NU BSB: Huskers host Bears for 2016 Home Opener

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

Tuesday, March 8 (1:35 p.m.)
Probable Starters: RHP King (0-1) vs. RHP Doughty (0-0)
TV: None
Audio Stream: Huskers.com | Video Stream: HuskersNSide

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Wednesday, March 9 (1:35 p.m.)
Probable Starters: TBA vs. TBA
TV: None
Audio Stream: Huskers.com | Video Stream: HuskersNSide

Radio: Husker Sports Network

LincolnAfter playing nine straight games on the road to start the season the Nebraska baseball team (3-6, 0-0 Big Ten) will host its 2016 home opener on Tuesday afternoon at 1:35 p.m. when it welcomes the Northern Colorado Bears (3-9, 0-0 WAC) to Hawks Field. The Huskers and Bears will also be in action on Wednesday at 1:35 p.m.

The Huskers and Bears have met 47 times dating back to 1986 and the Huskers hold a 41-6 lead in the all-time series. The Huskers swept the Bears last season and in Lincoln, while Northern Colorado’s last victory came in 2014 when it won the second game of a two-game series, 9-2.

The Huskers will also be at home this weekend when they host Loyola Marymount for a four-game series. The series opens on Friday at 1:35 p.m., the teams will play a doubleheader starting at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday and will wrap up the series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

How to Listen/Watch the Huskers

Fans can listen to Greg Sharpe, Ben McLaughlin and Nick Handley call all the action on the Husker Sports Network, including on Huskers.com and the Official Husker App.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s games can be heard in Lincoln on 1400 AM and in Omaha on 590 AM. Tuesday’s game will be carried on TuneIn Radio, but Wednesday’s game will not because of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s games will also be video streamed live on HuskersNSide (subscription required).

Home Sweet Hawks

The Nebraska baseball team is celebrating its 15th season at Hawks Field in 2016. Since playing their first game at the park in 2002, the Huskers have posted a 301-109-1 (.734) record at the facility, including a 21-6 record last season.

The Huskers notched a .778 winning percentage at home last year, the highest home winning percentage since 2008 when Nebraska posted a .843 winning percentage with a 29-5-1 record.

Nebraska has won 60% or more of its home games 12 times over the past 14 seasons, including each of the past six seasons. NU’s worst home season came in 2009 when the Huskers posted a 16-14 record (.533)

Big Fish

Senior Taylor Fish enters Tuesday with a team-best .421 batting average (8-for-19) in six starts this season. The senior catcher has three doubles on the year, after recording one double in 133 at bats over his first three seasons at NU.

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.

Led by pitching coach Ted Silva, the Huskers are 105-14 since the start of the 2012 season when they lead after the sixth inning. The Huskers are 110-8 when leading after seven innings and are nearly perfect when leading after eight innings with a 121-4 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.

Year Lead after 6 After 7 After 8

2012 31-5 29-3 31-2

2013 20-3 25-2 28-1

2014 28-3 27-1 31-1

2015 26-3 28-2 28-0

2016 0-0 1-0 3-0

Total 105-14 110-8 121-4

Stolen Bases

Nebraska has been more active on the base paths this season, stealing nine bases in its first nine games. Last year the Huskers totaled 40 stolen bases in 57 games, an average of 0.7 stolen bases per game.

Golden Spikes Watch List

Junior outfielder Ryan Boldt was one of 50 players named to USA Baseball’s preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Boldt has already been named a preseason All-American by multiple publications and is ranked as the #13 college prospect for the 2016 MLB Draft by Baseball America.

Boldt was one of three Big Ten players named to the watch list, joining Michigan’s Carmen Benedetti and Maryland’s Mike Shawaryn.

Alex Gordon is the only Husker to ever win the Golden Spikes Award, as he won the Golden Spikes, Brooks Wallace and Dick Howser Awards in 2005, and he was also named ABCA Player of the Year. Two other Huskers have been finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, including Darin Erstad (1995) and Ken Harvey (1999).

Count on Chesnut

Senior Jeff Chesnut enters Tuesday with 67 career appearances, including 31 last season. His 31 appearances in 2015 are tied for sixth on Nebraska’s single-season chart.

Chesnut needs four appearances more appearances this year to tie Jarod Bearinger (1996-99) and John Lepley (1985-88) for ninth place on NU’s career list.

Steve Hale holds the school record with 87 career appearances from 1999-2003.

Career Appearances

1. 87 Steve Hale 1999-03

2. 82 Casey Hauptman 2008-11

3. 80 Brett Jensen 2004-06

4. 79 Dylan Vogt 2010-13

5. 78 Erik Bird 2006-09

78 Jeff Anderson 1981-84

7. 74 Zach Herr 2006-08

8. 73 Jonas Armeta 1994-97

9. 70 Jarod Bearinger 1996-99

70 John Lepley 1985-88

McSteen back on the mound

Jake McSteen was issued a medical hardship in 2015 after he had season-ending shoulder surgery following the third week of the regular season.

A redshirt freshman this season, McSteen has been one of NU’s most reliable arms. The lefty has a 1.59 ERA over 11.1 innings of work, all out of the bullpen, and has allowed two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out six.

King of the Hill

Garett King made eight starts last season, all during the midweek. King was 4-0 in his eight starts and the Huskers won all eight games.

King moved to the weekend rotation this season and struggled during his first two starts. After tossing an inning of scoreless relief last weekend in Long Beach, King moves back to a starter on Tuesday in the 2016 home opener against Northern Colorado.

Last season King made his first career start against the Bears, and gave up one run on three hits over 4.0 innings.

Reveles Returns

Steven Reveles was 16 games into his senior season in 2015 when he broke his finger attempting a bunt against Michigan on March 20. The shortstop ended up missing the rest of the season and was granted a medical hardship, giving him another shot at his senior year in 2016.

To be eligible for a medical hardship Reveles needed to have played in no more than 30% of NU’s regular-season games for the year and it had to take place in the first half of the season. Reveles’ game total was 29.1%, if he had played in one more game he would have went over 30% and would not have been eligible to apply for a medical hardship.

Reveles has started eight of NU’s first nine games and is hitting .259 with one double, one home run and three RBIs.

Boldt Keeps hitting

Ryan 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.

Boldt needs 40 more hits this season to become the 24th player in school history with 200 career hits.

Just a junior, Boldt would be just the 15th player to reach the mark in three seasons, and the first since his cousin, Pat Kelly, notched 212 hits from 2012-14.

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

— 160 Ryan Boldt 2014-Present

Noting the 2016 season

* 13 games against 2015 NCAA Tournament teams

– 3 at College of Charleston (Feb. 19-21)

– 1 vs. Tulane (Feb. 28)

– 3 vs. Illinois (April 1-3)

– 3 at Michigan (April 15-17)

– 3 vs. Indiana (May 19-21)

* Nebraska’s 55-game schedule consists of 27 home games, 23 road games and 5 neutral site games

* Nebraska will play eight Big Ten Conference series (4 home/4 road)

– Home series: Illinois, Northwestern, Penn State, Indiana

– Road series: Purdue, Michigan, Rutgers, Michigan State

* Nebraska’s Big Ten series at Michigan State will mark the second time the teams have met in East Lansing since NU joined the Big Ten. The teams have never played a series in Lincoln, but have met six times, with three of the meetings coming at the Big Ten Tournament.

* For the first time since 2010, the Huskers won’t play a non-conference game against a team that played in the College World Series the previous season.

* Nebraska and Kansas are set to play a midweek game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Wednesday, April 27.

* The Huskers end the season with seven-straight home games. The last time Nebraska hosted seven or more games to end a season was 2009 when NU played its final 11 games of the season at Hawks Field.

360 Feet

Against Tulane on Feb. 28 sophomore Jake Meyers notched his first career home run, but it didn’t get over the fence. Meyers lined a ball to center field and then Tulane’s center fielder dove and missed the ball, Meyers sped 360 feet for an inside-the-park home run.

It was the first inside-the-park home run by a Husker since 2012 when Cory Burleson hit one against Louisiana Tech at Hawks Field.

Huskers in MLB

A total of 19 former Huskers were part of a Major League organization in 2015, including five that are currently at the MLB level.

MLB

Cody Asche – Phillies

Alex Gordon – Royals

Dan Jennings – White Sox

Michael Mariot – Phillies

Tony Watson – Pirates

Minor Leagues

Andrew Brown – Angels

Aaron Bummer – White Sox

Joba Chamberlain – Indians

Chad Christensen – Twins

Brian Duensing – Royals

Blake Headley – Cubs

Zach Hirsch – Brewers

Dan Johnson – Cardinals

Pat Kelly – Twins

Kyle Kubat – Royals

Tanner Lubach – Angels

Michael Pritchard – Cardinals

Josh Roeder – Yankees

Thad Weber – Tigers

New blood on the mound

Multiple newcomers have seen time on the mound through nine games this season. Out of the 15 pitchers that have seen time this season, six are true freshman

The six freshman have combined to throw 28.2 innings over 14 appearances. Account for over 35% of Nebraska’s innings pitched.

Matt Waldron, Chad Luensmann and Robbie Palkert have each made three appearances and have combined for 11.2 shutout innings.

Draft History

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)