NU BSB: No. 23 Huskers Visit Wildcats for Midweek Showdown

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No. 23 Huskers Visit Wildcats for Midweek Showdown

Tuesday, April 7 (6:35 p.m.)

Probable Starters: RHP King (3-0) vs. RHP Halbohn (2-2)

TV: Time Warner Cable Sports

Audio Stream: Huskers.com | Video Stream: K-StateHD.TV

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Lincoln – The No. 23 Nebraska baseball team (23-10, 3-0 Big Ten) is scheduled to play its fifth straight road game on Tuesday night when it visits Manhattan, Kan., for a 6:35 p.m. meeting with the Kansas State Wildcats (13-16, 2-7 Big 12) at Tointon Stadium. It will be the first of two games between the two teams this season, with the Wildcats scheduled to visit Hawks Field on Tuesday, April 21.

Tuesday night’s game will be broadcast in Nebraska and Kansas on Time Warner Sports. It will be carried in Nebraska on Time Warner Cable, including in Lincoln on TWCSC HD 1310 and TWCSC SD 310. The game will also be video streamed on K-StateHD.TV (subscription required).

After playing two midweek games each of the past four weeks, the Huskers lone midweek game this week will be against the Wildcats, before NU gets back into Big Ten play this weekend with a visit from the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Huskers have been dominant at home this season, posting a 15-1 record, but have struggled when having to play away from Lincoln. Nebraska is 8-9 in games away from Hawks Field, including a 4-6 record in road games. The Wildcats enter Tuesday with a 7-4 record at Tointon Stadium and are coming off a home series loss to West Virginia, where they won the series opener before dropping the final two games of the series. The Wildcats started the year 4-0 at home, but have since gone 3-4.

The Huskers are scheduled to start freshman Garett King, who is coming off a season-high 8.0-inning outing against Creighton last week, a game the Huskers won 5-1. The right hander struck out five and didn’t issue a walk for the second straight start. King was perfect through the first four innings, before Harrison Crawford led off the fifth with a triple down the right-field line. Following the triple, King went on to retire 12 of the final 13 Jays he faced.

Kansas State is scheduled to start junior Kyle Halbohn, who is 2-2 with a save on the year. The 6-8 right hander has a 3.94 ERA in seven appearances, including three starts. Halbohn has thrown 16.0 innings, allowing 10 runs (seven earned) on 19 hits and four walks, while striking out 12. A Pawley’s Island, S.C., native, Halbohn spent his freshman season at San Jacinto College. He then transferred to Spartanburg Methodist and redshirted the 2013 season before pitching for the Pioneers in 2014.

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

Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on Time Warner Sports in Nebraska, including TWCSC HD channel 1310 and TWCSC SD channel 310 in Lincoln.

Web Streams

Tuesday’s game will be streamed live on K-StateHD.TV (subscription required).

Topping 100

On Saturday, April 4, senior Austin Darby collected his 99th career RBI and needs one more RBI to become the 44th Husker since 1986 to notch 100 RBIs in their career. After producing 15 RBIs as a freshman, Darby topped the 30-RBI during both his sophomore and junior years with 33 and 36 RBIs, respectively. Through 33 games this season, Darby has 15 RBIs.

With a team-high 29 RBIs so far in 2015, Blake Headley (87 career RBIs) is also on pace to join the club this season. Headley has improved his RBI total every year at Nebraska. After notching six as a freshman in 2012, he produced 25 in 2013, topped that number with 27 in 2014 and has already set a single-season high with 29 though 33 games this season.

Pat Kelly joined the club last year and ended his three-year career with 125 RBIs.

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

Not Nice to Steal

Senior catcher Tanner Lubach enters Tuesday with 37 career runners caught stealing, which ranks third all-time at Nebraska. He is one caught stealing away from moving into a tie for second place.

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.

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 97-12 since 2012 when they lead after the sixth inning. The Huskers are 100-6 when leading after seven innings and nearly perfect when leading after eight innings with a 109-4 record.

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 18-1 19-0 19-0

Three or Less

In 25 of Nebraska’s 33 games this season the Husker pitching staff has allowed three runs or less.

The Huskers are 23-2 when holding the opposition to three runs or less, but are 0-8 on the year when teams score four or more runs.

Keep Them on Base

The Husker bullpen has inherited 50 runners this season and only eight have scored.

Junior Jeff Chesnut leads the way with 18 runners inherited, and only one has scored. Fellow junior Colton Howell has inherited eight runners and none have scored.

Early Leads

After scoring just 38 first-inning runs last season in 62 games, the Huskers have gotten their starting pitchers leads early and often in 2015.

Through 33 games, the Huskers are outscoring the opposition 31-13 in the first inning of games this season.

Last season the Huskers outscored their opponents 123-95 in the first three innings of games, while this year NU holds a commanding 70-24 advantage.

200 and Counting

After Michael Pritchard and Pat Kelly each joined Nebraska’s 200-hit club last season, senior Austin Darby become the program’s 23rd member on Saturday, April 4 at Maryland with a one-out single in the seventh inning.

Darby is the fourth Husker to join the club 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 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. 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

23. 200 Austin Darby 2012-15

Start with Boldt

Since moving Ryan Boldt back to the leadoff spot, the Huskers are 10-4 on the season. Boldt hit third in 15 of NU’s first 19 games and the Huskers were 9-6.

A Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American last season, Boldt leads the Huskers with a .347 batting average, leads the team with 31 runs scored and leads the team with 41 hits.

Last season with Boldt in the leadoff spot the Huskers were 22-7.

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 nine saves in nine chances this season, Roeder enters Tuesday ranked second in NU history with 27 career saves and needs five more saves in 2015 to break Brett Jensen’s school record of 31 saves.

Feeling 22

The Huskers ended the month of March with a 22-7 record, the most wins by a Husker team before the month of April since 2005 when NU started the season 22-3.

Cruise with Chesnut

Not only does Omaha native Jeff Chesnut have one of the best mustaches in college baseball, but he has also been nearly flawless out of the bullpen in 2015.

Chesnut is 4-0 on the year and holds a 1.57 ERA over 23.0 innings in a team-high 16 appearances. He has allowed four runs on the year, with 15 strikeouts to three walks.

Howell Dialed in

After struggling with control in his first two seasons, Colton Howell has found the zone in 2015 and has been a terror to opposing batters late in games. The junior right hander has notched 23 strikeouts in 19.0 innings over 14 appearances, while walking eight batters.

Last season, Howell struck out 19, but walked 10 over 19.2 innings after recording 12 walks to nine strikeouts as a freshman in 2013.

Get the Hits

Last season the Huskers produced double-digit hits in 30 of their 62 games, including 14 of their 27 home games.

The Huskers were 25-5 when notching double-digit hits last season.

Through 33 games this season, the Huskers have notched double-digit hits 11 times and are a perfect 11-0 in those games.

The Huskers are 16-2 this year when out-hitting their opponent. The only losses came against LSU and Cal State Fullerton.

Last season, Nebraska was 32-3 when they out hit their opponent, with losses coming against Oregon State, as well as both of NU’s losses to Cal State Fullerton in the NCAA Tournament.

Tanner Heating Up

Tanner Lubach didn’t get off to the start he wanted in his senior year, going 0-for-18 to start the season. Lubach broke the dry spell with a double that nearly left the park against BYU on Saturday, Feb. 21.

In his 23 games since, Lubach is hitting .320 (24-for-75) with four doubles, two home runs and nine multi-hit performances.

More importantly, Lubach has struck out 10 times over his past 23 games, after notching nine strikeouts through his first six games of the season.

Miller’s Time

Sophomore Ben Miller has been a key cog in NU’s offense this season. A left-handed hitter from Clive, Iowa, Miller ranks second on the team with 23 RBIs in 32 starts this season, after producing 13 RBIs in 29 starts last season.

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.