1 (Neb.)-Huskers Look to Play Spoiler vs. Texas Tech By: John Kant Posted at: 05/21/ :06 AM (Courtesy Of Huskers.com) This Week: Nebraska closes out the 2010 season this weekend with a three-game series against Texas Tech. Friday's opener is slated for 6:35 p.m. with afternoon games on both Saturday (2:05 p.m.) and Sunday (1:05 p.m.). A busy weekend of events at the ballpark are on tap. Friday: Military Appreciation Night with two color guards, a singing of God Bless America in the 7th inning stretch, and the Army will have a rock-climbing wall outside the ballpark. All members of the U.S. Military are admitted free with military ID. In addition, the Huskers will also wear special camouflage hats on Friday night. Saturday: Youth day with inflatables set up along the left field concourse and all children 12-and-under can run the bases after the game. The parents of the 2010 Huskers will also be honored prior to Saturday's game. Sunday: Fan Appreciation Day, as gift cards for various places will be awarded during the game. Nebraska's six-member senior class (Adam Bailey, DJ Belfonte, Kyle Bubak, Tyler Farst, Jordan Roualdes and Cade Thompson) will be honored prior to first pitch at about 12:45. Tickets: Single-game tickets for this weekend are available by visiting the Hawks Field Ticket Office 90 minutes before first pitch. Tickets are $10 (reserved and Home Run Terrace) and $7 (GA) with youth and senior citizens GA seats at $5. All UNL students receive free admission with a valid N-card. As a reminder, the tickets for the two postponed games (game 1 vs. South Dakota State; game 3 vs. Houston Baptist) can be used as GA tickets this weekend. Weekend Preview: The Huskers (24-27, 7-17 Big 12) come off their best offensive performance of the year, setting season highs in both hits (26) and runs (21) against Creighton Tuesday night. Adam Bailey's career-high eight RBIs paced the Big Red attack, while DJ Belfonte and Kyle Bubak both enjoyed three-hit nights against Creighton. Nebraska pounded out a school-record 11 doubles, including three by Belfonte, and had 14 extra-base hits. Now, NU will look to spoil Texas Tech's chance to reach the NCAA Tournament, as the Red Raiders are overall and in Big 12 play after dropping 2-of-3 to Baylor last weekend. The Red Raiders could finish anywhere from second to sixth in the league depending on this weekend's action. 3 Things to Watch 235: Career hits for DJ Belfonte as his four-hit game on Tuesday puts him within striking distance of ninth place (240, Alex Gordon) on NU's career list. Bailey has hit safely in his last seven games and 15 of his last 16 games. 29: Nebraska's runs over the last five games in two-out situations. In all, 29 of 43 runs (67) percent have been scored with two outs. NU is hitting.413 with two outs in that stretch. 3: Number of grand slams by Cody Asche, a total which ties the Big 12 single-season record. Asche is hitting.429 (6-for-14) with 23 RBIs in bases-loaded situations. Scouting Texas Tech Texas Tech has been one of the league's biggest surprises, coming into the weekend with a mark, including a mark in the Big 12. The Red Raiders, guided by second-year coach Dan Spencer, are in fourth place in the Big 12 race and
2 could finish anywhere between second and seventh depending on this weekend's results. The Red Raiders have a potent offense, hitting.315 as a team with a league-best 148 doubles and 57 homers. Michael Reed leads the Red Raiders with a.358 average with 44 runs scored. Freshman first baseman Barrett Barnes is hitting.344 with a team-high 12 homers and 48 RBIs, while sophomore designated hitter Scott LeJuene is hitting.330 with four homers and leads the Red Raiders with 56 RBIs. On the mound, junior Bobby Doran has been Tech's most consistent pitcher, going 5-2 with a 4.44 ERA in 13 games, striking out 74 over 75 innings of work. Junior right-hander Chad Bettis is the Red Raiders' most valuable performer, going 6-4 with 10 saves and a 4.71 ERA, as he tops the team in wins, saves, innings (78.1) and strikeouts (92). Series History: Nebraska is all-time against Texas Tech following a series win by the Red Raiders last year. The Huskers have won six straight against Texas Tech in Hawks Field, sweeping the Red Raiders in 2006 and NU is 9-3 all-time versus Texas Tech at Hawks Field since the ballpark opened in Last Time Out Tuesday (Nebraska 21, Creighton 5): Adam Bailey drove in a career-high eight RBIs, as the Nebraska baseball team routed Creighton, 21-5 in the final game between the two teams at Rosenblatt Stadium. Bailey went 3-for-7 with a homer and eight RBIs, as his RBI total was the most by a Husker since Craig Moore drove in10 runs against Chicago State on March 16, Bailey was one of several Huskers who enjoyed career nights, as Nebraska pounded out 26 hits, tied a season high with 21 runs and established school record with 11 doubles. DJ Belfonte and Kyle Bubak had four hits apiece, as Bubak scored four times, while Belfonte tied a school marked with three doubles. Kale Kiser also set career bests in both hits (three) and RBIs (four) as he had two doubles and a triple, helping NU score 21 runs in the first six innings in taking the final game of the season series between the two teams. Freshman Luke Bublitz (1-1) earned his first win, allowing one run on four hits over three pre-determined innings of work. Leading Off Nebaska's 26 hits against Creighton marked the Huskers' highest total since a school-record 35 hits against Chicago State in Nebraska has scored 20-or-more runs three times this season, the first time that has happened since Adam Bailey's 17 homers in 2010 are the most by a Husker since 2005, when Alex Gordon hit 19 en route to National Player-of-the-Year honors. Bailey is also two homers away from 10th place on Nebraska's single-season lists. With 29 homers in his two-year Husker career, he is tied for second among players who spent less than three seasons at Nebraska. Cody Asche has been a terror in two-out situations this season. He has a team-high 32 two-out RBIs this season, which is the most by any Husker since Dan Johnson had 37 in In all, 45 of Asche's 75 career RBIs have come in two-out situations, where he is a career.328 hitter. With a Big 12-leading 63 RBIs this season, Adam Bailey is the first Husker to record back-to-back seasons with at least 50 RBIs since Alex Gordon and Curtis Ledbetter accomplished the feat during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Bailey's RBI total is the most by a Husker since Gordon drove in 66 runs during his National Player-of-the-Year season in DJ Belfonte continues to climb Nebraska's career hits list. He moved into 10th place on Nebraska's all-time list on Sunday and now has 235 entering his final weekend as a Husker. Belfonte is one triple and one double away from moving into the top-10 list in both categories as well. Belfonte is enjoying his best season as a Husker in 2010, ranking sixth in hits (79), triples (third), and batting average (.378) while tying or setting personal bests in both homers (seven) and RBIs (37). Huskers have been hit by 84 pitches this season to rank second in the Big 12. The total ranks sixth on NU's singleseason list. NU is the only Big 12 team with three players hit by at least 15 pitches this season (DJ Belfonte, Bryan Peters and Kale Kiser), while Kiser is third in the league in that painful category. Senior Adam Bailey is making a strong case to become the first Husker to lead the Big 12 in homers since Bailey enters the final weekend of his collegiate career with 17 homers this year, four ahead of four players tied at 13. He will look to become only the fourth Husker to lead the Big 12 in homers, joining Dan Johnson ( ), Matt
3 Hopper (2000, 2003) and Jed Morris (2002). A quartet of Husker players are among the national leaders released on May 18. Adam Bailey tops the list, as he ranks in the top-100 nationally in four categories, including homers, slugging percentage and total bases. As a team, the Huskers rank in the top 65 in five categories, including double plays turned, fielding percentage and hit by pitches. Bryan Peters has been hit by 17 pitches this season, which ranks third nationally among all freshmen coming into this week's action. He is fourth on NU's all-time freshman list behind Daniel Bruce (28, 2002), Corey Miller (24, 1996) and DJ Belfonte (18, 2007). Nebraska pitching coach Eric Newman squares off with his alma mater this weekend. Newman pitched at Texas Tech during the 1994 season, helping the Red Raiders to a mark and was drafted in the fifth round of the MLB Draft. Newman received his degree from the school in Tyler Farst's father (Mike) lettered in football at Texas Tech in Last year, Farst hit.364 with three RBIs in the series in Lubbock. Freshman Tom Lemke joined an exclusive club May 2, as he tossed his second shutout of the season. He is just the fourth freshman in school history to throw at least two shutouts in a season and just one of only 10 pitchers all time at Nebraska to accomplish the feat. He is tied for second nationally in shutouts entering the final week of the season. Nebraska is tied for second in the Big 12 with four shutouts, trailing only Texas' league-leading total of seven. Freshmen have earned the wins in three of four Husker shutouts this season, including Tom Lemke (No. 12 Oklahoma and Texas A&M) and Tyler Niederklein (Wichita State). In Big 12 action, Lemke's two shutouts are more than any other team's total except for Texas. NU has now hit 55 homers this season, its highest single-season total since NU has four players with at least six homers this season, including Big 12 leader Adam Bailey. Shortstop Chad Christensen's six homers are the most by a Husker freshman since Alex Gordon had seven in Christensen's homer total is also the most by a Husker shortstop since Ryan Wehrle hit eight en route to earning thirdteam All-America honors in Nebraska has gotten great production from its pinch hitters this year, hitting.315 with four homers and 15 RBIs. It is NU's highest batting average by pinch hitters since 2003, while the four homers are the most in the last decade. Prior to this season, NU had only four pinch-hit homers since Cody Asche's three grand slams ties the Big 12 single-season record and marks the first time since 2003 that any Husker has had more than one grand slam in a season. In fact, Nebraska has not had multiple grand slams in a season since 2004 prior to this year. The Huskers have been proficient in two-out situations this season, recording 153 two-out RBIs this season. In fact, 162 of Nebraska's 349 runs (46.4 percent) this season have been generated with two outs, and NU has scored at least one two-out run in 37 contests. Cody Asche leads NU with 32 two-out RBIs, while Adam Bailey is close behind with 25 RBIs. The Huskers are (.990) under Mike Anderson when reaching double figures in runs, including 80-0 since the start of the 2005 season. Nebraska is 14-0 this season when scoring 10 or more runs in a game. Nebraska has gotten off to fast starts, scoring first in 31 of its 51 games this season and has outscored foes in the opening inning of games this season. Nebraska has won nearly 75 percent of its games over the last eight years when it scores first. Nebraska has usually won when it has pitched well, going 19-7 when holding opponents to five runs or less. Under pitching coach Eric Newman, the Huskers are 36-3 when holding opponents to two runs or less. On April 24, freshman Tyler Niederklein became the first Husker freshman to win his inaugural Big 12 start since the 2005 season. The Omaha native went a career-long 5.2 innings against the Bears to become only the fourth true freshman over the last decade to accomplish the feat. The 10-run deficit Nebraska overcame on March 30, against North Dakota equaled the largest deficit the Huskers have overcome in a game since That season, NU also overcame a 10-0 deficit in the second inning in a victory over Iowa State at Buck Beltzer Stadium. Prior to the North Dakota comeback, the largest deficit NU had overcome under Mike Anderson was seven runs vs. Northern Colorado in Nebraska has gone over 20 runs three times season, marking the first time since 1997 that the Huskers have eclipsed the 20-run mark three times in a season. NU's top five single-game offensive outputs since 2003 are listed below. Seven of Nebraska's 24 losses have been on the opponent's last at-bat, including four walk-off losses (two at Fresno State, one at UCLA, one at Texas). Nebraska has lost three games when taking a lead into the ninth inning this season after losing only four times in the previous seven seasons. The Huskers are (.972) when leading after eight innings under Mike Anderson.
4 DJ Belfonte ranks second on Nebraska's career hit-by-pitch list with 57. He is one of just 10 players in conference history to get hit by at least 50 pitches. Nebraska's 10-run outburst in the third inning against Northern Colorado on March 24 marked the fourth time under Mike Anderson that the Huskers have reached double digits in an inning since Michael Mariot's one-hit shutout against Houston Baptist on March 13 was the first by a Nebraska pitcher since Zach Kroenke tossed a one-hitter at Kansas State on April 2, It also marked only the fifth time since 1999 that a Husker hurler tossed a one-hit, complete-game shutout. NU has 122 come-from-behind wins under Mike Anderson since The Huskers have eight come-from-behind wins this season, including overcoming a 10-run deficit against North Dakota on March 30 and a four-run deficit against Southeast Missouri State on May 8. The Huskers are dating back to 2008 when they out-hit an opponent and have won nearly 90 percent of their games since 2003 when out-hitting an opponent. This season, NU is 22-4 when out-hitting opponents. The Huskers are also 22-8 when reaching double figures in hits, but just 2-19 when held to nine hits or less. Bailey Puts Together Big Senior Year After leading the Huskers in homers, RBIs and slugging percentage in 2009, Adam Bailey has put together a strong senior season. The Scottsdale, Ariz., product is hitting.368 with 17 homers and 63 RBIs entering the weekend series with Texas Tech. Bailey, who was drafted in the 38th round by the New York Yankees last season, leads the Big 12 in homers, RBIs and total bases (146) while ranking among conference leaders in slugging percentage (.692, second), runs (55, sixth), hits (78, seventh), and batting average (ninth). His 17 homers and 63 RBIs are the most by a Husker since Alex Gordon in It should not be surprising that Bailey has been a solid run producer, as he is a.405 hitter (51-for-126) with runners in scoring position during his Nebraska career. He originally began his carer as a pitcher at Arizona State in Bailey also tops the Huskers with 24 multi-hit games and 20 games with at least two RBIs. He joined Gordon in 2004, as the only players under Mike Anderson to have 20 multi-hit and 20 mult-rbi games in a season. He enjoyed a career night against Creighton, going 3-for-7 with eight RBIs - all in the first four innings - of Nebraska's 21-5 win over the Bluejays in Rosenblatt Stadium. Bailey has been at his best against the toughest teams on the Huskers' schedule. He hit.365 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in 13 games against ranked teams this season. Bailey torched No. 20 Kansas State, hitting.364 with three homers and six RBIs in the series, including his second career multi-homer game on April 9, as he drove in four runs in NU's 5-3 win. He was named Big 12 Player of the Week on March 23, after hitting.562 (9-for-16) with two homers and eight RBIs in four games. Bailey went 7-for-11 with two homers, two doubles and six RBIs in the three-game series at No. 2 Texas. DJ Keeps Churning Out Hits DJ Belfonte gives Nebraska a solid threat at the top of the lineup. The senior is hitting.378 with seven homers and 37 RBIs. He ranks among the Big 12 leaders in four categories including: hits (sixth, 79); triples (sixth, three) batting average (sixth) and total bases (118). Belfonte, who was voted the best defensive outfielder by the league coaches in Baseball America's preseason issue, is one of two Huskers (also Adam Bailey) to start every game in With a team-high 12 stolen bases Belfonte will likely become the first Husker since former Major Leaguer Ken Ramos to lead NU in stolen bases for three straight years. While he is known for his speed and defense, Belfonte showed his power earlier this season, belting two homers against South Dakota State on March 16, the first two-homer game of his career. His seven homers this year already eclipses his career total prior to this season. He matched his career best with four RBIs against Wichita State April 13. Against Texas A&M on May 1, he became the first Husker since 2003 to lead off the game with a homer. Belfonte comes off one of the best performance of his career against Creighton on Tuesday, tying a school mark with three doubles as part of a four-hit night while also making a pair of spectacular catches to end an early Creighton rally. Belfonte Also Excels in the Classroom Belfonte was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-Distict VII team on May 7. In addition to being a four-year starter in the outfield, he has a 3.72 GPA in finance and is a two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 selection. He was also
5 a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District pick as a sophomore in Kiser is Second to None After seeing limited time behind eventual MLB draftee Jeff Tezak as a freshman last year, second baseman Kale Kiser has been a pleasant surprise in Kiser, a native of Plano, Texas, comes into the weekend hitting.356 with 48 runs scored, ranking fifth in the Big 12 in onbase percentage (.480) and 11th in runs scored. He also leads NU with 25 walks and is third with five stolen bases. After Nebraska started the year with a 3-7 mark, Kiser was bumped to second in the order and has greatly helped the top of the lineup, hitting.339 after NU's hitters had a combined.228 average through the first 10 contests. Kiser was moved to sixth to protect Cody Asche prior to the Southeast Missouri State series and is hitting.440 with a.545 on-base percentage over the last seven contests. Kiser, who can see time at either second base or designated hitter, has also shown his toughness, playing through a split lip at Fresno State on Feb. 22 that required 16 stitches, but returned to the diamond in time for the next practice. Asche Mans the Hot Corner One of the overlooked hitters in the Nebraska lineup is sophomore third baseman Cody Asche. The O'Fallon, Mo., native has been consistent for NU all season, hitting.301 with nine homers and 54 RBIs. Asche has enjoyed a pair of double-digit hit streaks this season, including a 12-game hit streak from March 5-24, and comes into the Texas Tech series riding a seven-game hit streak. He had a monster series against Southeast Missouri State two weeks ago, driving in 11 runs - equaling Southeast Missouri State's total each day in the series. His six RBIs day on Saturday were the most RBIs since Feb. 25, 2009, and the thirdhighest total by a Husker the last nine years. Asche hit.500 (6-for-12) with five RBIs at No. 2 Texas and enjoyed another big week earlier this season with three homers and 13 RBIs - including a pair of grand slams - in a five-game span. He belted his first career grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning of Nebraska's win over North Dakota on March 30 and followed up four days later with another grand slam at Oklahoma State on April 3, matching his career high with five RBIs in NU's 9-2 win. He now shares the Big 12 record with three grand slams in a season. Infield Youth Movement Nebraska has relied on a pair of freshmen middle infielders recently, as Bryan Peters and Chad Christensen have become the Huskers' primary double play duo. Peters, who was slowed by an orbital bone fracture suffered before practice began, has taken over the starting second baseman job and is hitting.261 with 26 runs scored and seven stolen bases in 43 appearances. He has also been hit by 17 pitches to rank third in the Big 12 in that category. Christensen, who moved into the lineup on March 28 following Kyle Bubak's back injury, has been solid both offensively and defensively. He is hitting.263 with six homers and 15 RBIs and had committed just six errors in his first 37 contests. He enjoyed a 10-game hit streak from March 28 until April 11, recording eight multi-hit games in that stretch. With the return of Josh Scheffert to the lineup last month, the Huskers have used an infield comprised of freshmen and sophomores for most of the last three weeks. Like Mother, Like Son Freshman Josh Scheffert continues a family tradition at Nebraska, as his mother (Candice [Hoffman] Scheffert) played softball for the Huskers for two seasons ( ). Scheffert has enjoyed a solid rookie campaign, hitting.298 with three homers and 25 RBIs. He broke a bone in his left hand on a pitch on March 28 that was expected to be season ending, but Scheffert returned after missing 10 contests. After struggling to regain his hitting stroke, Scheffert is hitting.450 (9-for-20) over Nebraska's last seven contests, including the second three-hit game of his season against Creighton on Tuesday. The Lincoln Southeast product - the same school as former National Player of the Year Alex Gordon - has six multi-rbi efforts, including a career-high four RBIs against South Dakota State on March 16. Casey of All Trades Junior right-hander Casey Hauptman has filled nearly every role on the Husker staff in While he is only 2-5, he is second on the pitching staff in innings (69.2) and strikeouts (55). After beginning the season in long relief, he moved into the
6 starter's role for three weekends before taking over the closer's spot following Mike Nesseth's season-ending injury. Out of the bullpen, Hauptman has a 3.94 ERA in 17 outings, fanning 36 over 45.2 innings. He is 3-for-3 in save opportunities, pitching the final 1.2 innings at No. 20 Kansas State on April 9. In fact, all three of his saves have been at least 1.2 innings of work. In the wake of Nesseth's injury, Hauptman was sharp against Southeast Missouri State, allowing one run over 5.1 innings while fanning six to collect the win. Belfonte, Farst Among Husker Grads Husker senior baseball players DJ Belfonte and Tyler Farst were among the six current or former Huskers to participate in graduation ceremonies on May 7. They joined former baseball standouts Mitch Abeita ( ), Erik Bird ( ), Brandon Buckman ( ) and Shane Komine ( ) in the most recent Husker graduating class. Belfonte, who was named first-team Academic All-District on Thursday, highlighted the Husker baseball players who received their diplomas over the weekend. The senior from Kansas City graduated with a degree in finance and carries a 3.72 cumulative GPA and has a.378 batting average with seven homers and 37 RBIs this season. Farst joined Belfonte as current seniors to receive their degrees, as he graduated in history and has a 3.19 GPA. A two-year starter, Farst is hitting.255 with four homers and 28 RBIs this season after being an All-Big 12 performer in Recruiting Class Ranked 13th Nationally Nebraska's class of newcomers was recognized nationally, as Collegiate Baseball rated the class No. 13 nationally in its rankings. The rating is the highest ever for Nebraska in the publication's 27-year history of ranking recruiting classes. The class features four players who had been drafted previously before coming to Nebraska, including pitchers Ryan Hughes (16th round in 2008), Tom Lemke (10th round in 2009), Kurt Giller (21st round in 2009) and Ryan Hander (38th round in 2009). Lemke was one of just 11 high school seniors selected in the top 10 rounds who did not sign over the summer. A total of 15 newcomers have seen playing time this year, especially 10 of the 16 pitchers who have thrown this season. Eight Draftees on 2010 Roster Nebraska's 2010 roster boasts a total of eight Huskers who have been previously selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Five of the players were picked in last year's draft, including Mike Nesseth (15th) and Adam Bailey (38th) who both elected to return for this season. Huskers From Around the Nation The 2010 Huskers come from 14 states across the nation. Nebraska natives comprise a quarter of the 36-man opening-day roster with nine spots, while the Huskers also have seven Texans on the 2010 roster. Three Huskers Honored by Baseball America A trio of Husker players were recognized by Baseball America in its college preview issue. Outfielder Adam Bailey was the only Husker player on the publication's preseason All-Big 12 team, as he hit.325 with 12 homers and 50 RBIs a year ago. DJ Belfonte was recognized as the best defensive outfielder in the Big 12 in Baseball America's preseason issue. Belfonte, who has played both center and right field in his Husker career, has a.982 career fielding percentage and has thrown out seven runners from the outfield during his career. Tom Lemke was the fifth-rated freshman in the Big 12 by Baseball America after a dominant high school career. He went 25-9 with a 2.01 ERA in his career at Northwest Christian High School, striking out 333 over career innings. He is also No. 32 nationally among all freshman by the publication. Success in the Classroom NU enjoyed a strong performance in the classroom by posting a team GPA of during the fall semester. The team GPA was the highest ever while tracking the program's GPA over the last 20 years and the second straight fall above a 3.0 GPA. A total of 23 Huskers were named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll for the fall semester. Battling the Injury Bug The Huskers have been hit by the injury bug recently, losing a quartet of contributors for significant time. Offensively, both
7 Josh Scheffert (left hand) and Kyle Bubak (back) missed 10 games apiece because of injuries and both returned to action against Wichita State on April 13. On the mound, NU also lost a pair of major contributors in Mike Nesseth and Kurt Giller. Nesseth, a 15th-round draft pick last spring, was 1-2 with a 6.43 ERA, but was pitching well at the time of his injury, posting a 1.80 ERA in his previous seven outings. Giller, a 21st round draft pick, had made eight appearances, fanning 11 over 13.2 innings and earned a save against Fresno State. Huskers Boast Experienced Coaching Staff Seven Huskers were honored Tuesday by the Big 12 Conference, as they were selected to the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 Baseball Team. The Huskers' seven first-team selections included seniors DJ Belfonte and Tyler Farst, juniors Casey Hauptman, Michael Mariot and Mike Nesseth and sophomores Boomer Collins and Cody Asche. It marked the third straight selection for Belfonte, while Farst, Hauptman and Mariot were all lauded for the second time in their career. Belfonte is also currently a candidate for ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honors, which will be announced later this month. Nebraska's seven first-team honorees ranked second among Big 12 programs, and raised the Husker baseball team's all-time academic All-Big 12 total to 69 dating back to 1997.