During the Dave Van Horn era, Nebraska has had great success with small-school transfers who made the leap to the Division I ranks. Two years ago, Nebraska-Kearney product Trevor Bullock earned a spot in the Huskers? rotation and was instrumental in the Huskers? first regional title, while former Doane College standout Brandon Penas was an instrumental reliever for three seasons, helping NU to three straight Big 12 Tournament titles and a CWS appearance last spring.
This year, NU welcomes right-hander J.D. Scholten (pronounced SHOL-ten) to the fold after he pitched for Division II Morningside College. The 6-6, 225-pounder has been a starter throughout his collegiate career, but enters the spring as one of the leading candidates to come out of the Husker bullpen. According to pitching coach Rob Childress, Scholten will be counted on in a variety of ways, but showed during the fall that he could be successful in several roles on the staff.
?We were fortunate to pick up a pitcher of J.D.?s experience after losing four pitchers off last year?s team,? Childress said. ?He has the versatility to do a lot of things for us, whether it is starting or coming out of the bullpen. We are counting on him being a guy who can eat up some innings and win games for us this season.?
Scholten spent the last three years playing for his father, Jim Scholten, at Morningside College in Iowa. Last season, he led the Mustangs with a 5-3 record and a team-low 2.39 ERA, as Morningside finished with a 24-14 record. He made eight starts and threw a team-best six complete games, striking out 44 hitters, while walking 17 in 52.2 innings. He was on the Dean?s List and earned first-team academic all-conference honors with a 3.18 grade-point average while majoring in history.
Sioux City East High School
A 1998 graduate of Sioux City East High School, Scholten played for coach Steve Shanks, earning three varsity letters. A two-time honorable-mention all-state selection, he helped Sioux City East to state runner-up finishes as a sophomore and junior. Scholten also lettered three times in basketball, earning honorable-mention all-state honors as a senior.