Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bay Area Husker ENews 2-21-08

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Baseball season is just around the corner and do we have a great way to start! The Huskers are playing in a round robin tourney at the Stanford Sunken Diamond baseball facility this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting). So grab your rain coat and come out and cheer on the Huskers (more info below).

Founders' Day Event...
We're looking forward to our annual Founders' Day event on Sunday at the Sunnyvale Ramada. I know the reservation deadline has past, but Mac may be able to add a couple of folks if you hustle up and call or email him tonight or early Friday morning. See the website for more details.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),


Our local Arena Football League team (last year's AFL National Champs), the San Jose Sabercats, is offering a great deal for local alumni groups to attend one of their games. We've selected the second game of the season on Saturday, March 22nd (vs. the Dallas Desperados) as the night for local Husker fans to get together for some great indoor football! Tickets are only $9 each (half price) and its a guaranteed great time! Karen and I have been season ticket holders for about 5 years and we think its the best sports deal in the area. Cheap tickets, a great venue and a very fast paced game...scores are usually in the 60s and 70s per team. So let me or Dave Pegg know that you want to attend and we'll arrange for a Husker group outing.



Nebraska at Stanford
Friday - 2 p.m. (DH)
Saturday - 2 p.m.
Sunday - 1 p.m.

All times Pacific

Pitching Probables
Friday (G-1)
NU-Thad Weber, Sr., RHP (0-0)
Jeremy Bleich, Jr., LHP (0-0)

Friday (G-2)
NU-Johnny Dorn, Sr., RHP (0-0)
Erik Davis, Sr., RHP (0-0)

NU-Dan Jennings, Jr., LHP (0-0)
Max Fearnow, Jr., RHP (0-0)

NU-Aaron Pribanic, Jr., RHP (0-0)
Jeffrey Inman, So., RHP (0-0)

Live Radio: Selected Husker Sports Network and for free on the Internet at

Live Stats:

Live Video: Stanford All-Access (free)

Television: None

This Week: The Nebraska baseball program begins the 2008 season this weekend, as the Huskers travel to Stanford for a four-game series with the Cardinal. Friday’s season opener will be a doubleheader, scheduled for 2 p.m. (Pacific) with single games on both Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).

On the Radio: Fans across Nebraska can listen to Greg Sharpe and Lane Grindle call all of the action on the 27-station Husker Sports Network - including flagship stations KLIN 1400 AM in Lincoln and KRVN 880 AM in Lexington - and on the Internet at Every game this season will be carried on the Husker Sports Network. Saturday’s game will be joined in progress on selected network stations.

Preview: The Huskers open this week with a with a trip to national power Stanford to kick off the 2008 season. The Huskers return 13 letterwinners, including six everyday starters from a team that went 32-27 and reached the finals of the NCAA Tempe Regional last season. Offensively, senior Jeff Tezak is NU’s top returning hitter after batting .335 with three homers and 37 RBIs to earn second-team All-Big 12 honors. Tezak is one of three starters who hit over .300 a year ago, joining senior infielder Craig Corriston (.320-5-41) and sophomore right fielder DJ Belfonte (.307-0-16). Senior second baseman Jake Opitz drove in a team-high 48 RBIs, while ranking first on the squad in triples (three) and second in homers (five).

On the mound, Nebraska has a new pitching coach - Eric Newman, formerly the head coach at Dallas Baptist - and a youthful staff, as eight pitchers off the 2007 staff were plucked in last June’s draft. Senior right-hander Johnny Dorn anchors the NU hurlers, after going 10-3 in 16 starts a year ago, highlighted by a complete-game win with 12 strikeouts against UC Riverside in the NCAA Regional. He is the only starter back from Nebraska’s weekend rotation.

Leading Off
•-Nebraska is 5-0 in season openers under Head Coach Mike Anderson and has won its last six season openers, dating back to a 13-inning victory over New Mexico in 2002.

•-Nebraska’s trip to Stanford marks the Huskers’ first-ever season-opening trip to California. Under Mike Anderson, the Huskers have begun seasons in five states (Texas, New Mexico, Hawaii, South Carolina and California) over the last six years.

•-Thad Weber’s start on Friday will mark the first time since 2002 that a right-hander has started the season opener. In fact, Nebraska has started a southpaw in seven of the previous eight seasons.

•-Of the 31 players on this weekend’s travel roster, 19 could see their first action as Huskers, including nine true freshmen and four redshirt freshmen. With that many freshmen on the travel roster, there is a strong possibility that NU could have more than one freshman in the opening day lineup for the first time since 1999. Under Mike Anderson, three true freshmen have started the season opener, most recently DJ Belfonte in 2007.

•-Since the NCAA went to the 64-team format in 1999, Nebraska has made eight tournament appearances, which ties for eighth nationally. The only teams to make more appearances tham Nebraska in that span are Cal State Fullerton, Clemson, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Oral Roberts, Rice and Texas.

•-Nebraska has won 86 straight games when taking a lead into the ninth inning dating back to the 2005 campaign, and is 183-3 (.984) when leading after eight innings since the start of the 2003 season.

•-Nebraska’s trip to Stanford this weekend is the first time the Huskers have visted a Pac-10 school during the regular season since a two-game series at Arizona State in 1987.

•-This weekend’s trip to Stanford is a homecoming for pitcher Joe Hatasaki, who is from Mountain View, Calif. Hatasaki joined the program in January after pitching as a true freshman at Arizona State.

Enjoying the Great Indoors
The Huskers have a case of cabin fever they will hope to shake this weekend. Nebraska has been exclusively indoors since opening practice on Feb. 1 - a total of 17 workouts, including Wednesday. The Huskers will travel to California on Thursday morning and are scheduled to practice outdoors for the first time Thursday afternoon.

For the past two years, the Huskers have been able to work out in the Hawks Championship Center, an 81,200-square foot facility which was completed in 2006. The building, which is connected to Memorial Stadium by an indoor skywalk, includes room for a full football field and a championship wing that includes hitting cages for the baseball and softball programs.

The 2008 season will mark the third time in six years the Huskers have not gotten outdoors before departing Lincoln. The good news is that NU is a combined 6-1 on the opening weekend in those instances, including a 3-1 record last year.

Scouting Stanford
Under the guidance of long-time head coach Mark Marquess, Stanford has been among the nation’s most consistent programs. The Cardinal have reached the College World Series 13 times in his 31 years at Stanford, including five straight appearances in Omaha earlier this decade, and national titles in 1987 and 1988. In 2007, Stanford missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 14 years, but closed the campaign by winning nine of its last 10 games to post a 28-28 mark.

For the Cardinal, the bulk of their roster is back, as the 2008 Stanford squad features 22 letterwinners, including 14 pitchers and seven everyday starters. Outfielder Sean Ratliff returns to pace the Cardinal offense, hitting .339 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs a year ago. He is one of three Stanford players in Baseball America’s top-100 draft prospects for 2008, joining pitcher Jeremy Bleich and utility player Jason Castro. On the mound, Stanford brings back 14 of its 15 pitchers who threw last year, although none of the returnees had more than four wins last season.

Series History: Stanford leads the series, 4-1, and has won the last two meetings. This weekend’s series will mark the first time the two teams have met in the regular season since 1993.

Huskers Tabbed for Sixth in Big 12
The Nebraska baseball team was picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 by a vote of the league coaches released on Feb. 20. The Huskers, coming off a season where they went 32-27 and reached the finals of the NCAA Tempe Regional, totaled 36 points in voting.

Nebraska returns six everyday starters, including All-Big 12 designated hitter Jeff Tezak, who hit a team-high .336 last season. Other returning starters include catcher Mitch Abeita, second baseman Jake Opitz, third baseman Craig Corriston and outfielders Bryce Nimmo and DJ Belfonte. The Husker pitching staff is led by senior All-American right-hander Johnny Dorn, who has compiled a 31-9 record during his Husker career.

Texas was the choice of the league’s coaches, garnering 80 points in the preseason voting and eight of the 10 first-pace votes. Missouri (71) and Baylor (65) received the other two votes, as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. The rest of the order was Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Tech.

Huskers to Be Tested Again in 2008
An impressive home schedule, 27 games against NCAA Tournament teams and a season-opening trip to national power Stanford highlight the 2008 Nebraska baseball schedule. The Huskers will be tested against a slate that features five teams – Arkansas, Texas, Wichita State, Texas A&M and Missouri – which were No. 1 seeds in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

The 55-game regular-season schedule includes 32 home games, including a four-game series with NCAA qualifier UC Riverside to open the home schedule on Feb. 29. Other marquee non-conference tilts include a two-game series with SEC power Arkansas (March 18-19), a three-game series against Louisiana-Lafayette (May 2-4) and single games against Wichita State (April 15) and Creighton (April 22).

In 2007, the Huskers’ strength of schedule ranked sixth nationally, as Nebraska played 29 of its 59 games against teams that made the NCAA Tournament.

Chart Climbing
•-Head Coach Mike Anderson enters the 2008 opener needing one win to move into sole possession of third place on Nebraska’s all-time wins list.

•-Anderson also begins the season in 10th place in winning percentage among all active coaches. He joins Texas’ Augie Garrido as the only two Big 12 coaches among the top-10 nationally in winning percentage.

•-Johnny Dorn begins the 2008 season within striking distance of a couple of milestones. He is already in second place on Nebraska’s career wins list with 31, a total that leads all returning pitchers nationally.

•-Jake Opitz is quickly climbing Nebraska’s career list for assists. A three-year starter at second base, Opitz begins his senior year in sixth place and needs only 35 assists to climb into fifth place.
•-Bryce Nimmo looks to become just the second Husker to lead Nebraska in stolen bases for three straight years, joining former Major Leaguer Ken Ramos, who paced NU in stolen bases from 1987 to 1989.

Dorn Climbs Husker Win List
With his win against UC Riverside in his final start of 2007, Johnny Dorn moved into sole possession of second place on NU’s career wins chart with 31. The right-hander from Grand Island also moved on to the Huskers’ top-10 lists in both career strikeouts and innings pitched to begin his senior year.

Of Dorn’s 31 career wins, 10 have been in Big 12 series clinchers over the past three seasons. He has had 14 chances to win a conference series in his career, and has won 10 of them, including five as a freshman when he went 12-2 en route to All-America honors.

The Coaching Staff
Nebraska shuffled its coaching staff in the offseason, adding pitching coach Eric Newman, while shifting Dave Bingham over to handle the Huskers’ defensive efforts. The three full-time coaches on the Nebraska staff have combined for over 1,100 wins.

Dave Bingham - Serves as the Huskers’ defensive coordinator, overseeing team defense and working with the Husker infielders. Bingham served as an assistant to Stanford Head Coach Mark Marquess on the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team. The pair also assisted on the 1984 U.S. Olympic staff.

Eric Newman - Begins his first season as Nebraska’s pitching coach after serving as the head coach at Dallas Baptist the past three seasons. Newman, who compiled a 95-72 record at DBU, is a California native who pitched collegiately at both Fresno State and Texas Tech.

Nate Thompson - Begins his first season as Nebraska’s volunteer coach and works primarily with the infielders and assists with the hitters. Thompson comes to NU after serving as an assistant coach at Fort Hays State in 2007. He played for Coach Newman at Dallas Baptist and was a student assistant at the school in 2006.

Husker Baseball: Giving Back
The Husker baseball program has been active in the community during the 2007-08 academic year. Starting with the Paint-a-thon in August, the Nebraska baseball team has done over 400 hours in community service projects this year.

•-During the Christmas break, players and coaches combined for over 250 hours of community service projects, working with various groups in their hometowns. Some of the projects included working with local law enforcement in translating languages, cleaning community centers and raising money for Food Banks.

•-On Jan. 25, 2008, the Nebraska baseball program hosted Baseball 101, a day of actitives to help fans learn more about the sport. The one-day clinic had over 100 participants and raised over $10,000 for a literacy center in Lincoln.

Six Draftees on 2008 Husker Roster

Nebraska’s 2008 roster boasts a total of six Huskers who have been previously selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Four of the players were picked in last year’s draft, including Thad Weber, who was chosen in the 35th round, but elected to return for his senior year.

Huskers Feature Players from 12 States
The 34 members of the 2008 roster hail from 12 states from coast to coast. There are a total of 12 players from Nebraska on the roster, including six from the Omaha metro area and two from Lincoln.

Husker Baseball on Television
The Husker baseball program will make at least eight appearances on television during the 2008 season. The broadcast schedule featured five games produced by Nebraska Educational Television (NET and NET-HD) as well as nationally televised games as part of the Big 12’s television package. Nebraska’s first TV appearance of the year will be on Saturday, March 29, as the Huskers head to Austin, Texas, for a contest against the Longhorns.

Husker Home Run Club Bus Trips
Make your plans now to join the Husker Home Run Club for a pair of bus trips during the season. The first bus trip takes place on April 12-13, for a trek to Oklahoma State, with the second one on May 17-18 for the Huskers’ regular-season finale at Missouri. Both packages include roundtrip transportation, selected meals, a hotel room and tickets to both of Nebraska’s games that weekend.

For more information and prices, contact Ed Bolejack at (402) 476-4990 or Erich Helge at (402) 643-5403 or visit

Making the Grade by Baseball AmericaAs part of Baseball America’s preview, the publication graded the schools in the top eight conferences (ACC, SEC, Big 12, Pac-10, Big Ten, Big East, Big West and C-USA) in four areas - national impact, competitiveness, fans and facilities and academics - during the 64-team NCAA era.

Nebraska was one of 16 programs to receive an A from the publication and joined Texas as the only two Big 12 programs to receive an A. As a conference, the Big 12 tied the ACC for second place in that era.

Single-Game Tickets Now on Sale
Single-game general admission tickets for Husker baseball home games are now on sale. General admission tickets for all regular-season home games this season are $7 for adults and $5 for youth in high school or younger or for senior citizens ages 60 or older. General admission tickets are free for children ages six and younger along with UNL students (with a valid student ID).

The 2008 schedule includes Big 12 home series against Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas and Texas A&M, as well as non-conference series against Louisiana-Lafayette, UC Riverside and Northern Colorado. Other single-games on the schedule include matchups with NCAA qualifiers Creighton and Wichita State, as well as contests against Nebraska-Kearney and Western Illinois.

16 Huskers Named to Big 12 Honor Roll
A total of 16 current or former Husker baseball players were named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll last week. The group is led by Bryce Nimmo and Nick Sullivan, both of whom made their seventh consecutive appearances on the honor roll. As a team, the Huskers recorded a 2.95 team GPA during the fall semester, their best performance in Mike Anderson’s six years as head coach at NU The 16 Husker baseball players were among the 298 athletes across all sports to earn spots on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll during the 2007 fall semester.


Aleks Maric finished with 15 points and a season-high 17 rebounds in posting his seventh double-double in a row.

Lincoln – Aleks Maric collected his seventh straight double-double and Steve Harley scored a career-high 20 points to lead Nebraska past 24th-ranked Kansas State, 71-64 in front of nearly 10,000 fans Wednesday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Maric hit 5-of-8 shots from the field on his way to 15 points, but his two biggest shots of the game came at the free-throw line, where Maric calmly sank both ends of a 1-and-1 to give Nebraska a 68-64 lead with 32.1 seconds remaining. Harley, who drilled 9-of-12 from the field, also added a pair of late free throws that accounted for the final margin.

To go along with his 15 points, Maric also pulled down a season-high 17 rebounds as he dueled against another of the top big men in the country in Kansas State's Michael Beasley. Beasley also recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, but he took seven more shots than Maric.

With the win, Nebraska's second over a ranked squad this season, the Huskers improved to 15-9 on the season and 4-7 in the Big 12 Conference. K-State, which entered the game one-half game out of first place in the league, fell to 18-7 and 8-3.

The Huskers shot a blistering 56.5 percent from the field in the second half and finished at 51.9 percent for the game, the second-best mark of the season and easily Nebraska's best shooting performance in conference play. NU also knocked down 13-of-17 from the charity stripe, including 6-of-8 down the stretch, a key stat considering Nebraska went the final 5:08 without hitting a field goal.


Kelsey Griffin scored points and had seven rebounds at Kansas on Sunday.

Lawrence, Kan. - Nebraska overcame a nine-point second-half deficit to take a three-point lead with 2:47 left, but Kansas rallied for a 62-61 win on a Danielle McCray free throw with 1.4 seconds left at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Huskers, who slipped to 17-8 overall and 6-5 in the Big 12, hit just 17-of-34 free throws in the game, while the Jayhawks converted 10-of-13 free throw attempts, including an intentional miss by McCray to end the game. The Jayhawks improved to 15-9 overall and 4-7 in the league.

Kelsey Grffin led the Huskers with 13 points and seven rebounds, despite playing just 24 minutes because of first-half foul trouble. Yvonne Turner added 11 points in just 20 minutes, after also being strapped with two early fouls in the game. Cory Montgomery added eight points and five rebounds, despite picking up three first-half fouls.

Nebraska, which entered the game leading the Big 12 in free throw shooting in conference play and hit 30-of-32 free throws in a 71-51 win over the Jayhawks in Lincoln on Jan. 12, struggled at the line for the first 34 minutes. NU hit just 9-of-24 free throws before hitting 8-of-10 in the final six minutes.


Darcy Rutherford led NU with a .333 average last weekend while hitting second in the order.

The Nebraska softball team ventures into the Bluegrass State for the first time in the 33-year history of the program this weekend, as the Huskers travel to Louisville, Ky., for a revised Cardinal Classic.

Originally scheduled as a four-team, round-robin format tournament, the schedule has been altered and will feature only Nebraska and Mississippi, along with host Louisville. Northern Illinois was also scheduled to compete, but the Huskies will instead stay home as part of a campus-wide "Week of Healing" to help the university community deal with the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of five people on Feb. 14.

Forecasted bad weather also forced the cancellation of Friday’s games, as the revamped schedule has Nebraska playing both Louisville and Ole Miss on both Saturday and Sunday for a total of four games on the weekend. Live stats will be available for all games this weekend, while live, pay video will be available when the Huskers play Louisville through

NU hopes its first trip to Kentucky brings better results than last weekend, when the Huskers finished with a 1-4 record. Despite the record, a young and injured Nebraska squad was able to take some positives from a grueling schedule that included two games against teams ranked in the top six of the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll.

Nebraska opened the tournament with a 6-1 loss to traditional power Cal, although the Huskers were down just 2-1 before the Bears pulled away late. Nebraska then used three early runs and a clutch pinch-hit, two-run single from junior Amanda Duran to post a 5-3 victory over Idaho State. Freshman right-hander Tori Tyson earned the victory in her first career start, while sophomore right-hander Alex Hupp picked up her first career save.

The next day would prove more difficult for the Huskers, as they were run-ruled for the first time in 235 games in a 9-0 loss at fifth-ranked Arizona State. Nebraska then fell behind early in a 7-3 loss to Memphis before rebounding with a terrific effort against unbeaten and sixth-ranked Northwestern on Sunday.

Against the Wildcats, Tyson had a solid outing, allowing just three earned runs against a team that entered the game averaging 10 runs per game. The Husker offense also began to find its stride, as juniors Crystal Carwile and Haley Long hit a pair of two-run homers in the seventh inning to erase a 4-2 deficit and put Nebraska in front 6-4.

Northwestern immediately rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to earn an 8-6 victory, but NU’s effort in that contest showed glimpses of the Huskers’ potential.

Nebraska was without two players last weekend, while junior Brittany Pascale saw limited duty while continuing to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. The Huskers get ace right-hander Molly Hill back in a limited capacity this weekend and sophomore infielder Whitney Barrett is nearing her return as well.

Visit our Bay Area Huskers website for additional Husker information, Links, Upcoming Events, Past Events, Watch Sites, and the Schedule of Games. Also order Merchandise online, and get information on Husker Scholarships. Check out the History of the Huskers and meet our Directors.

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