Nebraska (23-12, 5-4 Big
Ten) vs. Ohio State (20-12, 3-3 Big Ten)
Fri., April 13 - 5:35
p.m. (CT): Tyler King, So., LHP (1-0) vs. TBA
Sat., April 14 - 2:05
p.m. (CT): Brandon Pierce, So., RHP (4-1) vs. TBA
Sun., April 15 - 12:05
p.m. (CT): Zach Hirsch, So., LHP (3-2) vs. TBA
With and 8-3 overall record in their last 11 games and a 4-2 road record on the
season, the Huskers travel to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend for a three-game
series against the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Huskers and Buckeyes are currently
tied with Indiana for second place in the Big Ten Conference, as all three
schools hold a 5-4 league record.
Action is schedule to start Friday night at 5:35 p.m. (CT)
when sophomore lefty Tyler King takes the mound for his first career conference
start at Bill Davis Stadium.
Brandon Pierce will start on Saturday for NU for the
second straight week at 2:05 p.m., while lefty Zach Hirsch will take the mound
in the finale on Sunday at 12:05 p.m.
Single game tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (614) 431-3600
or online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Prices will vary based on seating location
and service fees may apply. Reserved Box Seats are $11 for adults, $8 for
seniors, and $6 for students/children and everyone, regardless of age, must
have a ticket in these sections. General admission bleacher seats are $5 for
adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students/children, and children 6 and under are
No TV coverage, but all
three games will be streamed live on Buckeye Vision at OhioStateBuckeyes.com
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 9.
NOTE - Due to Nebraska football's Spring Game on Saturday,
many affiliates will join the baseball game following the conclusion of the
football broadcast. In Lincoln, 105.3 WOW-FM (not KLIN 1400 AM) will carry the
entire baseball broadcast.
Scouting Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes enter the weekend on a six-game
winning streak, including a series sweep of Minnesota last weekend at home.
The last five wins have come at Bill Davis Stadium after
the Buckeyes started the streak with a 9-2 win over Miami, Ohio, in Oxford.
On the year, Ohio State is 20-12 overall and is tied with
Nebraska and Indiana for second in the Big Ten with a 5-4 league record. OSU is
9-3 at home, but has struggled on the road with a 4-7 record. The Buckeyes have
played well in neutral site games though with a 7-2 record on the season.
The magic number when it comes to runs for Ohio State has
been six this season. When the Buckeyes score at least six runs, they are 12-1,
but when they give up six or more runs, they are just 2-8. OSU also is also
good when they tally more hits, as they are 13-0 on the year when out-hitting
the opposition, but just 5-11 when they are out hit.
While the Huskers have scored a lot of runs late in games
and have made comebacks, the Buckeyes try to get out to an early lead and hang
on as they don't score much late in the game. OSU is 1-9 when trailing after
six innings and 0-10 on the year when trailing after seven innings.
Offensively, the Buckeyes hit .267 as a team with five
players hitting over .300 on the year. Joe Ciamacco leads the team with a .347
average, while Josh Dezse is hitting .305 and leads the team with five home
runs. Dezse was named Big Ten Freshman of the year in 2011.
OSU will be one of the toughest challenges the Huskers'
have faced this season on the bases, as they have 54 steals on the season and
have been caught just 12 times. Kirby Pellant leads the team with 18 steals in
20 attempts, while Ciamacco is 10-for-10 and three other Buckeyes have at least
On the mound, OSU has a team ERA of 4.39 and is holding
opposing batters to a .281 average. The Buckeyes have 200 strikeouts as a staff
compared to 105 walks.
Brett McKinney and Greg Greve have each started a
team-high eight games, while Brian King is next, with all seven of his
appearances coming in starts.
McKinney has one of the Buckeyes' two complete games on
the year, while Jaron Long has the other with a complete game shutout against
Michigan State on March 31 in East Lansing, as the Buckeyes won 1-0 in a
pitching duel. Long leads the Buckeyes with 38 strikeouts in a team-high 53.1
innings of work in six starts over eight appearances.
At the end of the game the Buckeyes may bring in Dezse
from first base to close the game. The sophomore leads the team in saves with
three and has a 3.86 ERA in 10 appearances. Over 14.0 innings of work, Dezse
has give up six runs (all earned) on nine hits, while striking out eight, but
has he has walked 11 batters.
The Huskers entered the week ranked in the top-25
nationally in nine categories, including top-five ranking in hits, batting
average and runs scored.
Through April 8, the Huskers ranked second in the country
in both runs (264) and hits (381), while New Mexico State, who the Huskers beat
earlier this season, leads the nation in both categories with 332 runs and 387
NU sits fifth nationally with 7.8 runs per game and is
ninth in batting average with a team average of .320.
The Huskers are also ranked in the top-25 in slugging
(10th - .462), home runs (18th - 28),
home runs per game (24th - 0.82) and on-base percentage (19th - .400).
Defensively, the Huskers rank 19th in double plays with
32, while Miami (Ohio) and North Florida lead the country with 39 twin
Get on Top
Scoring the game's first run has been important for the
Huskers during Big Ten play.
In the first nine games of the Big Ten schedule, the
Huskers are 3-1 when taking the first lead of a game. When the opposition
scores first, the Huskers are 2-3.
Piercing the Rotation
Projected as a key member of the Husker bullpen and an
option to start mid-week games for the Huskers going into 2012, sophomore Brandon Pierce entered the
weekend rotation for the Huskers against Iowa last weekend.
The righty made the most of his opportunity, as he
improved to 4-1 on the year with a career-high six strikeouts in a career-high
6.0 innings of work. He gave up three runs on seven hits and walked three.
Pierce is set to make his second straight conference start
this Saturday at Ohio State.
Setting the Pace
Sophomore Michael Pritchard has been one of the Huskers'
most lethal weapons this season with a Big Ten-leading .405 batting average and
an on-base percentage of .469, which is tied for fourth in the Big Ten. With
Pritchard in the leadoff spot, the Huskers are 17-6 on the season.
10 times this season Pritchard has either gotten a hit or
walked in the Huskers' first at bat of the game and has come around to score
Cory Cuts Them Down
Catch Cory Burleson has been one of the most important
cogs of the Husker defense this season with 16 runners caught stealing, which
tops his season total of 14 from 2011.
The senior backstop has slowed down the opposition's
running game, as team's have stolen just 10 bases in 26 attempts (.385) this
season, with two of the 10 steals coming from Illinois on a double steal.
During Big Ten play, Burleson has thrown out six runners
in 10 attempts.
Through April 10, Indiana's Kyle Schwarber is the only
catcher in the Big Ten with more runners thrown out than Burleson with 19, but
Schwarber has the most steals allowed in the league with 30. Nine catchers in
the Big Ten have allowed 15 or more steals on the year, including five who have
allowed 20 or more.
Burleson has worked hard in the offseason to improve his
game after allowing 26 steals in 40 attempts a year ago.
King of the Hill
One week after Brandon Pierce was inserted into the
weekend rotation, another new face will join the group when sophomore Tyler
King takes the mound on Friday night at Ohio State.
With all 21 of his appearances coming out of the bullpen
as a freshman in 2011, King has made just one start in his 17 appearances this
He made the most of his first start though, giving up just
one hit and posting three strikeouts over 4.0 innings of shutout baseball at
Kansas State on April 3.
Transfer Richard Stock has been a welcome addition to the
Husker offense in 2012. The junior from Westlake Village, Calif., is hitting
.360 on the year and leads the team in doubles (9) and ranks third in RBI's
Stock has been even better during conference play with a
team-high average of .429 (15-for-35) to rank fourth in the league.
Stock has produced three hits in a game five times this
year and has six multi-RBI games.
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.
Chad Christensen has turned into a RBI machine this season
with a team-high 37 RBI's in 35 games. Over his first two seasons at NU,
Christensen had just 31 RBI's in 86 games.
Rich Sanguinetti isn't far behind Christensen with 30
RBI's, while four other Huskers have at least 20 RBI's on the year to give NU
six players with 20+ RBI's on the season.
At the end of last season, only five Huskers had 20+ RBI's
on the season, including a team-high 56 from Cody Asche. Other included Kash
Kalkowski (42), Kurt Farmer (32), Bryan Peters (30) and Cory Burleson (21).
When it Counts
After hitting below .300 last season with runners in
scoring position, the Huskers have come up with big hits and are hitting .354
on the season.
Four Huskers are hitting over .400 with runners in scoring
position, led by Richard Stock's .452 average (19-for-49), while Kurt Farmer's
is close behind with a .450 average (9-for-20). Kash Kalkowski and Josh
Scheffert are each hitting .417, while 10 Huskers are hitting .300 or better.
Fresh Start for Scheff
After struggling through a sophomore season that saw him
hit .220 with four doubles, two home runs and 18 RBI's in 43 games, Josh
Scheffert went back to the drawing board this summer and worked on his swing.
The Lincoln native's hard work has paid off so far in
2012, as he is second on the team with a .360 average (32-for-89), while also
producing eight doubles, four home runs and 21 RBI's.
Scheffert has also been solid in the field at both corners
of the diamond. He has just three errors on the season in 156 chances.
After scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth against
Iowa on Sunday, April 8, to win the game, 9-8, and take the series from the
Hawkeyes, 2-1, the Huskers have posted two walk-off wins this season.
Earlier this year at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.,
junior Rich Sanguinetti completed a ninth-inning comeback against New Mexico
State with a two-run walk-off home run.
The two-run shot on Saturday, March 3, was the first home
run of Sanguinetti's Husker career and polished off a four-run ninth inning to
seal a victory.
Even though the Huskers lead the Big Ten Conference with
28 home runs through April 10, Nebraska has also put a lot of pressure on
opposing defenses with their bunting.
On the year, the Huskers have 24 bunt singles through 35
games. In 55 games a year ago, the Huskers had just 16 bunt singles all season.
Chad Christensen, who leads the team in both home runs (6)
and RBI's (37), also leads the team with seven bunt singles in eight attempts.
Michael Pritchard and Bryan Peters are next with four bunt singles each, Cory
Burleson has three, while Kurt Farmer and Rich Sanguinetti each have two.
Overall, the Huskers are 24-for-31 (.774) when bunting for
a base hit and also have 30 sacrifice bunts on the year, including a Big
Ten-high 10 from Sanguinetti.
Freshman Pat Kelly has made a quick transition to college
pitching, as the Red Wing, Minn., sits fifth on the team with a .366 batting
average and has a team-high slugging percentage of .634.
Kelly is even better with a teammate on base, hitting a
team-high .421 on the season with 16 hits in 38 at-bats in the situation.
His biggest hit of the season came on Sunday, April 8,
against Iowa, as he blasted a triple to the center field wall that scored two
Huskers to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. Kelly then scored
the winning run on a walk-off single by Kale Kiser.
Kelly has hit throughout the Husker lineup, totaling 26
hits in 75 at bats, including three doubles, two triples and four home runs,
while driving in 19 runs and scoring another 15.
90 Feet Away
When the Huskers get a runner to third base with less than
two outs, it has nearly been a lock during conference play that NU will score a
run. In nine Big Ten games, NU has posted 31 RBIs in 40 opportunities (.775).
Chad Christensen is 6-for-8 (.750) during conference
play and Kale Kiser is 5-for-6 (.833)
Overall on the year, the Huskers have driven in 76 runs in
116 chances (.655).
Chicks Dig It
After 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 28
home runs through the first 35 games of 2012.
In the Big Ten, Indiana and Michigan are the only other teams
with more than 20 homers with 23 and 20, respectively.
Chad 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 each from
freshman Pat Kelly and junior Josh Scheffert. Kash Kalkowski has three home runs, while Rich Sanguinetti
and Kurt Farmer have two apiece.
Texarkana CC transfer
Rich Sanguinetti had been a key cog in the Husker offense so far this year.
Hitting out of the two-hole in 31 of his 32 starts, Sanguinetti is hitting .336
on the year with a team-high 10 sacrifice bunts is second on the team with 30
Packing the Park
Through April 8 the Huskers ranked 16th in the country in
average home attendance with 3,165 fans per game and 13th in overall attendance
with 63,318 fans through the gates at Hawks Field.
No other Big Ten team ranks in the top 50 of either
LSU leads both rankings with an overall number of 252,028
fans through 24 games for an average of 10,501 per game.
Home Sweet Hawks
The Nebraska baseball program is celebrating its 11th year
at Hawks Field in 2012. The Huskers are 244-84-1 (.743) since opening the park
on March 5, 2002 with a 23-1 win over Nebraska-Kearney.
Nebraska plays a total of 31 games at Hawks Field in 2012,
and is 15-6 at Hawks Field after beating Creighton on April 10 by a score of
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 8, the
Huskers ranked 78th nationally in HBP with 39. Kale Kiser leads the team and
ranks 48th in the nation with 10 HBP, while Peters is next on the squad with
Peters and Kiser
continue to climb the Husker career chart in HBP and rank third and fourth,
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.
DJ 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
The Bolt Effect
The Husker offense has seen major improvement under the
direction of Associate Head Coach Will Bolt.
Looking at NU's numbers through 35 games in 2011 and 2012,
the Huskers have struck out 66 fewer times, walked eight more times, produced
50 more hits, scored 45 more runs and are hitting 33 points higher as a team at
Senior Kale Kiser is tough on opposing pitchers with his
great eye at the plate. During his career at Nebraska, Kiser has walked 87
times and struck out just 64 times. His 87 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).
Kiser is hitting just .207 on the season, but continues to
get on base for the Huskers with a .419 on base percentage. His team-high 24
walks are second most in the Big Ten.
Pitcher's Best Friend
Through 35 games the Huskers have turned 34 double plays.
NU is on pace to turn just over 54 double plays this season after only
converting 35 a year ago.
Tough With Two
The Huskers have come up with clutch hits all season with
two outs, as 86 of the team's 241 RBI's have come with two outs. Leading the
way is Chad Christensen, who has driven
in 18 of his team-leading 37 RBI's with two outs. Last season Christensen
played in all 55 games and totaled just four two-out RBI's.
Juniors Richard Stock and Kash Kalkowski also each have
double-digit two-out RBI's with 14 and 12, respectively.
In 55 games a year ago the Huskers' totalled 91 two-out
RBI's. 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).
Bummer for Batters
Left-handed hitters have been stumped the plate with
freshman lefty Aaron Bummer on the mound, as lefties are hitting just .143.
A 31st-round pick by the Yankees out of Sunrise Mountain
HS in Peoria, Ariz., Bummer has given up just two hits to a lefty batter this
Bummer has 14 strikeouts in 12.0 innings this season and
has pitched in both Husker shutouts.
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
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.
He Gets My Vote
Righty Dylan Vogt has arguably been the Huskers top arm
out of the bullpen with a 1.86 ERA in 29.0 innings of work over 16 appearances.
After giving up three runs in his first appearances of the
year, Vogt had given up just six in his last 15 trips to the mound and is
holding opposing batters to a .240 batting average.
What a Fourth
The Huskers strongest inning this season has been the fourth,
where they've outscored opponents 47-7. 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.
Looking 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 16 runs on the year, while giving up 17.
In the first three innings of the game the Huskers hold a
80-60 advantage in runs and have destroyed opponent pitching their second time
through the order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings with a 109-43
In the seventh and eighth innings the Huskers keep up the
pressure and hold a 60-38 advantage, including 40 runs in the eighth alone.
Off to a Good Start
Back in Husker Red
With their 9-6 win over the Kansas State Wildcats on
Tuesday, March 6, the
Huskers have won their last 34 home openers dating back to the 1979 season.
Nebraska is 11-0 all-time in home openers at Hawks Field.
Along with Head Coach Darin Erstad, two other former
Huskers have put 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
Bolt 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 third base.
Prior 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 Series Team.
As a 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
Christy 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.
After 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 national seed.
Drafted by the Minnesota Twins, Christy reached Triple-A
Rochester in both 2008 and 2009.
Nebraska's 2-2 series split with the No. 18 California
Golden Bears snapped a series losing streak to ranked squads.
The Huskers had lost their last four series against ranked
teams since taking 2-of-3 from No. 5 UCLA at Hawks Field in early March last
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.
The longest streak for a Husker this season was by Chad
Christensen, who reached in 27 straight games. Michael Pritchard has the
longest active streak at 18 games entering Friday.
All but three players on this year's 32-man roster have
seen the field though the first 35 games of the season.
In the field, three freshman have earned starts, while on
the mound Aaron Bummer and Jeff Stovall have each earned relief appearances.