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Regional preview: Nebraska

No. 2 seed Nebraska will be a bear to oust this weekend in Stillwater.



The Pokes will deal with a familiar foe when Nebraska visits for the Stillwater Regional. Here’s a look at the Cornhuskers:

Team Info

Location: Lincoln, NE
Record: 40-19
Conference: Big 10
How they got here: Nebraska earned one of the 33 at-large bids by winning 40 games, including 15 against the RPI top 100. The Cornhuskers also made it to the Big 10 Championship game, where they lost to top-seeded Indiana.

About The Cornhuskers

This year’s squad is a well-rounded team. They aren’t going to wow you with power or speed, but they are a quality club who doesn’t beat themselves. Six different players hit at least .300, and another six have scored more than 30 runs this season. Second baseman Pat Kelly (.312, 4 HR, 55 RBI) and left fielder Michael Pritchard (.311, 3 HR, 46 RBI) know how to capitalize with runners in scoring position, with Pritchard hitting 21 doubles this season.

The ace of the pitching staff is Chance Sinclair, who is 9-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 15 starts this season. They also have two great bullpen guys in Zach Hirsch (4-1, 1.32 ERA in 47.2 IP) and Josh Roeder (3-1, 2.70 ERA, 12 SV). This is also one of the best fielding teams in the nation, committing just 54 errors all year.

About The Coach

Not many teams can say they have a two-time MLB All-Star as a head coach, but the Huskers are one of them. Darin Erstad spent 14 years in the majors with the Angels, White Sox and Astros, hitting 124 home runs with 699 RBIs. After he retired, he returned to his alma mater to become the hitting coach, and was promoted to head coach a year later.

Helping in the transition from the Big 12 to the Big 10, Erstad has brought relevance back to the Nebraska program. In three years, he is 104-72, and this year marks the first time since 2008 the Huskers have played in a Regional.

About The Program

Founded in 1869, the Nebraska baseball program has been around for a while. It wasn’t until the turn of the 21st century it had success though. Since 1999, the Huskers have made a regional 10 times, including five straight from 1999-2003. There are also three Big 12 regular-season titles and four tournament titles, but no such luck since joining the Big 10.

Nebraska has made it to the College World Series three times – 2001, 2002 and 2005. However, they are just 1-6 in Omaha, with the lone win coming in 2005.

All-Time Series

Against Oklahoma State: 76-119 (Most recent: Lost two of three in April 2010)
Against Cal State Fullerton: 0-6 (Most recent: Swept in four-game series in 2013)
Against Binghamton: 0-0 

Fun Fact

I’ve got two for you: Nebraska is responsible for the most lopsided win in NCAA history, beating Chicago State 50-3 in 1999. That game was called after seven innings because, you know, let’s have some mercy.

Also, Nebraska fans like to travel. Don’t believe me? Check this out from the Big 10 Tournament.

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