Honors & Awards
- Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll (Fall 2008)
2009 Outlook: Senior right-hander Erik Bird will be relied on for his leadership for the 2009 Husker staff • Leads NU with 58 appearances over the last three years, easily the highest total on the staff • Worked exclusively out of the bullpen his first two years before emerging as one of the Huskers’ top midweek starters in 2008 • Went 5-1 in 17 appearances last year, including a 4-0 mark with a 2.14 ERA in his seven starts • Understands the importance of competing on the mound and has experience he can rely on from his first three years at NU • Will be counted on heavily on the Husker staff, whether it is as a starter or reliever • Showed the ability to work in a number of roles, and the coaching staff will look to maximize his opportunities.
2008: Bird put together his best season as a Husker, going 5-1 with a 4.05 ERA in 17 outings out of the bullpen and as a mid-week starter • Ranked fourth on the squad in wins and starts and fifth in innings pitched, establishing career bests in all three categories • Pitched effectively as NU’s mid-week starter, going 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA in seven starts, pitching at least five innings in five of his last six outings • Did not pitch in the Big 12 or NCAA Tournament • Did not pick up a decision in his six Big 12 relief appearances • Collected his fifth win in his final start of the year against Creighton on May 13, tossing five innings of one-run ball, scattering three hits in an 8-1 win in front of 14,680 at Rosenblatt Stadium • Made two appearances against No. 9 Texas A&M, allowing one run on one hit while striking out a batter • Fanned a career-high five hitters over two innings of one-hit relief to earn the victory in NU’s 4-3, 14-inning win over UL-Lafayette on May 3 • Garnered his third win of the year versus Western Illinois on April 30, throwing five shutout innings while scattering three hits • Pitched in long relief in the series finale at Baylor on April 27, allowing one run on four hits over 2.2 innings of work • Turned in one of the best performances of his career against fifth-ranked Wichita State on April 15, tossing a career-high 6.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing three singles and fanning four in a 3-0 win • Garnered his first collegiate win against Northern Colorado on March 25, allowing two runs on four hits over five innings, as he struck out three • Pitched well in a no-decision against Arkansas on March 19, allowing two runs on four hits over five innings, as he struck out a then career-best four hitters • Made his first career start against South Dakota State on March 11, tossing three innings of one-hit shutout baseball with a trio of strikeouts • Fired two shutout innings against Nebraska-Kearney on March 4, scattering two hits in an 11-2 Husker win • Took the loss against Stanford on Feb. 24, allowing a double to the only hitter he faced in a 4-2 setback.
2007: Bird worked out of the Husker bullpen in a number of roles, going 0-0 with a 5.56 ERA in 17 appearances • Overcame a bumpy early-season stretch to pitch well during the second half of the year, posting a 1.35 ERA in his final 10 outings • Averaged over a strikeout per inning during that stretch and did not allow an extra-base hit working in situational relief • Collected his three saves against New Mexico, UT-Arlington and No. 27 Florida Atlantic • Pitched once during the NCAA Regional, retiring the only hitter he faced against No. 14 UC Riverside on June 1 • Did not record a decision in four Big 12 Conference appearances • Pitched a scoreless third of an inning of relief against No. 27 Creighton at Rosenblatt Stadium on May 15 • Struck out the only man he faced against No. 18 Coastal Carolina on May 5 • Tossed a scoreless 0.2 innings versus No. 4 Texas on April 21 • Retired all four hitters he faced, including a pair of strikeouts against Iowa on April 10 • Tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief versus Northern Colorado on March 28 • Collected his third save by getting the final out in an 8-7 win over No. 27 Florida Atlantic on Feb. 25 • Got the Huskers out of jams in the eighth and ninth innings to preserve a save in NU’s 5-4 win over UT-Arlington on Feb. 17 • Came in with the bases loaded and a 2-0 count and struck out the only hitter he faced to preserve NU’s win over New Mexico in the season opener on Feb. 16 • Spent the summer pitching for Falmouth, helping the Commodores to the Cape Cod League Championship Series • Compiled a 2-1 record with three saves and a 2.96 ERA in 16 appearances, fanning 18 over 24.1 innings without issuing a walk • Ranked second on the team in saves and third in appearances.
2006: Bird quickly adapted to the college ranks, serving as one of NU’s primary set-up men as a true freshman • Was 0-2 with a sparkling 0.82 ERA, as he tied for second with 24 appearances • Ranked second on the team with four holds and allowed just two of 23 inherited runners to score • Held opponents to a .218 average, allowing one extra-base hit in 22 innings • Collected his first college save against Creighton on April 18, retiring all four Bluejays he faced and setting a season high with two strikeouts to preserve a 4-2 win • Went 18 outings before surrendering his first earned run, giving up a triple to take the loss at Oklahoma State on May 6 • Made 11 appearances in Big 12 play, going 0-2 with a 1.80 ERA • Did not allow a run in two postseason outings, tossing a perfect inning of relief in NU’s regional opener against Manhattan on June 2 • Gave up one run over 2.0 innings of work in a setback against Oklahoma on May 19 before tossing a scoreless inning of relief in the regular-season finale two days later • Got the Huskers out of a two-on, two-out jam against Texas Tech on April 29, throwing 1.1 innings of no-hit relief in NU’s 11-inning win • Worked a scoreless inning against Wichita State on April 25, combining with Jon Klausing and Zach Herr on a two-hit shutout • Helped NU get out of a two-on, no-out situation in the eighth inning at fifth-ranked Texas on April 23, striking out All-American Drew Stubbs to help preserve NU’s shutout • Made two appearances against Missouri, tossing two innings of shutout relief • Fired a scoreless inning of relief in NU’s 2-1, 11-inning win over Alabama on March 10.
Burke High School: Bird was one of the state’s top performers pitching for Coach Mike Sortino at Omaha Burke High School • Was one of the state’s top two-way performers, going 15-2 with a 1.14 ERA • Struck out 141 and walked only 20 during the spring and summer seasons, while also hitting .340 with 14 homers and 71 RBIs • Was a two-time All-Nebraska selection and was chosen as the state’s American Legion Player of the Year in 2005 • Earned first-team all-state honors as a senior, going 5-1 with four saves and a 1.90 ERA for the Bulldogs • Ranked among the state leaders in strikeouts (85), ERA, saves and wins in helping Burke to a state tournament appearance • Was pegged a second-team all-state pick after going 6-2 as a junior • Lettered three seasons in both baseball and football at Burke • Earned a spot on the honor roll.
Personal: Born on March 25, 1987, in Omaha • Parents are Robert and Linda Bird • Has one brother (Brandon) and one sister (Jennifer) • Majors in communication studies • Brandon pitched for Creighton, helping the Bluejays reach the NCAA Tournament in 2005.