Husker BaseballLincoln, NE - The Huskers (34-8-1, 15-5-1) took both games of a midweek series with the Western Illinois Leathernecks 6-4 and 6-1.  The first win gave the Huskers 1 more win than last year’s season mark of 32, with 10 regular season games, a Big XII tourney and NCAA tourney left, the Huskers look set to win 40 games for the 3rd time in the last 4 seasons.

In the 1st game, the young guys really stepped up in a big way.  Freshman shortstop Ben Kline from Omaha Central hit a bases-loaded single in the 6th to give the Huskers the lead they would not relent.  Freshman pitcher Casey Hauptman from Millard South pitched a career high 4 innings and gave up just 2 hits to get his first career win.  Freshman reliever Mike Nesseth pitched a perfect 9th inning for his 4th save of the year.

In the 2nd game, Husker pitcher Erik Bird got the start and pitched 5 scoreless innings to notch his 4th win of the year.  Freshman 1st baseman Tyler Farst got things going for the offense in the 3rd when he drilled a 2-RBI double off the base of the wall with the bases loaded and just 1 out. After DJ Belfonte was hit by a pitch, Nick Sullivan was hit by a pitch to score another run.

Weekend starter Aaron Pribanic came in for 2 innings of perfect relief, perhaps a sign that Mike Anderson might be considering using lefty Dan Jennings for the Sunday start this weekend since Pribanic has struggled as of late.

The Huskers take on Louisiana-Lafayette for a three game series this weekend starting Friday at 6:35 followed up by a double-header on Saturday at 12:05pm and 6:35pm.

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NebraskaThe NFL Draft happened over the weekend and only three Husker players were drafted.  Sure shows you what NFL staffs thought of the players that Nebraska has had lately… Not very much talent they thought.

Zack Bowman was the first Husker picked as he went in the 5th round to the Chicago Bears.  They Bears said they drafted Bowman hoping that he would be 100% over his knee injuries and back to the he had during his junior season.

Carl Nicks was drafted in the 5th round as well as he went to the New Orleans Saints.  Nicks was once thought to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick but slipped to the 5th round.  You have to think that his off the field incident and not being able to work out at the Nebraska Pro Day really hurt his stock.

Bo Rudd was picked up by the New England Patriots in the 6th round.  Rudd will have to really impress the Patriots during mini camps if he wants to make the team.

So far three other Huskers have signed free agent contracts.  Steve Octavien with the Kansas City Chiefs, Courtney Grixby with the Carolina Panthers, and Lance Brandenburgh with the San Francisco 49ers.  Brett Byford has signed on with the New York Jets.

Maurice Purify will take part of the Cincinnati Bengals mini camp but has not signed a contract.  The same deal with Corey McKeon who will take part in Tampa Bay Bucs minicamp and Tierre Green who will take part in Green Bay Packers mini camp.  We have also learned that Frantz Hardy has signed with the Philedelphia Eagles.

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Husker BaseballWaco, TX - The Huskers (32-7-1, 15-4-1)  pounded the Baylor Bears in the nightcap of Saturday’s double header 14-1.  The win clinched the series win for the Huskers, their first ever series win in Waco since the inception of the Big XII.  In fact, going into today, they had only won 1 game in Waco in 13 attempts.

Thad Weber pitched a great game for the Huskers, keeping the Bears at bay while the offense had their way.  He threw a complete game in the 10-run rule shortened game, a rule for the Big XII reserved for the 2nd game of a double header and Sunday ‘getaway’ games.  He scattered 4 hits over 7 innings and struck out 4.  He allowed just 1 hit over the final 5 innings and struck out the side for the final inning.

The Huskers would give him all the padding he needed when they bolted out to a 7-run first inning.  Started off with a Jake Opitz double that scored Nimmo and Mort.

Opitz led the way for the Husker offense scoring 3 times and knocking in 4 RBIs, including a 2-run bomb in the top of the 5th over the right field wall.  DJ Belfonte continued to battle back since being dropped in the lineup in favor of Bryce Nimmo.  He chipped in a 2 for 2 day with 3 RBIs and scored a run. 

The Huskers will go for the sweep tomorrow at 1:00pm with Junior Aaron Pribanic on the Hill.  The win allows the Huskers to stay just 1 1/2 games behind Big XII leading Texas A&M who has won 14 straight Big XII games.

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Husker BaseballWaco, TX - The Huskers (31-7-1, 14-4-1) haven’t had very much luck in Waco for a long time.  Before today the Huskers were an abysmal 1-12 in Waco, easily their worst record at any Big XII destination.  The first game threatened to continue that aweful trend, when Baylor hit a dramatic 2-run home run of reliever Dan Jennings to tie the game with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th.  However, DJ Belfonte knocked in 2 go ahead runs for the 2nd time late in the game for the 6-4 win in the first half of the double header.

In an all to common trend, Johnny Dorn was excellent, but still failed to get the decision.  He pitched 7 innings, gave up just 4 hits and walked 3 while striking out 7.  He allowed 2 runs to score, both in the Baylor 5th, the only inning where he seem to face any trouble.  Dorn was in position to earn the win, when DJ Belfonte knocked in two runs in the 8th just before Dorn was lifted.

The Huskers took the early lead in the 2nd inning when Craig Corriston launched a 3-1 pitch over the left field wall.  After the Bears took the 2-1 lead in the 5th, Corriston singled home a run to tie it up again.

After the dramatic comeback in the 9th by the Bears, DJ Belfonte did it again, grounding a single up the middle in the 10th scoring Jake Opitz and Nick Sullivan for the final advantage.

Mike Nesseth earned the win, who came in to relieve Dan Jennings in the 9th and Zach Herr earned his 4th save allowing just 1 hit in the 10th.

The Huskers and Bears finish up the double header in the nightcap as the Huskers try to get their first ever series win in Waco.

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Husker BaseballWaco, TX - The opening game of the Nebraska vs Baylor series was postponed due to rain Friday until Saturday at 2:00 pm.  The Huskers will still start Johnny dorn, as they look to improve their 1-12 record in Waco since the formation of the Big XII.

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NebraskaThe Nebraska Football team has got their second commitment in the 2009 class.  Shawn Bodtmann, a 6-foot, 208-pounder, attended the NU spring game last weekend and left impressed with the Huskers’ facilities and fan support.

Bodtmann will be playing at one of the linebacker positions, depending on how much weight he puts on.  Definately look for Bodtmann to redshirt his first year in the program.

The Huskers have also offered Bodtmann’s teammate Eric Shrive, a 6-foot-7, 298-pound offensive tackle so they are hoping to get two players out of Pennsylvania for the 09 class.

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Husker BaseballLincoln, NE - The Huskers (29-7-1, 13-4-1) couldn’t get much going against Creighton starter Greg Hellhake.  They managed just 4 hits and 0 runs in his 5 innings.  When Creighton went to the bullpen in the 6th, the Huskers took advantage and scored all their runs in a 4-3 victory in that frame.

Jake Mort opened the frame with a base hit up the middle and moved up to 2nd on a wild pitch.  Two batters later, Senior Catcher Mitch Abeita singled to left, scoring Mort to tie up the game at 1 apiece.  Even though Nick Sullivan popped out on the next play, the Huskers weren’t done.  After and Abeita steal, Creighton intentionally walked Craig Corriston to setup the force out.   Unfortunately, Creighton’s Jeremy Hauer couldn’t find his control, walking DJ Belfonte. 

Creighton brought in T.J. Roemmich who plunked Freshman left fielder Dan Johnston to give the Huskers their first and final lead.  After another pitching change, freshman Ben Kline singled home Belfonte and Corriston to extend the lead to 4-1.

It was a good thing for the Huskers too, because the next inning, Junior Nick Nordgren parked a 1-0 Erik Anderson pitch in the left-center berms to trim the lead to one.

On the mound, the Huskers got yet another excellent outing from Junior Dan Jennings.  Although his 30-inning scoreless streak ended in the 4th, he pitched 6 solid innings, walked 1, and gave up just 3 hits while striking out 5.  Zach Herr and Mike Nesseth combined to closeout the game with Nesseth earning his 4th save of the year.

The Huskers and Bluejays both make the 50-mile trek up I-80 for tomorrow night’s game as the two teams make up for the weather postponed contest on April 1st.  First pitch is set for 6:35pm and the Huskers send Erik Bird to the mound, fresh off his brilliant performance against top 10 Wichita State Shockers last week.

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