Posted By: Sports
Friday, Feb. 21 – #1 Oregon State @ 2 p.m. (CT)
Probable Starters: RHP DeLeon (0-0) vs. RHP Moore (0-0)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Saturday, Feb. 22 – Washington @ 8 p.m. (CT)
Probable Starters: LHP Bummer (0-1) vs. RHP Wright (0-0)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Sunday, Feb. 23 – Utah @ 1 p.m. (CT)
Probable Starters: RHP Sinclair (1-0) vs. RHP Carroll (0-0)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Up Next for the Huskers
The Nebraska baseball team returns to the Phoenix area for the second straight weekend, this time paying a visit to Surprise, Ariz., and Goodyear, Ariz., for the Aramark 2014 Pac 12/Big Ten Challenge after hosting the Husker Classic in Tempe, Ariz., last weekend.
The Huskers open play on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. (CT) against the No. 1 Oregon State Beavers. Senior Christian DeLeon is scheduled to start for the Huskers against right-hander Andrew Moore.
Nebraska and Oregon State also met last Saturday, with the then No. 2 ranked Beavers earning a 15-7 win at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Huskers are now 0-2 all-time against the Beavers.
Nebraska continues play on Saturday against the Washington Huskies, with first pitch set for 8 p.m. (CT). Junior Aaron Bummer will take the hill for the Huskers and will look to even his record at 1-1 after losing to the Beavers last weekend. The Huskies will counter with senior righty Zach Wright, who started the Huskies' senior opener last week against Air Force. He went 5.0 innings, giving up five runs on six hits and didn't factor into the decision.
The Huskers hold a 5-3 advantage in the all-time series, with the two teams last meeting in 2011 at the Texas State Tournament in San Marcos, Texas. The Huskers won the game, 10-3.
The weekend concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT) when the Husker meet the Utah Utes. Newcomer Chance Sinclair will try to improve to 2-0 on the year after junior went 7.0 innings in a victory over Gonzaga last weekend. The Utes are schedule to start right-hander Dustin Carroll, who gave up four runs on 10 hits over 3.1 innings of work last weekend to Sacramento State.
Nebraska is 4-1 all-time against Utah, including a pair of wins at the Kleberg Bank College Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas, during the 2012 season.
The Huskers will be at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz., for there games on Friday and Saturday. Surprise Stadium is the Spring Training home of the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals.
On Sunday, the Huskers will transfer to Goodyear Park to face the Utes, which is the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds.
On the Radio this Week
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 and 94.5 FM in Lincoln - and on the Internet at Huskers.com or the Official Husker App. Due to men's basketball, Sunday's game will be 105.3 FM in Lincoln.
TV Coverage this Week
No TV coverage this weekend.
Web Streams this Week
No web stream coverage this weekend.
Get Out of the Box
The Nebraska baseball team produced seven triples in four games last weekend at the Husker Classic in Tempe, Ariz., including three from Michael Pritchard.
The large park at Tempe Diablo Stadium that was 359 feet down the right-field line helped, but the Huskers have also upgraded the speed from a year ago.
Last season the Huskers didn't have seven triples until the 48th game of the season on May 10 at Minnesota, and ended the year with 13 triples.
The single-season team record for triples is 38 by the 1980 squad, while Shawn Buchanan set the individual single-season record in 1990 with nine.
Get on Base
Senior Michael Pritchard enters Friday's game with Oregon State with an on-base streak of 46 games dating back to last season.
The streak betters Pritchard's 31-game streak from 2012.
Since becoming a regular starter in 2012, Pritchard has played in 110 games and has failed to reach base by a hit, walk or hit-by-pinch in just eight games.
Including his freshman season in 2011, Pritchard has played in 144 games during his career and has failed to reach in 18 games.
During his career when Pritchard has at least three official at-bats in a game, he failed to reach base at least once just eight times.
Pritchard's current streak is the longest by a Husker since 2006, when Luke Gorsett reached in 48 straight games.
Since 2000, 10 Huskers have reached base in 30 or more consecutive games.
Off to a Better Start
Last weekend's season-opening win over Pacific marked the first time since 2009 that the Huskers have won their season opener.
The Huskers opened the ‘09 campaign with a 4-3 victory at Louisiana-Lafayette in 15 innings.
Rely on Roeder
Junior Josh Roeder picked up right where he left off in 2013, as the right-handed earned a pair of saves last weekend at the Husker Classic.
Roeder closed out wins over Pacific and Gonzaga, throwing 1.2 innings of shutout relief, while allowing two hits and no walks.
Roeder was a welcome addition to the Husker pitching staff in 2013, as he helped solidify the back end of NU's bullpen. He ended the season with a team-best 1.74 ERA and six saves in 31.0 innings of work over 21 appearances. The 6-0 righty posted 29 strikeouts to seven walks (one intentional), while holding opposing hitters to a .209 average.
Roeder is one of 50 pitchers named to the NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch list, given annually to the top relief pitcher in college baseball.
Roeder was one of four Big Ten pitchers on the list, joining Michigan's Jacob Cronenworth, Ohio State's Trace Dempsey and Indiana's Ryan Halstead.
Like Your Chances with Sinclair
Junior Chance Sinclair stepped up in his first career start as a Husker, as the Neosho County Community College transfer earned a win against Gonzaga on Saturday, Feb. 15.
After the Huskers had just lost to the No. 2 Oregon State Beavers, 15-7, earlier in the day, Sinclair took the mound and delivered 7.0 strong innings, allowing a pair of unearned runs on three hits.
During the four-game weekend, Sinclair was the only Husker starter to throw more than 4.1 innings.
While at Neosho, Sinclair was named the Panthers' 2012-13 Male Student Athlete of the Year and set or tied multiple school records during his two year at the school. He recorded a 10-2 record during the 2013 season with a 1.56 ERA, which tied him for the school's single-season wins record. He added eight wins as a freshman in 2012, which also tied the school's career record for wins with 18. Entering 2014, Sinclair holds the school record for career ERA at 1.49.
Pritchard Earns Preseason Honors
Senior outfielder Michael Pritchard has been named a preseason All-American by both the Sporting News and College Sports Madness.
Pritchard, a native of Omaha, was one of 21 players named to the Sporting News list, while he was a fourth-team pick by College Sports Madness.
Pritchard was joined on the Sporting News team by fellow Big Ten players Dustin DeMuth and Kyle Schwarber, both from Indiana. Schwarber was a first-team pick by College Sports Madness, while DeMuth was a fourth-team pick and Sam Travis, also from Indiana, was a second-team selection.
Pritchard has been one of the top hitters in the country during his first three years at Nebraska, posting a career batting average of .351. He also holds a pair of 20-game hitting streak, including a 25-game streak in 2012 that is tied for the third-longest in school history.
Get Him Home
Junior Austin Darby had taken over the team's leadoff spot this year and has done his job so far, posting an on-base percentage of .500.
However, Darby has scored just one run in three games of action. On four occasions over the Huskers' final two games last weekend Darby was in scoring position, but failed to cross home plate.
Kelly Keeps Hitting
Opposing pitchers don't want to see junior Pat Kelly after he has an 0-for-3 or worse game. Kelly was 0-for-3 in the season opener against Pacific and responded by going a career-best 5-for-5 against No. 2 Oregon State the next afternoon.
During 104 career games, Kelly has gone 0-for-3 or worse 17 times. Only twice those has he not produced at least one hit in the following game. Following three 0-for-games he has rallied with at least four hits, including last Saturday's five-hit performance.
Last season, Kelly led the team in hits with 85, while ranking third in batting average (.331), RBIs (33) and doubles (12). The Red Wing, Minn., native tied former first-team All-American John Cole (2001) for sixth in the single-season record book with 70 singles on the year.
Kelly is one of just six players in program history to produce 70 of more singles in a single season, while school-record holder Francis Collins (86 in 1997; 79 in 1996) achieved the feat twice.
Extending the Season
After missing out on the postseason for three-straight seasons from 2009-2011, the Huskers have qualified for the Big Ten Tournament the past two years.
The last time the Huskers made three-straight trips to the conference tournament was 2006-2007-2008.
Nebraska is looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.
Three Huskers were tabbed in Baseball America's top-10 prospects in the Big Ten for the 2014 MLB Draft, including junior left-handed pitcher Aaron Bummer (No. 4), junior outfielder Austin Darby (No. 7) and junior infielder Pat Kelly (No. 8).
The Huskers and Indiana Hoosiers were the only teams in the league with more than one player on the list, with three each.
Need to Finish
The Huskers were likely just one win away from reaching the NCAA Tournament a year ago, but failed to qualify with a 29-30 record.
Close games hurt the Huskers all year, as they were 4-11 in one-run games.
Nebraska was 28-1 when leading after eight innings, but 0-24 when trailing after eight and 1-5 when tied. Nebraska was also just 4-24 when trailing after six innings and 1-26 when trailing after seven innings.
Four games into the 2014 season, the Huskers are 2-0 when leading after eight innings, but 0-2 when trailing after eight innings.
Top of the Class
Freshman Ryan Boldt was recently named the No. 2 freshman in the country by Baseball America.
The Red Wing, Minn., native had the opportunity to play professional baseball after being drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2013, but instead decided to play collegiality at Nebraska.
One of the top prep talents in the country, the 6-2 left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing outfielder joined the Huskers after being named the MVP of the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic at PETCO Park in San Diego, Calif.
He also earned a spot on Team USA's Under-18 squad in August 2012 and was coached by former Major Leaguer and three-time World Series champion Scott Brosius. Boldt went on to compete with Team USA at the XXV IBAF Under-18 Baseball World Championships in Seoul, Korea, helping Team USA win its first world championship at the under-18 level since 1999 with a 6-2 win over Canada in the championship game.
Boldt led all players at the 12-team event with a tournament-record 12 stolen bases and added a tournament-high 11 runs. He was the only player in the tournament to hit double figures in either category. He set a single-game tournament record with five stolen bases in an 11-1 win over Colombia.
Boldt started all four games last weekend for the Huskers, three in center field and one at DH. While hitting just .143, the freshman delivered a two-out, three-RBI triple in the season opener the tied the game. The Huskers went on to win the game, 5-3.