Nebraska (20-11, 3-3 Big Ten) vs. Iowa (12-14,
3-3 Big Ten)
Fri., April 6 - 6:35 p.m.: Tom Lemke, Jr., RHP
(3-2) vs. Jarred Hippen, Jr., LHP (2-3)
Sat., April 7 - 2:05 p.m.: Brandon Pierce, So.,
RHP (3-1) vs. Matt Dermondy, Jr., LHP (1-3)
Sun., April 8 - 1:05 p.m.: Zach Hirsch, Jr., LHP
(3-2) vs. Sasha Kuebel, Fr., LHP (2-0)
Week: After finishing a 3-0 season sweep of the Kansas State Wildcats
with a 6-0 win on Tuesday night in Manhattan, Kan., the Huskers return home for
the first time in four games to host the Iowa Hawkeyes for a three-game Big Ten
series at Hawks Field.
teams enter the weekend with a 3-3 record in Big Ten play and each team has
played a conference series against the Northwestern Wildcats. The Huskers
recently dropped 2-of-3 on the road to the Wildcats, while the Hawkeyes opened
Big Ten play by taking 2-of-3 from Northwestern at home.
Huskers will change up their weekend rotation a bit against the Hawkeyes, as
Tom Lemke and Zach Hirsch will start on Friday and Sunday, respectively, for
the third straight week, but sophomore Brandon Pierce will be inserted on
Saturday for his first career conference start.
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 games.
game will be shown across the state of Nebraska on NET and will be streamed
live on BTN.com. Saturday and Sunday's games will be shown live on HuskersNSide
On the Radio: Fans across Nebraska and around the world can listen Greg Sharpe
and Lane Grindle 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 9.
Coach Jack Dahm is in his ninth season at Iowa and his 18th season as a head
coach. In his first eight seasons at Iowa, Dahm posted a 190-248 record and the
Hawkeyes enter Friday's game with a 12-14 record this season.
the Huskers, Iowa opened conference play with a 2-1 series win at home and then
went on the road and dropped 2-of-3 to fall to 3-3 on the year. The Hawkeyes
enter Friday's game on a two-game winning streak after winning a pair of mid-week
games at home over South Dakota State. The pair of wins marked the third time
this season the Hawkeyes have won two in a row, but they are yet to win three
in a row in 2012.
the road has not gone well for the Hawkeyes this year, as they are 1-4 in road
games and 6-8 in neutral site games. Iowa's first road win came last weekend
when they beat Indiana, 4-0, on Saturday in Bloomington.
in the conference the Hawkeyes rank sixth or lower in every offensive category
except hit-by-pitches and sacrifice bunts. Iowa leads both categories with 43
HBP's and 28 sacrifice bunts. They are last in the league in total bases with
306, while Nebraska leads the conference with 505.
mound the Hawkeyes are mostly in the middle of the pack, with their highest
ranking coming in strikeouts, where they rank fifth in the Big Ten with 180
Hawkeye regulars are hitting over .300 on the season, including a team-high
.353 average from Phil Keppler. Mike McQuillan, who is hitting .341, ranks
second in the Big Ten with a .483 on-base percentage, third in walks with 21
and seventh in runs with 25.
power standpoint the Hawkeyes have just six home runs on the year, with three
coming from Sean Flanagan and two from Chett Zeise. Zeise leads the team in
RBI's with 14 and doubles with 10, which ties him with two other players for
second most in the Big Ten.
facing three right-handed starters last weekend, the Huskers will see a trio of
lefties this weekend.
Hippen is set to take his 4.24 ERA and 2-3 record to the mound on Friday.
Hippen has one complete game on the year, while also leading Iowa in innings
pitched (51.0) and strikeouts (35). He leads the Big Ten in innings pitched and
his 35 K's rank sixth in the Big Ten.
starter Matt Dermody also sits on the conference top-ten list with 32
strikeouts, which ranks ninth. Dermondy is 1-3 on the year with a 4.33 ERA, as
he has given up 22 runs (17 earned) on 35 hits over 35.1 innings.
Kuebel will look to improve to 3-0 on the season when he takes the mound for
his seventh start of the season on Sunday. Kuebel carries a 3.18 ERA and is
holding opposing hitters to a .236 batting average, which ranks sixth best in
the Big Ten. The freshman from St. Louis, Mo., has given up 15 runs (12 earned)
on 30 hits overall 34.0 innings, while walking six and striking out 14.
after struggling offensively last weekend at Northwestern, the Huskers entered
the week ranked in the top-25 nationally in nine categories, including a pair
of top-five ranking in hits and runs scored.
April 1, the Huskers ranked second in the country in runs scored with 237,
while New Mexico State, who the Huskers beat earlier this season, lead the
nation with 300 runs. NU sits fourth nationally in hits with 337, only 13
behind Indiana State's nation-leading total of 350.
Huskers are also ranked in the top-25 in slugging (11th - .467), batting
average (13th - .320), home runs (17th - 27), home runs per game (19th - 0.90),
on-base percentage (21st - .402) and doubles (24th - 60).
the Huskers rank 22nd in double plays with 28, while Miami (Ohio) leads the
country with 38 twin killings.
Bolt on Energy
Husker offense has seen major improvement under the direction of Associate Head
Coach Will Bolt.
at NU's numbers through 31 games in 2011 and 2012, the Huskers have struck out
62 fewer times, walked 16 more times, produced 35 more hits and scored 37 more
Not Many Southpaws
six Big Ten games the Huskers as a team have just one hit in nine total at bats
against left-handed pitching, with the hit coming from Kash Kalkowski. Those
stats are likely to see big changes this weekend when the Huskers face three
left-handed starters against Iowa.
90 Feet Away
Huskers get a runner to third base with less than two outs, you can almost
guarantee the run is going to score. During Big Ten play the Huskers are
getting the run in at nearly an 82-percent clip, as NU has scored in 22 runs in
on the year, the Huskers have scored 67 runs in 103 chances (.650).
Christensen has turned into a run producer this season with a team-high 34
RBI's in 31 games. Over his first two seasons at NU, Christensen had just 31
RBI's in 86 games.
April 1, Christensen ranked 11th nationally in RBI's, while also ranking 18th
in runs (31), 31st in hits (44) and 17th in total bases (73).
Cory Cuts Them Down
Cory Burleson has been one of the most important cogs of the Husker defense
this season with 14 runners caught stealing, which matches his season total
senior backstop has slowed down the opposition's running game, as team's have
stolen just eight bases in 22 attempts (36%) this season, with two of the eight
steals coming from Illinois on a double steal.
Kyle Schwarber is the only catcher in the conference with more runners thrown
out than Burleson with 17, but Schwarber has the second most steals allowed in
the league with 22.
has worked hard in the offseason to improve his game after allowing 26 steals
in 40 attempts a year ago.
Game After Game
Freshman Pat Kelly enters Friday's game with a 12-game hitting
streak, which is one game shy of Rich Sanguinetti's team-high 13-game streak
earlier this year.
Kelly's current run started on March 12 against Cal with a 2-for-4
day and three RBI's. During the stretch Kelly has multiple hits in five games
and is hitting .317 (20-for-43) with 15 RBIs.
Take it for the Team
In 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 20th nationally.
Through April 1, the Huskers ranked 64th nationally this season in
HBP with 36. Kale Kiser leads the team and ranks 35th in the nation with 10
HBP, while Peters is next on the squad with seven.
Peters and Kiser continue to climb the Husker career chart in HBP
and rank third and fourth, respectively.
Peters entered the year with 36, which tied him for fifth with
Jake Mort (2005-09). Peters took over sole possession of third place on the
career list with a HBP against Kansas State on Tuesday, March 6. It broke a
three-way tie between Peters, Alex Gordon and Nick Sullivan. Peters enters
Friday's game with 43 career HBP.
Kiser is right on Peters' heels with 42 career HBP after being hit
twice in two at-bats against Northwestern last weekend.
Belfonte (2007-10) sits second on the career list with 59 hit-by-pitches and
Daniel Bruce (2002-05) holds the NU career record with 67 hit-by-pitches.
The Right 'Hander'
Ryan Hander is the Huskers' go-to guy this year against right-handed hitters,
as he is holding righties to a .156 batting average.
has a 1.35 ERA on the year over 13.1 innings of work and has given up only one
extra-base hit this season.
Home Sweet Hawks
Nebraska baseball program is celebrating its 11th year at Hawks Field in 2012.
The Huskers are 241-83-1 (.743) since opening the park on March 5, 2002 with a
23-1 win over Nebraska-Kearney.
plays a total of 31 games at Hawks Field in 2012, and are 12-5 at Hawks Field
after wrapping up a 17-game home stand with a 6-3 win over Kansas State on
Pitcher's Best Friend
31 games the Huskers have turned 28 double plays. NU is on pace to turn just
over 50 double plays this season after only converting 35 a year ago.
opposing hitters have been stumped at the plate with freshman lefty Aaron Bummer
on the mound, as lefties are hitting just .083.
31st-round pick by the Yankees out of Sunrise Mountain HS in Peoria, Ariz.,
Bummer has given up just one hit to a lefty batter this season.
has 12 strikeouts in 11.0 innings this season and has pitched in both Husker
Tough With Two
Huskers have come up with clutch hits all season with two outs, as the team has
77 two-out RBI's. Leading the way is Chad Christensen, who has driven in 16 of his team-leading 34 RBI's
with two outs. Junior college transfer Richard Stock also has double-digit
two-out RBI's with 13, while Kash Kalkowski is nearly double digits with nine.
games a year ago, All-American Cody Asche led the team with 16 two-out RBI's,
while only three players had 10 or more on the year, including Asche, Kalkowski
(14) and Bryan Peters (12).
season Christensen played in all 55 games and totaled just four two-out RBI's.
Buy That Stock
Richard Stock has been a welcome addition to the Husker offense in 2012. The
junior from Westlake Village, Calif., is hitting .343 on the year and leads the
team in doubles (9) and ranks third in RBI's (25).
driven in eight runs in his last six games and has six multi-RBI games this
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.
Kale Kiser is tough on opposing pitchers with his great eye at the plate.
During his career at Nebraska, Kiser has walked 86 times and struck out just 63
times. His 86 career walks rank 10th on the Huskers' all-time charts, while Joe
Simokaitis is ninth (90) and Associate Head Coach Will Bolt ranks eighth (91).
hitting just .200 on the season, but continues to get on base for the Huskers
with a .426 on base percentage. His team-high 32 walks in 2012 rank 35th
nationally through April 1.
Setting the Pace
Michael Pritchard has been one of the Huskers' most lethal weapons this season
with Big Ten-leading .412 batting average and an on-base percentage of .483,
which ranks third in the conference. With Pritchard in the leadoff spot, the
Huskers are 14-5 on the season.
left-handed batter, Pritchard has been tough against right and left-handed
pitching, with a .452 average (14-for-31) against lefties and a .394 average
(28-for-71) against righties.
though the Huskers lead the Big Ten Conference with 27 home runs through April
4, the Huskers have also put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses with their
year, the Huskers have 22 bunt singles through 31 games. In 55 games a year
ago, the Huskers had just 16 bunt singles all season.
Christensen, who leads the team in both home runs (6) and RBI's (34), also
leads the team with seven bunt singles in eight attempts. Bryan Peters in next
with four bunt singles, while Michael Pritchard has three and Cory Burleson,
Kurt Farmer and Rich Sanguinetti each have two.
the Huskers are 22-for-29 (.759) when bunting for a base hit and also have 25
sacrifice bunts on the year, including a Big Ten-high 10 from Sanguinetti.
Pat on the Back
Pat Kelly has made a quick transition to college pitching, as the Red Wing,
Minn., sits second on the team with a .407 batting average and has a team-high
slugging percentage of .695.
hit throughout the Husker lineup, totaling 24 hits in 59 at bats, including
three doubles, one triple and four home runs, while driving in 16 runs and
scoring another 11.
even better with a teammate on base, hitting .483 on the season with 14 hits in
What a Fourth
Huskers strongest inning this season has been the fourth, where they've
outscored opponents 40-7. The Huskers didn't give up a run in the fourth inning
until Illinois plated one run against the Huskers in the team's 25th game of
the season on Saturday, March 24.
at just the first eight innings of a game, Nebraska has outscored or their
opponents this season in every inning but the first, where they have just 13
runs on the year, while giving up 16.
first three innings of the game the Huskers hold a slim 73-56 advantage in
runs, but have destroyed opponent pitching their second time through the order
in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings with a 98-36 advantage.
seventh and eighth innings the Huskers kept up the pressure and hold a 56-30
advantage, including 39 runs in the eighth alone.
Chicks Dig It
hitting 30 home runs in 55 games last season, led by Cody Asche's 12 home runs,
the Huskers have nearly matched that total with 27 home runs through the first
31 games of 2012.
Big Ten, no other teams has more than 20 homers and only three other teams have
15 or more. Indiana sits second with 18 bombs, while Michigan is third with 17
homers and Penn State sits fourth with 15 homers. Iowa and Minnesota are tied
for last in the league with only six home runs on the season.
Christensen leads the Huskers with six home runs, which ties his single-season
career high, while six other Huskers have at least two homers, including a
career-high four from Kale Kiser and four from freshman Pat Kelly. Josh
Scheffert and Kash Kalkowski each have three home runs, while Rich Sanguinetti
and Kurt Farmer have two apiece.
Eight Draftees on 2012 Roster
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.
Huskers Picked Fourth by
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.