Huskers Open 2018 Campaign in Arizona - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Huskers Open 2018 Campaign in Arizona

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

Friday, Feb. 16 • 5 p.m. (CT)

UC Riverside vs. Nebraska

TV/Stream: None • Radio: HSN

Luis Alvarado (0-0) vs. Hazahel Quijada (0-0)

Saturday, Feb. 17 • 1 p.m. (CT)

Washington State vs. Nebraska

TV/Stream: None • Radio: HSN

Jake McSteen (0-0) vs. Cody Anderson (0-0)

Saturday, Feb. 17 • 5 p.m. (CT)

Nebraska vs. UC Riverside

TV/Stream: None • Radio: HSN

Nate Fisher (0-0) vs. Cole Percival (0-0)

Sunday, Feb. 18 • 1 p.m. (CT)

Nebraska vs. Washington State

TV/Stream: None • Radio: HSN

Matt Warren (0-0) vs. Scotty Sunitsch (0-0)

The Nebraska baseball team makes its 2018 debut this weekend as the first of two trips to Arizona in February. NU is scheduled to play four games at the Husker Classic from Friday to Sunday at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., the Spring Training home of the Angels.

The Huskers open against UC Riverside on Friday at 5 p.m. (CT). On Saturday, Nebraska faces Washington State at 1 p.m., before facing the Highlanders at 5 p.m. NU’s finale is set for Sunday against the Cougars at 1 p.m. UC Riverside and Washington State will face each other twice, Friday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. (CT). Parking and admission for the Husker Classic is free.

The Big Ten released its preseason poll on Wednesday, and the Huskers are picked to finish second in the league. Indiana is picked to finish first, while Minnesota (third), Maryland (fourth), Michigan (fifth) and Iowa (sixth) round out the top six.

NU’s Big Ten Preseason Honors List includes Luis Alvarado, Jake McSteen and Scott Schreiber. Alvarado earned Preseason All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA. Schreiber is a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection. Nebraska also returns 2017 All-Big Ten performers Angelo Altavilla and Jake Hohensee in 2018.

How to Listen/Watch the Huskers

Fans can listen to Greg Sharpe and Ben McLaughlin call the weekend action on the Husker Sports Network. Every game this season can be heard on Huskers.com and the Official Nebraska Huskers App for both iOS and android devices.

Friday’s season opener will be carried on 1400 AM in Lincoln and 590 AM in Omaha. Fans can also listen to the game on TuneIn.com or the TuneIn App on the Husker IMG Sports Network channel.

Saturday’s games won’t be on TuneIn due to the Nebraska women’s basketball game. Sunday’s game won’t be on TuneIn due to the Nebraska men’s basketball game.

There won’t be any TV or video stream coverage this weekend in Tempe.

Next Up

The Huskers return to the Grand Canyon State for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, Feb. 22-25, in Surprise, Ariz. NU faces Oregon State twice and Utah twice during the four-day tournament. Nebraska’s first three games will be played at Surprise Stadium, while the finale on Feb. 25 will be played at the Royals Practice Field.

Quick Notes

Luis Alvarado enters the 2018 campaign with the team’s longest active hitting streak (7) and longest active reaching base streak (17).

» Alvarado began his seven-game hitting streak on May 19, 2017. His career-long hitting streak is 10 games.

» Alvarado began his career-long 17-game reaching base streak on April 29, 2017.

Of the 37 players listed on Nebraska’s 2018 roster, 21 are upperclassmen. NU has 15 juniors and six seniors.

From last season, Nebraska returns...

» 65 percent of its runs (217 of 336)

» 65 percent of its hits (369 of 565)

» 68 percent of its doubles (73 of 108)

» 89 percent of its triples (8 of 9)

» 64 percent of its home runs (16 of 25)

» 67 percent of its RBIs (195 of 292)

» 57 percent of its pitcher wins (20 of 35)

» 100 percent of its saves (20 of 20)

» 71 percent of its strikeouts (273 of 386)

Scouting the UC Riverside Highlanders

Nebraska leads the all-time series against UC Riverside, 6-3, dating back to the first meeting in 1980. The two teams have never met in Lincoln, Neb., but the Huskers are 4-0 at UC Riverside and 2-3 at a neutral site. The Huskers and Highlanders split an opening day doubleheader last season in Tempe, Ariz.

The Highlanders went 22-32 last season and finished ninth in the Big West with an 8-16 record in conference play.

Head Coach Troy Percival begins his fourth season at UC Riverside in 2018. He holds a 63-101 record at his alma mater. Percival is assisted by Bryson LeBlanc, Curtis Smith and Justin Johnson.

» Percival and Nebraska Head Coach Darin Erstad were teammates for the Angels and return to Tempe Diablo Stadium, where they attended Spring Training as players.

» Percival made his Major League debut in 1995 and Erstad made his MLB debut in 1996 after he was selected by the Angels with the first overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft. Both were instrumental in the team’s 2002 World Series title.

Players to Watch

» Colby Schultz (Senior INF): Led the 2017 team in hits (66), doubles (15) and runs scored (38)

» AJ Sawyer (Senior OF/RHP): Batted .281 with 47 hits and 28 runs scored last season

» Connor Cannon (Sophomore P/1B): Led the 2017 team with eight home runs and had 28 RBIs

Scouting the Washington State Cougars

The series between Nebraska and Washington State is tied, 2-2, with all four meetings taking place at neutral sites. The Huskers and Cougars first met in 1986, but haven’t played since 2000.

Washington State went 24-29 last season and finished ninth in the Pac-12 with a 10-20 record in conference play.

Head Coach Marty Lees begins his third season at Washington State in 2018. He holds a 43-64 record at the helm of the Cougar program. He is assisted by Dan Spencer, Jim Horner and Kurt Lupinski.

Players to Watch

» Andres Alvarez (Junior INF): Led the 2017 team with 60 hits, ranked second with a .308 average

» Justin Harrer (Junior OF): Led the 2017 team with five home runs and 17 doubles

» J.J. Hancock (Senior OF): Hit .298 with four home runs and 23 RBIs last season

» Cody Anderson (Senior LHP): Went 5-4 with a team-best 3.40 ERA last season, struck out 58

» Ryan Walker (Senior RHP): Led the 2017 team with 59 strikeouts, went 5-5 with a 5.67 ERA

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