NU BSB: Huskers Open Four-Game Series with BYU on Thursday

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Huskers Open Four-Game Series with BYU on Thursday

Thursday, Feb. 19 – 2:05 p.m. (CT)
Probable Starters: RHP Burkamper (0-0) vs. RHP Mahoney (01-)
TV: None
Stream: Free Radio (Huskers.com) | Video Stream (None)
Radio: Husker Sports Network

Friday, Feb. 20 – 1:05 p.m. (CT) (Doubleheader)
Probable Starters Game 1: RHP Sinclair (1-0) vs. RHP Barker (0-1)
Probable Starters Game 2: LHP Kubat (0-0) vs. RHP Kinser (0-0)
TV: None
Stream: Free Radio (Huskers.com) | Video Stream (None)
Radio: Husker Sports Network

Saturday, Feb. 21 – 1:05 p.m. (CT)
Probable Starters: LHP Knutson (0-1) vs. RHP Corless (0-1)
TV: None
Stream: Free Radio (Huskers.com) | Video Stream (None)
Radio: Husker Sports Network


Huskers Take on BYU in Peoria

After starting the 2015 campaign with a 2-0 win at UNLV, the Huskers then dropped the finale two games of the series. Nebraska will now look to get back to a winning record with four games against the BYU Cougars (0-4, 0-0 WCC) in Peoria, Ariz., at the Peoria Sports Complex, the Spring Training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

The Cougars are coming off an 0-4 trip to then No. 16 UC Santa Barbara, which saw them score just two runs during the first three games of the series, before they dropped a close one in the finale, 5-4.

The Huskers and Cougars have met just four times, with the all-time series tied at 2-2, and every game of the series has been played on a neutral field. The first meeting between the two teams came in 1980, a 19-6 win for the Cougars. The Huskers got revenege later that season with a 12-0 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, as well as a 12-4 win in the elimination round. The teams last met in 1986, with the Cougars winning 12-11.

The Huskers and Cougars open their four-game series on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 2:05 p.m. (CT) and will then play a doubleheader on Friday at 1:05 p.m. The series is scheduled to wrap up on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.

With four games this weekend Nebraska will expand its rotation by one spot. Derek Burkampers is schedule to start the series opener on Thursday, it will be the sophomore’s first appearance of 2015 and his second career start. Chance Sinclair (1-0) and Kyle Kubat (0-0) are scheduled to start in the doubleheader on Friday, while Max Knutson (0-1) will start the finale for the second straight week.

On the Radio

Fans across Nebraska and around the world can listen to Greg Sharpe and Ben McLaughlin call all of the action on the Husker Sports Network – including KLIN 1400 AM in Lincoln – and live on Huskers.com, the Official Husker App or the TuneIn Radio App.

TV Coverage

None of this week’s games against BYU will be on TV.

Web Streams

None of this week’s games against BYU will be on streamed.

Veteran Group

Nebraska’s senior class includes eight members who all played a role in Nebraska’s return to the NCAA Tournament last season. The eight member class is made up of five position players who have combined to start 413 games, while three pitchers have made 97 combined appearances, including 46 starts.

Close the Door

After playing his freshman season at Louisburg College in North Carolina, Josh Roeder joined the Huskers in 2013 and helped solidify the back end of NU’s bullpen. During the 2013 season, Roeder saw most of his action in a setup role to Dylan Vogt, but did collect six saves. Roeder took over the closer role in 2014 and saved 12 games. With one save on the season, Roeder enters Thursday’s game against BYU ranked second in NU history with 19 career saves and needs 13 more saves in 2015 to break Brett Jensen’s school record of 31 saves.

Huskers Picked Second by League Coaches

The Big Ten coaches picked Nebraska to finish second out of the league’s 13 teams in 2015. Nebraska has finished second in the conference the past two seasons during both the regular season and at the conference tournament.

Maryland, who is new to the Big Ten in 2015, was picked as the league favorite after coming up one win shy of advancing to the College World Series last season. The Teripans fell in the Super Regional round to Virginia.

The top six was rounded out by Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State. Indiana is the conference’s defending regular-season and conference champion.

27 Hits to Go

After Michael Pritchard and Pat Kelly each joined Nebraska 200-hit club last season, senior Austin Darby is 27 hits away from becoming the program’s 23rd member.

If he joins the club, Darby would be the fourth Husker to join over the past three seasons, as Chad Christensen ended his career with 247 hits in 2013.

Prior to Christensen, Jake Opitz was the last Husker to join the club in 2008.

Matt Hopper holds the school record with 338 career hits and is one of just two players in school history to have topped 300 hits.

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 2001-14

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. 223 Curtis Ledbetter 2003-05

19. 222 John Cole 1999-01

20. 212 Pat Kelly 2012-14

21. 203 Ken Harvey 1997-99

22. 201 Francis Collins 1995-97

Fresh Arms

Three Husker freshman saw time on the mound during NU’s season-opening trip to Las Vegas last weekend.

Jake Meyers, Garett King and Jake McSteen all saw an appearance against UNLV. The trio combined for 2.0 innings of work and allowed no runs on three hits and no walks.

Confidence in the Pen

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 80-11 since 2012 when they lead after the sixth inning. The Huskers are 82-6 when leading after seven innings and nearly perfect when leading after eight innings with a 91-4 record.

Like Your Chances with Sinclair

A third-team All-American and unanimous first-team All-Big Ten performer last season, senior Chance Sinclair picked up his 10th career win last Friday with a 2-0 victory at UNLV. In the win, Sinclair went 5.2 innings and struck out seven, while walking none.

Sinclair posted a 9-1 record last season, including a perfect 6-0 record during Big Ten play.

During his career, the right-hander has gone 6.0 or more innings in 13 of his 16 starts, including nine outings of at least 7.0 innings or more and a 9.0-inning complete game against Ohio State in 2014.

Banking on Boldt

After being named the No. 2 freshman in country by Baseball America last season, Ryan Boldt lived up to the hype by earning All-Big Tournament and NCAA Regional All-Tournament honors, as well as Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America accolades.

On the season, Boldt hit .311 with 74 hits, while leading the team in runs (47) and triples (6). His six triples were the most by a Husker since Jeff Leise hit seven in 2003.

Most impressively Boldt was at his best late in the year when games mattered the most. Over NU’s final 10 games of the 2014 season he led the team in average (.357), hits (15), doubles (3), triples (2) and runs (9).

Boldt hit leadoff for the Huskers over NU’s final 29 games, when they went 22-7.

This season Boldt has moved to the No. 3 slot in the lineup and is hitting .333 (3-for-9) after the first three games of the year.

Experienced Lefty

Senior Kyle Kubat has one start under his belt in 2015 and enters NU’s series with BYU with 29 career starts on the mound, which ranks 14th all time at Nebraska. The lefty from Waterloo, Neb., started eight games in each of his first two seasons before making 12 starts last year.

If Kubat starts at least 12 games in 2015 he will become the first Husker since Johnny Dorn to make at least 40 career start. Dorn ranks second all-time at Nebraska with 58 career starts from 2000 to 2003.

Since 2000, only four pitchers at Nebraska have made at least 40 career starts, including Shane Komine (59), Dorn (58), Jamie Rodrigue (53) and Zach Kroenke (41).

Need to Reload the Offense

The Huskers entered the 2015 season without two key members of their offense from a year ago in Michael Pritchard and Pat Kelly.

Both members of Nebraska’s 200-hit club, Pritchard and Kelly combined for 31 of NU’s 98 doubles, seven of the team’s 19 home runs and 104 of the squad’s 331 RBIs last season. Pritchard and Kelly were mainstays in the Huskers lineup over the past three seasons.

Not Nice to Steal

Senior catcher Tanner Lubach enters Thursday with 33 runners caught stealing, which ranks third all-time at Nebraska. Lubach has started all three of NU’s games in 2015 and was the Huskers’ primary catcher each of the past two seasons after transferring to Nebraska following one year at Hutchinson Community College.

Cory Burleson (2009-12) holds the school record with 46 runners caught stealing, while current volunteer assistant Jeff Christy ranks second with 38 runners caught stealing in just two years behind the plate in 2005 and 2006.

Topping 100

Senior Austin Darby is 16 RBIs away from becoming the 44th Husker since 1986 to notch 100 RBIs for their career.

Blake Headley (60) and Tanner Lubach (54) also have a chance to join the club this year, but both would need to have career years, as neither has produced even a 30-RBI season.

Pat Kelly joined the club last year and ended his three-year career with 125 RBIs, while Michael Pritchard fell four RBIs short of 100 career RBIs.

Matt Hopper is the only Husker to ever top the 200-RBI mark, with a school-record 271 RBIs.

Bonus Baseball

For the first time since 2008, the Nebraska baseball qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.

The selection snapped a five-year postseason drought for the Huskers, who made their 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and their ninth since 2000. Nebraska made five straight trips to the NCAA Tournament from 1999 to 2003.

The Huskers will now look to make the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back season for the first time since 2007 and 2008. The Huskers made four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament from 2005 to 2008.

Masters on the Mound

Three seniors on NU’s 2015 pitching staff NU’s series with BYU ranked in the top-15 on NU”s career ERA chart. Chance Sinclair enters Thursday with a 2.03 career ERA, with ranks as the top ERA in school history, just ahead of Trevor Bullock’s school-record career ERA of 2.13. Josh Roeder ranks third on the list with a 2.24 ERA, while Kyle Kubat holds a 3.10 career ERA, which ranks 12th all time.