The Nebraska baseball team returns to Arizona this week for four games at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Surprise, Ariz. NU’s first three games will be played at Surprise Stadium and the final game will be played at Kansas City Royals Practice Field No. 6.
The Huskers open against No. 2 Oregon State, a 2017 College World Series participant, on Thursday at 2 p.m. (CT). On Friday, NU faces Utah at 6 p.m. (CT) before battling the Beavers again on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Huskers’ weekend finale against Utah on Sunday will be played at Royals Practice Field No. 6 starting at 2 p.m.
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.
Only Friday and Saturday’s games will be carried on TuneIn.com and the TuneIn App on the Husker IMG Sports Network channel. 590 AM in Omaha will carry the first three games, but won’t broadcast Sunday’s game. Sunday’s game will be on 105.3 Wow FM in Lincoln.
There won’t be any TV or video stream coverage this weekend in Surprise.
Last Time Out
The Huskers won three of four games at the Husker Classic in Tempe, Ariz., last weekend. NU split its games against UC Riverside and defeated Washington State twice.
The Huskers head to Wichita State for a three-game set, March 2-4. The series opener is set for 3 p.m. (CT), while the games on March 3 and 4 are both set for 2 p.m.
- Nebraska outscored its opponents 11-1 in the seventh inning during the opening weekend.
» Outscored UC Riverside 4-0 in the seventh inning on Friday
» Outscored Washington State 5-0 in their first game on Saturday
» Allowed one run against UC Riverside on Saturday
» Outscored Washington State 2-0 in the seventh inning on Sunday
- Nebraska scored 22 runs during the opening weekend, matching the most through a four-game stretch under Darin Erstad. NU also scored 22 runs during the first four games of the 2014 season.
- Nebraska is 12-0-1 in its last 13 Sunday games, dating back to May 15, 2016.
» Is 1-0 on Sunday this season
» Went 10-0-1 on Sundays last season with a tie against Indiana on April 2
» Won their final Sunday game of the 2016 season on May 15
Scouting the Oregon State Beavers
- Oregon State leads the all-time series against Nebraska, 4-1, dating back to 1999. All five games have been played at a neutral site, including the two Beaver wins last season at Surprise Stadium.
- Oregon State is off to a 4-0 start and ranked second in the nation after defeating New Mexico (twice), Gonzaga and Cal Poly at the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic last weekend in Surprise, Ariz. Last season, the Beavers reached the College World Series with a 56-6 record.
- Pat Casey is in his 24th year at Oregon State, and holds a 849-447-5 record at the school. He is 1,020-560-6 in his 31st career season. Casey is assisted by Pat Bailey, Nate Yeskie and Andy Jenkins.
- Players to Watch
» Nick Madrigal (Junior INF): First-team Preseason All-American, went 9-for-17 with six RBIs during the opening weekend
» Jake Mulholland (Sophomore LHP): Preseason All-American
» Trever Larnach (Junior OF): Went 8-for-12 during the first weekend with three home runs
Scouting the Utah Utes
- Nebraska leads the all-time series against Utah, 5-3, dating back to 1979. All eight games have been played at a neutral site, including the two that were split last season in Surprise, Ariz.
- Utah is 0-3 after its season-opening series at Oral Roberts last weekend. The Utes will play Ohio State on Thursday and Saturday at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. Last season, Utah went 27-24 and finished fifth in the Pac-12 with a 15-15 record in conference play.
- Bill Kinneberg is in his 15th year at the helm of the Utah baseball program and holds a 327-426-1 record at the school. He is 572-609-1 in his 23rd year overall. Kinneberg is assisted by Mike Crawford, Jay Brossman and Parker Guinn.
- Players to Watch
» Dominic Foscalina (Sophomore OF): Went 4-for-9 with one home run during the first weekend
» Davis Delorefice (R-Freshman INF): Went 2-for-8 with a double during the opening weekend
» Tanner Thomas (Senior RHP): Threw 5.1 innings without an earned run and had 10 strikeouts in his first start of the season
Huskers Enjoy Opening Weekend Success
- Nebraska went 3-1 during its opening weekend, marking the best four-game start under Darin Erstad and the best since starting 3-1 in 2011.
» NU has started 2-2 twice under Erstad (2014, 2015)
» NU has started 1-3 three times under Erstad (2012, 2016, 2017)
» NU has started 0-4 once under Erstad (2013)
- Jesse Wilkening led the Husker offense during the first weekend, going 6-for-14 with one double, one home run and eight RBIs. He set a single-game career high with four RBIs against Washington State on Feb. 17.
- Three true freshmen made appearances during the opening weekend, Jaxon Hallmark, Mike Addante and Andrew Abrahamowicz.
» Hallmark made three starts and went 2-for-10 with a double and a stolen base
» Addante made two appearances, including one start
» Abrahamowicz made one relief appearance on the mound and recorded two strikeouts in 1.0 inning of work
- Nebraska’s starting pitchers combined to go 19.2 innings over the four-game stretch in Tempe, Ariz. The starters allowed a combined five runs to go 1-1 with a pair of no decisions.
» Luis Alvarado struck out a career-high nine batters in his first career start against UC Riverside on Feb. 16. He gave up one run in a no decision.
» Jake McSteen threw 5.0 scoreless innings to earn the win against Washington State on Feb. 17.