7-5 Big Ten) vs. No.
16 Purdue (29-5,
10-2 Big Ten)
Fri., April 20
- 6:35 p.m.: Jon
Keller, So., RHP
(4-0) vs. Joe
Hasse, Sr., RHP (6-0)
Sat., April 21
- 2:05 p.m.: Brandon Pierce, So., RHP (4-1) vs. Lance Breedlove, Sr., RHP (6-2)
Sun., April 22
- 12:05 p.m.: Zach Hirsch, So., LHP (4-2) vs. Connor
Podkul, Fr., RHP (1-0)
Week: The Nebraska baseball team (25-13, 7-5 Big Ten) welcomes
the No. 16 Purdue Boilermakers (29-5, 10-2 Big Ten) to Hawks Field this weekend
for a three-game series. The Boilermakers enter the weekend on a nine-game
winning streak and sit atop the conference standing after sweeping its last two
not starting the past two weekends, sophomore righty Jon Keller returns to the
mound on Friday night when the two teams meet in front of a national-TV
audience on the Big Ten Network at 6:35 p.m. Purdue will counter with one of
the top pitchers in the league in senior righty Joe Hasse, who is a 6-0 on the
Pierce is scheduled to take the mound for the third straight Saturday for game
two at 2:05 p.m. The Boilermakers will throw a senior for the second straight
day in righty Lance Breedlove, who is 6-2 on the season.
finale on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. will feature sophomore lefty Zach Hirsch for the
Huskers and freshman righty Connor Podkul for the Boilermakers. Hirsch is 4-2
on the season and has been the Huskers' Sunday starter for every weekend series
during Big Ten play, while Podkul is starting his fifth career game and is 1-0.
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.
Friday's game will be shown across the country on the Big Ten Network and will
be streamed live on BTN2Go.com. Saturday and Sunday's games will be shown live
on HuskersNSide (subscription needed).
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.
16 Purdue Boilermakers visit Lincoln this weekend for one of the biggest
conference series in over three years at Hawks Field.
the direction of Head Coach Doug Schreiber, who is in his 14th season at
Purdue, the Boilermakers lead the Big Ten with a 29-5 overall record and a 10-2
veteran group, Purdue has 14 seniors on its roster and 12 juniors, while having
just two sophomores and seven freshman.
Boilermakers have been the most consistent team in the conference, as they have
lost consecutive games just once this season. After taking the first two games
of a four-game series at Wichita State, the Boilermakers dropped a
double-header to the Shockers to close the series.
started Big Ten play with a pair of 2-1 series wins over Ohio State and Penn
State, with both loss coming in the final game of each series. Since the loss
to Penn State on April 1, the Boilermakers have won nine straight games,
including series sweeps of Northwestern and Illinois.
plate, the Boilermakers lead the conference in batting average (.326), doubles
(74) and fewest strikeouts (159).
also performs well on the mound with the fewest hits allowed (274), fewest runs
allowed (127), fewest walks allowed (79) and the fewest doubles allowed (38).
Boilermakers are hitting .300 or better on the year, including a team-high .392
average from Eric Charles, which ranks second in the conference.
doesn't rely on the long ball with only 15 home runs, but their pitching staff
also holds opponent in check with just 16 home runs given up on the season.
Cameron Perkins leads the team with four home runs, while Kevin Plawecki is the
only other Boilermaker with more than two home runs.
Boilermakers have at least 20 RBI's on the year, including 38 from Perkins, who
is the only Boilermaker with more than 30 RBI's on the season.
puts the ball in play a lot of makes the defense make plays. The Boilermakers
have the fewest strikeouts in the league with 159, which is 37 fewer then
Nebraska's 195, which is the second-fewest in the conference. They also don't
walk much with 107 free passes, which is the second-fewest in the conference.
Huskers will see a trio of right handers this weekend, including a senior on
both Friday and Saturday, before facing a freshman on Sunday.
Huskers will try to hand Joe Haase his first loss of the season on Friday, as
the senior enters the game with a 6-0 record and a 3.09 ERA. In 55.1 inning of
work over nine starts, Haase has one complete game shutout on the season and
has struck out 33, while only walking 13.
Breedlove will take his 6-2 record and 2.23 ERA to the mound on Saturday. The
workhorse of the staff, Breedlove has two complete games on the year and leads
the Boilermakers in innings pitched (60.2) and strikeouts (53). The senior has
great control on the mound with just eight walks on the year.
Connor Podkul is scheduled to start the series finale on Sunday and will be
making his fifth career start. Podkul is 1-0 on the season in seven appearances
and carries a 2.30 ERA over 27.1 innings of work. He has given up eight runs
(seven earned) on 15 hits, while walking four and striking out 19.
National Team Notes
Huskers entered the week ranked in the top-25 nationally in 10 categories,
including top-five ranking in hits and runs scored.
April 15, the Huskers rank second in the country in hits (423) and are third in
seventh nationally with 7.7 runs per game and is 10th in batting average with a
team average of .317.
Huskers are also ranked in the top-25 in slugging (14th - .458), home runs (15th - 33), home runs per game
(22nd - 0.87) and on-base percentage (22nd - .396).
the Huskers are 22nd nationally with a .976 fielding percentage and are 25th in
double plays with 35 twin killings.
National Individual Notes
Huskers hold a top-50 ranking through April 15.
Sanguinetti holds the highest ranking, as the junior is 14th in the country in
sacrifice bunts with 11.
a monster weekend at Ohio State, Josh Scheffert ranks 23rd in the country with
a .670 slugging percentage. During Big Ten play, Scheffert leads the conference
with a .818 slugging percentage.
Christensen holds a pair of top-50 rankings in RBI's and runs. The junior
shortstop sits 32nd in runs scored with 38 and is 38th in RBI's with 38.
being HBP in each game of the Ohio State series last weekend, senior Kale Kiser
is 30th in the country with 13 HBP's. Kiser is also just outside of the top 50
in walks with his 26 walks ranking 51st nationally.
Pritchard rounds of the group with a top-50 batting average. The Huskers' leadoff
hitter is hitting .391 on the season, which is third best in the Big Ten.
Scheffert Dialed In
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.
Lincoln native's hard work has paid off so far in 2012, as he has been named
Big Ten Player of the Week twice.
junior is second on the team with a .379 average (39-for-103), while also
producing a team-high seven home runs, as well as nine doubles and 31 RBI's.
Last weekend against Ohio State,
Scheffert hit three bombs and drove in 10 runs, including a career-high seven
RBI's in the series finale on Sunday.
has also been solid in the field at both corners of the diamond. He has just
three errors on the season in 167 chances.
Honoring Real Heroes
Huskers will wear special camo jerseys and hats this weekend to honor all
active and veteran military personnel will receive free general admission when
they present their government-issued military ID, VFW/Legion card, or DD214F
form at the gates of Haymarket Park this weekend.
Hard to Hit
closer Travis Huber has been tough on opposing hitters during Big Ten play with
a 0.00 ERA in 4.2 innings of work over four appearances.
has given up just four hits and one walk, while striking out six and holding
opposing batters to a .211 average.
The Bolt Effect
Husker offense has seen major improvement under the direction of Associate Head
Coach Will Bolt.
at NU's numbers through 38 games in 2011 and 2012, the Huskers have struck out
75 fewer times, walked eight more times, produced 58 more hits, scored 59 more
runs and are hitting 34 points higher as a team at .317.
past four games senior Kale Kiser has raised his batting average 39 points to
.237 for the season. It all started against Iowa on April 8, when Kiser drove
in the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off
single to complete a four-run ninth for the Huskers.
continued to hit the ball well at Ohio State, as he hit a home run in the
second game of the series and produced a three-hit game in the series finale.
senior outfielder leads the team and is tied for third in the Big Ten with 26
walks, while also ranking second on the team with a .452 on-base percentage.
Setting the Pace
Michael Pritchard has been one of the Huskers' most lethal weapons this season
with a team high .391 batting average, which ranks third in the Big Ten
also leads the Huskers with a .456 on-base percentage, four points higher than
Kale Kiser's .452 on-base percentage.
Pritchard in the leadoff spot, the Huskers are 19-7 on the season.
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 six times.
Get on Top
the game's first runs has been important for the Huskers during Big Ten play.
first 12 games of the Big Ten schedule, the Huskers are 5-1 when taking the
first lead of a game. When the opposition scores first, the Huskers are 2-4.
time during conference play that the Huskers have scored first and lost was in
the series opener against Iowa on April 6. NU took a 2-0 lead into the fifth
inning and lost the game, 4-3.
Home Sweet Hawks
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.
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 5-3.
Richard Stock has been a welcome addition to the Husker offense in 2012. The
junior from Westlake Village, Calif., is hitting .357 on the year and leads the
team in doubles (11) and ranks fourth in RBI's (28).
has been even better during conference play with a team-high average of .408
(20-for-49) to rank third in the league.
has produced three hits in a game six times this year, including a career-high
four against Ohio State on April 15. The junior also has seven multi-RBI games
on the season
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.
Tough With Two
Huskers have come up with clutch hits all season with two outs, as 96 of the
team's 264 RBI's have come with two outs. Leading the way is Chad Christensen,
who has driven in 19 of his team-leading
38 RBI's with two outs. Last season Christensen played in all 55 games and
totaled just four two-out RBI's.
Richard Stock, Josh Scheffert and Kash Kalkowski also each have double-digit
two-out RBI's. Stock and Scheffert each have 14, while Kalkowski has 12.
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).
Packing the Park
April 15 the Huskers rank 15th in the country in average home attendance with
3,240 fans per game and 16th in overall attendance with 68,054 fans through the
gates at Hawks Field.
Big Ten team ranks in the top 45 of either category.
leads both rankings with an overall number of 295,170 fans through 28 games for
an average of 10,541 per game.
Over the Hump
2-1 series win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus last week was a first
for every player on the Husker roster.
Huskers' last conference road series win coming at Baylor during the 2008
season, no player on the 2012 roster had won a conference road series prior to
last weekend's win at Ohio State.
Cory Cuts Them Down
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
senior backstop has slowed down the opposition's running game, as team's have
stolen just 11 bases in 27 attempts (.407) this season, with two of the eight
steals coming from Illinois on a double steal.
Big Ten play, Burleson has thrown out six runners in 11 attempts.
April 18, Indiana's Kyle Schwarber is the only catcher in the Big Ten with more
runners thrown out than Burleson with 20, but Schwarber has the second most
steals allowed in the league with 33. 10 catchers in the Big Ten have allowed
15 or more steals on the year, including six who have allowed 20 or more and
two with 30 or more.
has worked hard in the offseason to improve his game after allowing 26 steals
in 40 attempts a year ago.
the direction of Head Coach Darin Erstad and Associate Head Coach Will Bolt,
the Nebraska offense has seen great improvement across the board from a year
conference play the Huskers are hitting .304 as a team, with seven players
hitting .300 or better, including a team-leading .408 average from Richard
the Huskers hit .236 during conference play and just two players hit over .300,
including Cody Asche (.351) and Michael Pritchard (.340).
Pitcher's Best Friend
38 games the Huskers have turned 35 double plays. NU is on pace to turn just
over 51 double plays this season after only converting 35 a year ago.
though the Huskers lead the Big Ten Conference with 33 home runs through April
18, Nebraska has also put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses with their
year, the Huskers have 26 bunt singles through 38 games. In 55 games a year
ago, the Huskers had just 16 bunt singles all season.
Christensen, who is second on the team in home runs (6) and leads the team in
RBI's (38), also leads the team with seven bunt singles in eight attempts.
Pritchard is next with five bunts singles, while Bryan Peters has four and Cory
Burleson has three. Kurt Farmer and Rich Sanguinetti each have two.
the Huskers are 26-for-33 (.788) when bunting for a base hit and also have 32
sacrifice bunts on the year, including a Big Ten-high 11 from Sanguinetti.
starting three games at the beginning of the season, freshman Kyle Kubat has
been a tough arm out of the bullpen for the Huskers during conference play.
appearances Kubat has a 0.00 ERA over 6.0 innings of work and is holing
opposing batters to a .190 batting average. The 6-1 lefty has allowed just four
hits and has given up three walks, while striking out six.
Christensen has turned into a run producer this season with a team-high 38
RBI's in 38 games. Over his first two seasons at NU, Christensen had just 31
RBI's in 86 games.
Sanguinetti isn't far behind Christensen with 33 RBI's, while Josh Scheffert is
also over the 30-RBI mark with a career-high 31 this season.
other Huskers have at least 20 RBI's on the year to give NU six players with
20+ RBI's on the season.
end of the 2011 season, only five Huskers had 20+ RBI's on the season,
including a team-high 56 from Cody Asche. Others included Kash Kalkowski (42),
Kurt Farmer (32), Bryan Peters (30) and Cory Burleson (21).
Pat Kelly has made a quick transition to college pitching, as the Red Wing,
Minn., is third on the team with a .358 batting average and a slugging
percentage of .605.
even better with a teammate on base, hitting a team-high .429 on the season
with 18 hits in 42 at-bats.
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
has hit throughout the Husker lineup, totaling 29 hits in 81 at bats, including
four doubles, two triples and four home runs, while driving in 19 runs and
scoring another 16.
When it Counts
hitting below .300 last season with runners in scoring position, the Huskers
have come up with big hits and are hitting .351 on the season.
Huskers are hitting over .400 with runners in scoring position, led Josh
Scheffert's .500 average (14-for-28).
Stock is next with a .465 average (20-for-43), while Kurt Farmer's is close
behind with a .450 average (9-for-20). Kash Kalkowski rounds out the group with
a .405 average (15-for-37). Overall, 10 Huskers are hitting .300 or better with
runners in scoring position.
What a Fourth
Huskers strongest inning this season has been the fourth, where they've
outscored opponents 54-8. 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 16
runs on the year, while giving up 24.
first three innings of the game the Huskers hold a slim 84-75 advantage in
runs, but they have destroyed opponent pitching their second time through the
order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings with a 124-44 advantage.
seventh and eighth innings the Huskers keep up the pressure and hold a 62-38
advantage, including 41 runs in the eighth alone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2012, the Huskers have been hit 49 times, led by Kale
Kiser's 13 HBP's, which ranks first in the Big Ten Conference.
Kiser and teammate Bryan Peters, who is second on the 2012
squad with seven HBP's, continue to climb the Husker career chart and rank
third and fourth, respectively.
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.
Kale Kiser is tough on opposing pitchers with his great eye at the plate.
During his career at Nebraska, Kiser has walked 89 times and struck out just 64
times. His 89 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 .237 on the season, but continues to get on base for the Huskers
with a .462 on base percentage. His team-high 26 walks tied for third most in
the Big Ten and his 13 HBP's are tops in the league.
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.
Chicks Dig It
hitting 30 home runs in 55 games last season, led by Cody Asche's 12 home runs,
the Huskers have already surpassed last year's total with 33 home runs in 38
games this season.
Big Ten, Indiana, Penn State and Michigan are the only other teams with more
than 20 homers with 27, 23 and 20, respectively.
hitting three home runs last weekend at Ohio State, Josh Scheffert leads the
team with seven home runs and Chad Christensen is close behind with six.
Kiser has hit a career-high five, while Pat Kelly and Kash Kalkowski each have four.
Eight Draftees on 2012
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.
90 Feet Away
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 posted 31 RBIs in 40 opportunities (.725).
Christensen is 6-for-9 (.667) on the year and Kale Kiser is 6-for-7 (.857)
on the year, the Huskers have driven in 82 runs in 127 chances (.646).
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 34 of
his 35 starts, Sanguinetti is hitting .336 (.326 during Big Ten play) on the
year with a team-high 11 sacrifice bunts and is second on the team with 33
three players on this year's 32-man roster have seen the field though the first
38 games of the season.
looking at the freshman class, three youngsters have earned starts in the
field, while on the mound Aaron Bummer, Kyle Kubat and Jeff Stovall have each
seen time, including three starts from Kubat.