Honors & Awards
2003 NCAA Lincoln Regional All-Tournament Team
2003 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches)
For senior Jake Mullinax, the 2003 season ended much too soon for his liking. The infielder from Hesperia, Calif., was on a tear during the postseason, batting .480 in the Huskers’ eight postseason games, finishing the year with a .320 batting average and NCAA Lincoln Regional All-Tournament honors. It capped a long climb for Mullinax, who didn’t enroll at Nebraska until the start of the spring semester and missed all of fall drills. He hit just .176 during the first seven weeks of the year, but was one of the Huskers’ toughest hitters over the final two months, batting .374 with 19 of his 21 RBIs over the final 32 games. Mullinax starred for Coach Bob Steinkamp and the Beatrice Bruins during the summer, hitting .315 with two homers and 22 RBIs in the wooden bat league.
"Jake got off to a slow start last year because he missed the entire fall, but really made great strides throughout the year," Coach Mike Anderson said. "He has a great makeup and his habits and determination make him someone we want to have in our lineup everyday."
When he returned to campus for the start of fall drills, it was evident to the coaches and teammates alike that Mullinax had come back a different player than when he arrived on campus the previous January. He led the Huskers in hitting during the fall, batting .422 with team bests in homers (six) and runs scored (20) in just 55 at-bats in the fall. Already one of the Huskers’ most disciplined hitters, the coaching staff believes Mullinax could hit nearly anywhere in the order and is in line for a breakout year in 2004.
"Jake was one of our most improved players in the fall and has made a tremendous jump since last year," Anderson said. "He is the kind of player who will do anything to help this team win, either with his bat or glove, and we are looking for big things from him this season."
2003 - Junior
Despite not enrolling at Nebraska until the spring semester, Mullinax was a stabilizing force in the infield in his first year as a Husker. He hit .320 with 21 RBIs and 30 runs scored in 48 contests. An honorable-mention All-Big 12 selection, Mullinax was second on the team with a .470 on-base percentage. The total would have been fifth in the Big 12 if he would have reached the minimum number of at-bats. He was hit by a team-high 17 pitches, the sixth-highest total in school history, and also ranked among the team leaders in stolen bases (nine, third) and walks (20, fifth). Mullinax, who made 41 starts at second and three starts at shortstop, usually hit near the bottom of the order, as he hit eighth or ninth in 42 of his 44 starts.
Mullinax started the season slowly, batting just .176 with two RBIs through his first 16 games, but turned the corner with a pair of multi-hit games against Western Illinois in early April. He hit a team-best .374 with 19 of his 21 RBIs over the final 32 games. While his bat warmed up as the season progressed, Mullinax was steady in the field with a .969 fielding percentage.
Mullinax hit .300 with 17 runs and an on-base percentage of .485 in 18 Big 12 starts. He enjoyed his best series against Missouri, going 5-for-10 with four runs scored against the Tigers, including a three-hit effort in NU’s 11-9, 10-inning win on April 12. He also enjoyed a strong series against Kansas, going 5-for-7, including a three-hit performance in the series finale.
Mullinax was one of NU’s best performers during the Big 12 Tournament, hitting .363 (4-for-11) with an RBI and two runs scored. He set a career high with four hits, including a pair of doubles in the Huskers’ opening-round win over Kansas. He starred in the Huskers’ NCAA Tournament run, batting .571 (8-for-14) with five RBIs to earn a spot on the NCAA Lincoln Regional All-Tournament team. Mullinax went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in the regional opener against Eastern Michigan and tied or set career bests in both hits (four) and RBIs (three) in an elimination win over the Eagles.
Mullinax spent two seasons at Victor Valley Community College in Victorville, Calif., playing for Coach Nate Lambdin. A two-year captain, Mullinax earned first-team All-America honors in Southern California in 2002, batting .477 with nine homers and 61 RBIs in 37 contests. The 6-1, 205-pound middle infielder was selected as the Foothills Conference MVP after leading the league in RBIs and slugging percentage (.799), while ranking in the top three in four other categories, including batting average (second), homers (third), on-base percentage (.527, third) and stolen bases (15, third). He struck out nine times in 149 at bats. As a freshman, he paced the Foothills Conference with a .493 average with 13 homers and 59 RBIs.
A 2000 graduate of Sultana High School in Hesperia, Calif., Mullinax garnered All-Southern section honors as a senior, finishing the year with a .451 average with seven homers and 34 RBIs. He broke 17 school records in 2000, helping SHS to a Mojave River league title. Mullinax chose Nebraska over Arizona, UNLV and Northern Iowa.
Birthdate: June 13, 1982; Parents: Dwight and Pam Mullinax; Wife: Amber; Siblings: Brothers: Dwight, Caleb, Luke and Daniel; Major: Special Education.