Richard Stock's double to cut the Aggie lead to one at 4-3. Freshman
Blake Headley came in to run for Stock and was moved to third on a sacrifice
bunt by fellow freshman Austin Darby, who hit a solo home run in the fourth
inning. Head Coach Darin Erstad went to his bench once again and inserted Kash
Kalkowski for the afore mentioned Peters with the tying run at third base.
Kalkowski got behind in the count early, but dug deep and laced a single
through the right side with two strikes to tie the game at 4-4. Following an
out by Kale Kiser, the Huskers were down to their last out of the inning when
Sanguinetti came to the plate and lifted preseason All-American closer Scott
Coffman's pitch deep into the right field seats to win the ball game.
Transfer Richard Stock has been welcome
addition to the Husker offense in 2012. The junior from Westlake Village,
Calif., is hitting .424 on the year and leads the team in doubles (6), while
also ranking second on the teams in hits (14) and total bases (20). His
eight-game hitting streak is the longest active streak on the team this season.
After playing in just one game of the
Huskers' season-opening series against Gonzaga, Stock was named to both the
Kleberg Bank College Classic and Dairy Queen Classic All-Tournament teams at
Stock has notched a double in each the last
three games entering Tuesday and has been aggressive at the plate with no walks
on the season.
A 45th-round pick out of high school by the
Brewers, Stock has found new life at Nebraska after playing his freshman season
at USC and last season at Pierce College in Los Angeles.
Pitchers Best Friend
Through 10 games in 2012 the Huskers have
turned 12 double plays, an average of 1.2 per game. NU is on pace to turn to
67.2 double plays this season after only converting 35 a year ago.
Can Swing It
CC transfer Rich Sanguinetti had been a key cog in the Husker offense so far
this year. Slotted as the team's No. 2 hitter and center fielder in all 10
games this season, Sanguinetti leads the team with three multi-RBI games.
leads the team in sacrifice bunts with four, while ranking second on the team
in RBI's (7), runs (7) and at bats (40).
lefty has also shown that he has some pop in his bat with two doubles and one
home run. The home run came when the Huskers need it most, as it was a two-run
walk-off shot against New Mexico State at the Metrodome during the Dairy Queen
All Good Things Come to an End
Senior outfielder Kale Kiser started the 2012
season with a 26-game on-base streak that reached back to April 3, 2011.
The Plano, Texas, native reached base in his
first eight games, but saw the streak come to an end against New Mexico State
when he failed to reach base in two plate appearances.
Coach Darin Erstad preaches open competition and it showed during the Huskers'
season-opening series with Gonzaga, as six position and two pitching newcomers
the mound, freshman Kyle Kubat started for the Huskers on Sunday, while junior
college transfer Travis Huber saw two relief appearances.
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
more freshman took the field for the first time in a Husker uniform at the
Kleberg Bank College Classic, as pitchers Jeff Stovall and Aaron Bummer threw
Spitsnogle was the latest newcomer to earn time with 1.0 inning of work against
Minnesota. Spitsnogle is slated to start against Nebraska-Kearney on Wednesday
at Hawks Field.
No Place Like Hawks
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
Kale Kiser is tough on opposing pitchers with his great eye at the plate.
During his career at Nebraska Kiser has walked 73 times and struck out just 58
In the Zone
Junior Chad Christensen is locked in right
now as the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native leads or is tied for the team lead in six
offensive categories, including hits (16), RBIs (8), runs (8) home runs (2) and
total bases (25).
Nearly a career .300 hitter entering the year
at .292, Christensen is hitting a scorching .390 on the season and was recently
named the MVP of the Kleberg Bank Classic after leading the Huskers to victory
with a two-out two-RBI double in the top of the ninth to give NU a 8-7 lead.
More impressively, Christensen has shined at
the plate while playing both the outfield and infield. After starting 55 games
at shortstop in 2011, Christensen moved to the outfield in 2012 and started
their before freshman Pat Kelly was injured in the second game of the season.
Christensen has started the past seven games at shortstop. He has moved right
back into the position with no errors and eight double plays in 46 chances.
it for the Team
2011 the Huskers were hit by pitch 89 times, which tied them for 13th
nationally. The team was led by Bryan Peters, who was hit 18 times to tie for
junior in 2012, Peters continues to climb the Husker career chart in
hit-by-pitches and entered the year with 36, which tied him for fifth with Jake
Mort (2005-09). Peters recently jumped into a tie for third on the all-time
list with Alex Gordon and Nick Sullivan when he was hit-by-pitch against Utah
on Feb. 25. Senior Kale Kiser is also on the career top-10 list with 34
Bruce (2002-05) holds the NU career record with 67 hit-by-pitches.
Huskers Picked Fourth by League Coaches
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.
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.
Eight Draftees on 2012 Roster
the third straight year, Nebraska's 2012 roster boasts a total of eight Huskers
who have been previously selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including
Kash Kalkowski and Travis Huber, who have each been picked twice.
Field to the Other
playing two seasons of football under Head Coach Bo Pelini, sophomore Ty Kildow
will now use his talents on the baseball field at Nebraska.
joined the baseball team in the fall as a walk-on and worked his way onto the
roster. Arguably the fastest player on the team, Kildow's speed will be an
asset on the basepaths and in the outfield. Kildow has already been used as a
pinch runner twice this season and stole a base against Gonzaga.
was a three-time first-team Super-State pick as an outfielder at Millard South
High School. He hit over .400 each of his final three seasons, including a .447
average as a junior. He stole 29 bases as a senior and hit .431.
Husker TV Schedule
Big Ten Network has announced its broadcast schedule for Nebraska baseball's
inaugural season as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Huskers will be
seen nationally on BTN three times at Hawks Field, including Nebraska's Big Ten
opener against Illinois on Friday, March 23, and once on the road when NU
travels to Indiana on Sunday, May 6. Nebraska's other two home games on the BTN
schedule include a meetings with Creighton (April 10) and Purdue (April 20).
The Huskers' four appearances on BTN are tied for the most in the conference, as
Michigan State, Minnesota and Michigan all will also have four games on the
game that is available on BTN is also available on BTN2Go, a 24/7 live feed of
all BTN television programming. Full online access of BTN2Go is only available
to subscribers of participating cable, satellite or telco providers. The online
service is available at no additional cost to subscribers who already receive
BTN as part of their channel lineup. For more information, visit http://www.BTN2go.com.
the announcement by the Big Ten Network, NET was able to announce that fans in
the state of Nebraska will continue to see Nebraska baseball on NET in 2012.
NET has permission from the Big Ten Network to broadcast four games at Hawks
Field and will also broadcast both meetings with Creighton at TD Ameritrade
Park. NET's coverage will kickoff on Friday, April 6, when the Iowa Hawkeyes
come to Lincoln to open the first Big Ten series between the two programs. NET
will also broadcast the series opener against Minnesota (May 11), as well as
non-conference games against CSU Bakersfield (April 28) and Wichita State (May
Back in Red
with Head Coach Darin Erstad, two other former Huskers will be putting on the
Nebraska baseball jersey once again in 2012 as former players Will Bolt
(1999-02) and Jeff Christy (2005-06) are part of Erstad's coaching staff.
is the Huskers' associate head coach and returned to his alma mater after
serving as the head coach at Texarkana College the past four years. Bolt works
with the Husker infielders and helps direct the offense, while also coaching
to his time at Texarkana, Bolt was a volunteer assistant at Texas A&M for
two seasons after serving as a volunteer on the Huskers' 2005 College World
player, Bolt was a member of then-Head Coach Dave Van Horn's first recruiting
class. The Conroe, Texas, native was a four-year starter and team captain on
Nebraska's 2001 and 2002 College World Series teams.
returns to Nebraska as the team's volunteer assistant after working in the same
position at Wichita State in 2011. One of the top catchers in program history,
Christy works with the catchers and coaches first base.
playing his first two seasons at Barton County CC, Christy caught a
school-record 64 games as a junior in 2005, hitting .236 with 32 RBIs, while
throwing out 45 percent of opposing runners, including 8-of-11 runners in the
postseason. An honorable-mention All-Big 12 pick in 2006, Christy hit .284 with
eight homers and 32 RBIs, while leading the Huskers to 42 wins and a No. 6
by the Minnesota Twins, Christy reached Triple-A Rochester in both 2008 and
Huskers Across the Country
2012 Huskers hale from 11 different from all across the nation. Nebraska
natives make up 12 of the 32 players on the 2012 roster, while Texas has the
second most representatives at five. Other states with more than one player
include, Iowa (3), Colorado (3), Arizona (2) and Kansas (2).