NU BSB: Huskers head north to battle Wolverines
Posted By: Sports
Friday, April 15 (5 p.m. CT)
Probable Starters: RHP King (4-1) vs. LHP Adcock (3-3)
Audio Stream: Huskers.com | Video Stream: BTN2Go
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Saturday, April 16 (1 p.m. CT)
Probable Starters: LHP McSteen (2-0) vs. LHP Jaskie (5-2)
Audio Stream: Huskers.com | Video Stream: MGoBlueTV
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Sunday, April 17 (Noon CT)
Probable Starters: TBA vs. LHP Hill (4-1)
Audio Stream: Huskers.com | Video Stream: MGoBlueTV
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Lincoln – The Nebraska baseball team (22-11, 7-2 Big Ten) is set to play its third Big Ten series this weekend when it visits Ann Arbor, Mich., for a three-game set against the Michigan Wolverines (22-9, 3-2 Big Ten). The series opens on Friday night at 5 p.m. (CT) on the Big Ten Network, while Saturday’s game is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the finale is set for Noon on Sunday.
The Huskers and Wolverines have met 18 times dating back to 1980, and the Huskers hold a 11-7 advantage in the series. The teams first met in the 1980 NCAA Tournament at the Midwest Regional in Ann Arbor, and the Wolverines won 7-0. Michigan ended Nebraska’s season the following day with a 12-3 victory. The teams split a pair of meetings during the 1982 season and then didn’t meet again until 2012 as members of the Big Ten.
This weekend’s series will be the fifth time the Huskers and Wolverines have met during league play in the past five seasons. It will be the Huskers third trip to Ann Arbor, where they are 4-2 with series victories in 2012 and 2014. Since the Huskers joined the Big Ten prior to the 2012 season, Nebraska is 10-4 against Michigan, including a 2-0 record at the Big Ten Tournament.
Nebraska has won three of the first four series between the two teams, including a sweep last season in Lincoln. Michigan’s lone series win came in 2013, when it took 2-of-3 from the Huskers at Hawks Field to end the regular season.
The Huskers have won the past four meets in the series, while Michigan’s last win came on April 27, 2014, as they avoided a sweep with a win in the series finale in Ann Arbor.
How to Listen/Watch the Huskers
Fans can listen to Ben McLaughlin and Nick Handley call all the action this weekend on the Husker Sports Network, including on Huskers.com and the Official Husker App.
Friday and Sunday’s games can be heard in Lincoln on 1400 AM and in Omaha on 590 AM. The games are also scheduled to be carried on TuneIn Radio. Because of Nebraska’s Football Spring Game on Saturday, baseball will be carried on 105.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha.
Friday’s series opener will be carried nationwide on the Big Ten Network. Andy Masur and Scott Pose will have the call.
Saturday and Sunday’s game will be video streamed for free on MGoBlueTV (www.mgoblue.com/collegesportslive/).
Boldt to the Top
Ryan Boldt enters the weekend with a Big Ten high 19 hits during conference play, including a league-best six doubles. Boldt also leads the league in total bases with 25 and is tied for second with five stolen bases.
When looking at all games played, Boldt also leads the Big Ten with 52 hits on the year, one more than teammate Ben Miller’s and Michigan’s Jake Biven’s 51 hits
Miller Bounces Back
Ben Miller went 0-4 on Tuesday at Creighton, marking just the seventh time in 33 games this season he has failed to get a hit. Miller has yet to go two-straight games without a hit this year.
Following the first six times he failed to get a hit this year, he followed it up five times with a multiple hit game, including a pair of three-hit performances.
The last time Miller went consecutive games without a hit was over a year ago, when he had back-to-back 0-for-4 games against Minnesota on April 10 and 11, 2015.
Nebraska has been more active on the base paths this season, stealing 45 bases in its first 33 games, an average of 1.4 per game. Ryan Boldt leads the team with 16 steals, the most by a Husker since 2006 when Bryce Nimmo stole 16 bases all season.
No Husker on this year’s roster has a stolen base against Michigan during their career. Scott Schreiber is the only Husker with an attempt, going 0-for-1 last season.
Last year the Huskers totaled 40 stolen bases in 57 games, an average of 0.7 stolen bases per game.
Nebraska last topped 60 stolen bases in a season in 2011 when they were 62-for-81.
After career saves holder Josh Roeder graduated last year, the Huskers needed to find a new closer. It wasn’t a problem early on, as the Huskers didn’t have a save opportunity during their first 13 games.
That changed on Saturday, March 12, when the Huskers entered the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead and NU went to true freshman Chad Luensmann. The 6-4 right hander worked a scoreless ninth for his first career save. Luensmann now has seven saves on the year following saves in both wins over Northwestern last weekend.
Luensmann already holds the freshman record at Nebraska for saves and has entered Nebraska’s single-season top-10 list. His next save would tie him with Dylan Vogt (2013) and Casey Hauptman (2011) for eighth at NU.
Fives of Luensmann’s seven saves have come during Big Ten play, which leads the league. Overall on the year, Luensmann enters the weekend ranked second in the league in saves.
Single Season Saves at Nebraska
1. 16 Brett Jensen (Jr.) 2005
2. 15 Josh Roeder (Sr.) 2015
3. 13 Brett Jensen (Sr.) 2006
4. 12 Josh Roeder (Jr.) 2014
5. 11 Thom Ott (Jr.) 2001
6. 10 Mike Bellows (Sr.) 1994
7. 9 Steve Boyd (Jr.) 1992
8. 8 Dylan Vogt (Sr.) 2013
8 Casey Hauptman (Sr.) 2011
10. 7 Travis Huber (Jr.) 2012
7 Matt Foust (Jr.) 2007
7 Tevis Arnold (Sr.) 1998
7 Dave Matranga (Sr.) 1991
7 Gary Nolting (So.) 1978
7 Chad Luensmann (Fr.) 2016
Boldt Keeps Hitting
Ryan Boldt, a member of the 2016 Golden Spike Award watch list, became the 24th member of Nebraska’s 200-hit club on Sunday, April 10, with a single in the ninth inning against Northwestern. Boldt is just the 15th player in school history to reach the mark in three seasons or less, and the first since his cousin, Pat Kelly, notched 212 hits from 2012-14.
Boldt broke onto the collegiate scene as a freshman in 2014 with a .311 average and 74 hits. He avoided a sophomore slump in 2015 by hitting .344 with 75 hits.
This season, Boldt is hitting .344 (52-for-151) with 16 multi-hit games, including 10 games with three-hits.
Other Huskers who have reached 200 or more hits in three seasons include: Darin Erstad (261), Paul Meyers (250), Matt Hooper (249), Mark Kister (242), Alex Gordon (240), Todd Sears (234), Ken Ramos (229), Curtis Ledbetter (223), John Cole (222), Jeff Leise (217), Pat Kelly (212), Will Bolt (205), Ken Harvey (203), Francis Collins (201).
NU 200-Career Hit Club
1. 338 Matt Hopper 2000-03
2. 305 Jeff Leise 2000-03
3. 281 Will Bolt 1999-02
4. 261 Darin Erstad 1993-95
5. 251 Michael Pritchard 2011-14
6. 250 Paul Meyers 1984-86
7. 249 Joe Simokaitis 2002-05
8. 248 Jed Dalton 1992-95
9. 247 Chad Christensen 2010-13
10. 246 Darin Petersen 1992-95
11. 242 Mark Kister 1985-87
12. 240 Alex Gordon 2003-05
13. 238 DJ Belfonte 2007-10
14. 234 Todd Sears 1995-97
15. 231 Daniel Bruce 2002-05
16. 229 Ken Ramos 1987-89
17. 227 Jake Opitz 2005-08
18. 226 Austin Darby 2012-15
19. 223 Curtis Ledbetter 2003-05
20. 222 John Cole 1999-01
21. 212 Pat Kelly 2012-14
22. 203 Ken Harvey 1997-99
23. 201 Francis Collins 1995-97
201 Ryan Boldt 2014-Present
Nebraska has amassed double digit hits 19 times in 33 games entering Friday and is 14-5 when reaching the mark.
Entering Friday, Nebraska has recorded double digit hits in nine of its last 15 games.
Last season the Huskers totaled 10 or more hits 23 times in 57 games.
Cross the Plate
Nebraska enters Friday with the top three run scorers in the Big Ten Conference.
Looking at only conference games, Ryan Boldt and Jake Placzek lead the league with 11 runs each and Steven Reveles ranks third with nine runs scored.
The Huskers lead the league with 65 runs scored in their nine Big Ten games, while Illinois ranks second with 51 runs scored.
Nebraska’s home run totals are up in a big way this year, as they have hit 30 in 33 games after totaling 22 in 57 games last season.
Nebraska last topped 30 home runs in a season in 2012, when they hit 47.
Nine different players have hit a home run this season, including a team-high seven from both Scott Schreiber, six from Jake Placzek and five from Ben Miller. Miller and Tanner Lubach tied for the team lead last season with four each.
Nebraska already has 10 multi-homer games this season after notching two all of last year.
Nebraska is 15-4 on the year when they hit a home run, with all four losses coming in the first four games where NU hit a homer.
The Huskers did change equipment prior to this season, as the team is swinging adidas bats this year after using Rawlings bats each of the last four years.
Get a Lead for the Bullpen
During Darin Erstad’s tenure at Nebraska, the Husker bullpen has done its job when it has a lead. Dating back to the 2014 season, the Huskers have won 70 straight games when leading after the eighth inning.
Led by pitching coach Ted Silva, the Huskers are 123-16 since the start of the 2012 season when they lead after the sixth inning. The Huskers are 129-8 when leading after seven innings and are nearly perfect when leading after eight innings with a 139-4 record.
The last time the Huskers lost a game when leading going into the ninth inning was March 21, 2014, in Iowa City, Iowa. The Huskers held a 1-0 leading going into the bottom of the ninth, but the Hawkeyes rallied for a 2-1 walk-off victory.
Count on Chesnut
Senior Jeff Chesnut enters Friday ranked third all-time at Nebraska with 81 career appearances, including 19 this season and 31 last year. His 31 appearances in 2015 are tied for sixth on Nebraska’s single-season chart.
Chesnut’s next appearance tie him with Casey Hauptman, who made 82 career appearances from 2008 to 2011, for second all-time at Nebraska.
Steve Hale holds the school record with 87 career appearances from 1999-2003.
1. 87 Steve Hale 1999-03
2. 82 Casey Hauptman 2008-11
3. 81 Jeff Chesnut 2013-present
4. 80 Brett Jensen 2004-06
5. 79 Dylan Vogt 2010-13
6. 78 Erik Bird 2006-09
78 Jeff Anderson 1981-84
8. 74 Zach Herr 2006-08
9. 73 Jonas Armenta 1994-97
10. 70 Jarod Bearinger 1996-99
70 John Lepley 1985-88
Costly Free Passes
In Nebraska’s 11 losses this season, walks by the NU pitching staff have been a big factor.
Entering Friday, Nebraska’s pitchers have walked 70 batters in NU’s 11 losses, an average of 6.4 walks per game. In the 11 losses, Nebraska has walked four batters or less just three times, including a loss to Creighton on Tuesday when they issues only one walk.
In NU’s 22 wins the NU pitching staff has issued 83 walks, an average of 3.8 walks per game.
Stretching the Pen
Nebraska’s bullpen has had to eat up innings on the weekend this year, and has received a big boost from sophomore Reece Eddins. The right hander has 15 appearances, all out of the pen, and has a 1.54 ERA over 35.0 innings, which ranks third on the team behind starters Matt Waldron (37.0) and Jake McSteen (35.1).
Through 33 games, Nebraska has had a starting pitcher go 7.0 innings of more just once. Derek Burkamper went 7.0 innings against Loyola Marymount on March 11.
Last season in 57 games, Nebraska had four starters combine to go 7.0 innings or more 17 times, including Kyle Kubat (8), Chance Sinclair (5), Burkamper (3) and Garett King (1).
In 33 games this year the Huskers have scored a run in the first inning 13 times. The Huskers are 11-2 on the year when they score a run in the first inning.
The Huskers are 17-3 this year when they score first in the game.
Eight members of the 2016 Husker baseball team have previously been drafted:
Luis Alvarado – 2014 (Boston Red Sox, 33rd Round)
Ryan Boldt – 2013 (Boston Red Sox, 22nd Round)
Derek Burkamper – 2013 (Boston Red Sox, 20th Round)
Sean Chandler – 2015 (Milwaukee Brewers, 32nd Round)
Colton Howell – 2015 (San Diego Padres, 27th Round)
Garett King – 2014 (New York Mets, 36th Round)
Chad Luensmann – 2015 (New York Mets, 39th Round)
Jesse Wilkening – 2015 (Arizona Diamondbacks, 28th Round)
Huskers in MLB
As of Thursday, April 7, six former Huskers were on MLB rosters. While many others are part of MLB organizations in the minor leagues
Cody Asche – Philadelphia Phillies (15-Day DL)
Joba Chamberlain – Cleveland Indians
Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
Dan Jennings – Chicago White Sox
Michael Mariot – Philadelphia Phillies (15-Day DL)
Tony Watson – Pittsburgh Pirates