Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball
|Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball|
|Overall record||2,229–1,633–19 (.577)|
|Head coach||Will Bolt (2nd season)|
|Home stadium||Hawks Field |
|Colors||Scarlet and Cream|
|College World Series appearances|
|2001, 2002, 2005|
|NCAA regional champions|
|2000, 2001, 2002, 2005|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1948, 1950, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019|
|Conference tournament champions|
|1999, 2000, 2001, 2005|
|1929, 1948, 1950, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2017|
Nebraska has been to 17 NCAA baseball tournaments and advanced to four super regionals (2000–02, 2005) and three College World Series (2001, 2002, 2005). The Cornhuskers have won seven regular season conference championships (1929, 1948, 1950, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2017) and four conference tournament championships (1999–2001, 2005). They have had eighteen 40-win seasons, including nine since 1999, as well as three 50-win seasons. The Cornhuskers won the program's first Big Ten championship in 2017.
Nebraska's baseball program began in 1889 as the "Old Gold Knights". College Football Hall of Fame head coach Eddie N. Robinson led the team for a single year in 1897. NU experienced little success until Tony Sharpe was hired in 1947. Sharpe led the Cornhuskers to the NCAA District Playoffs, an early iteration of the NCAA Tournament, in 1948 and 1950. The latter of these seasons was Nebraska's last regular season conference championship until 2001. Sharpe's tenure as head coach lasted 31 years, though his program did not reach the NCAA Tournament again.
John Sanders (1978–97)Edit
John Sanders compiled a 767–453–1 record in his 20 years. He had only two losing seasons, including his final one. He produced three NCAA Tournament teams, making his first appearance in 1979 and following with postseason berths in 1980 and 1985. Sanders' final year leading the Cornhuskers was 1997, when the program transitioned from the Big Eight into the Big 12. He was fired following the season.
Dave Van Horn (1998–02)Edit
Dave Van Horn was hired just 35 days before the 1998 season. In his second season, the Cornhuskers won the program's first conference tournament title, and first championship of any kind since 1950. NU reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1985, finishing the season 42–18. The following season, behind Big 12 Player of the Year Shane Komine, Nebraska advanced to a super regional for the first time, but fell one game short of the College World Series.
Nebraska began the 2001 season ranked in the top ten for the first time in school history. A 13-game win streak propelled NU to a No. 4 national ranking, its highest ever, and the program's first regular-season conference title since 1950. Nebraska went 4–0 in the Big 12 Tournament to win it for the third consecutive year, becoming the first team in the Big 12's short history to win the regular-season and tournament title in the same season. The Cornhuskers earned the No. 8 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and hosted a regional for the first time in school history, defeating Northern Iowa and Rutgers. They advanced to a super regional and swept Rice to avenge a 16–2 loss in the season's first game. In the school's first College World Series appearance, Nebraska lost consecutive one-run games to top-ranked Cal State Fullerton and fifth-ranked Tulane. NU finished 2001 50–16, their second straight 50-win season. The Cornhuskers were 23–4 at home, including victories in the final nine games at Buck Beltzer Stadium. Shane Komine earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season and Van Horn was named Baseball America National Coach of the Year.
The University of Nebraska opened Haymarket Park in 2002, a multi-use facility including stadiums for baseball and softball. The Cornhuskers swept seven teams during the season, including an 11-game win streak that ended with a loss to Texas in the Big 12 Tournament final. Dave Van Horn won his 200th game at Nebraska with a 4–3 win over Cal Poly on May 10, and Jed Morris became the first catcher in school history to earn All-America honors. Nebraska advanced through a regional for the third straight year, before hosting Richmond in a super regional. NU defeated the Spiders in three games to advance to Omaha for the second straight season, but lost to Clemson and South Carolina in the College World Series.
After the 2002 season, Van Horn accepted the head coaching position at Arkansas, his alma mater. Van Horn departed Nebraska with a record of 214–92 and three straight Big 12 Tournament championships in his five-year tenure. He posted a 16–3 mark in four years of conference tournament play and a 15–9 record in the NCAA Tournament.
Mike Anderson (2003–11)Edit
Longtime assistant coach Mike Anderson was named head coach after Van Horn's departure. Despite being picked fourth in the Big 12 in Anderson's first year, Nebraska lost just one conference series, going 20–7 and winning the Big 12 again. The Cornhuskers hosted a regional but were eliminated by Southwestern Missouri State, ending the season 47-18. Alex Gordon earned Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors and was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year. In 2004, NU fell to eighth in the Big 12 and failed to win 40 games for the first time since 1998, missing the NCAA Tournament entirely.
Anderson's third season as head coach ultimately became the best team in program history. Nebraska started the season with a five-game sweep of Hawaii-Hilo, and followed by winning 20 of 23 games. NU lost just one conference series and won the Big 12 regular season and tournament championships. The Huskers were named the national No. 5 seed and swept through the regional and super regional, defeating Miami to advance to the College World Series for the third time in five years. The Cornhuskers defeated Arizona State for the first College World Series win in program history, but lost the next two games and were eliminated. Nebraska's 57 wins, including 33 at home, were the most in the country and a school record. Led by Johnny Dorn and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Joba Chamberlain, NU ranked second nationally in ERA, and Alex Gordon won the Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur baseball player in the country.
Nebraska spent much of the 2006 season in the top five nationally, and were ranked as high as No. 2, but lost eight of their last 11 regular season games. They hosted a regional but were upset in back-to-back games. Despite starting the season ranked ninth nationally in 2007, NU finished just fourth in the Big 12 and were eliminated a game short of reaching a super regional. NU lost eight pitchers to the MLB draft prior to 2008, and despite a 14-game winning streak helping the young team reach No. 5 in the country, the Huskers again lost in a home regional. After the loss of several key players, including star pitcher Johnny Dorn, following the 2008 season, Anderson did not return to the NCAA Tournament as NU's head coach. Anderson was fired after missing the postseason entirely in each of his last three seasons, and he departed NU with a 337–196–2 record across nine seasons.
Darin Erstad (2012–19)Edit
Before Nebraska began its first season in the Big Ten in 2012, the school hired former Husker and Major League All-Star Darin Erstad as head coach, after he spent one season as a volunteer assistant coach. A few days later, Ted Silva was hired as Erstad's pitching coach, and former Huskers Will Bolt and Jeff Christy were named assistants. The Huskers returned to the postseason for the first time in four years in Erstad's first season, qualifying for the Big Ten Tournament, but failed to make the NCAA Tournament.
Nebraska started the 2013 season 0–7, the program's worst start since 1976. On April 16, three NU pitchers combined to no-hit twelfth-ranked Arkansas, led by former Huskers head coach Dave Van Horn. Despite ending the season with the No. 31 RPI in the country, normally strong enough to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, NU's sub-.500 record disqualified them from consideration. After varying amount of success through Erstad's first several seasons, Nebraska won its first Big Ten title in 2017. A 16–7–1 conference record of record earned the Cornhuskers the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, but they lost to Maryland in the second round, and were quickly eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. Nebraska returned to the tournament in 2019, winning the opening game, but a late blown lead against Oklahoma State and a blowout loss to Connecticut again eliminated the Huskers. Erstad stepped down from his position as head coach following the 2019 season, citing his desire to spend time with his family.
Will Bolt (2020–present)Edit
On June 14, 2019 Will Bolt was named the 24th head coach of the Nebraska baseball program. Nebraska began Bolt's first season 7–8 before the remainder of the season was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
|Coach||Position||First year||Alma mater|
|Will Bolt||Head coach||2020||Nebraska|
|Lance Harvell||Assistant coach / Recruiting coordinator||2020||Texas A&M|
|Jeff Christy||Assistant coach||2020||Nebraska|
|Danny Marcuzzo||Volunteer assistant / Camp coordinator||2020||Western Illinois|
|Tanner Lubach||Director of player personnel||2020||Nebraska|
|Curtis Ledbetter||Director of operations||2010||Nebraska|
From 1979 through 2001, the Cornhuskers played at Buck Beltzer Stadium, where they went 527–137. Buck Beltzer seated 1,500 and had an AstroTurf infield and grass outfield. The stadium was shoehorned into a very tight space; right field was adjacent to the south end zone of Memorial Stadium, and first base was across a frontage road from an overpass leading to Interstate 180. The final game at Buck Beltzer was on June 2, 2001, when the Cornhuskers completed a sweep of Rice to win an NCAA super regional and advance to the College World Series for the first time.
On July 30, 1999 the University of Nebraska–Lincoln announced plans for a new baseball facility, Haymarket Park, which included both Hawks Field and a softball stadium. Hawks Field is named after one of the primary donors that contributed to its construction, and the entire facility is named because of its location in Lincoln's historic Haymarket District. The park opened on March 5, 2002, a 23–1 Nebraska win over UNK. Nebraska is 18–1 in home openers at Hawks Field, but saw its streak of 40 consecutive home-opening wins end in 2018.
Hawks Field is often listed among the finest ballparks in college baseball. Its capacity is 8,500, with 4,500 seats and berms in the outfield. Hawks Field is the first collegiate venue to use the SubAir system to heat and cool the field year-round, and was selected as the best playing surface in the country in each of its first six years. In 2003 and 2007, Hawks Field won the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) Collegiate Baseball Field of the Year Award, the only park to win the award multiple times. Nebraska has ranked in the national top 25 in average attendance every year at Hawks Field. An LED videoboard was installed in 2012 which nearly tripled the size and resolution of the ballpark's original video screen. The widescreen display is 17 feet tall and 34 feet wide.
Alex Gordon Training Complex
The $4.75 million Alex Gordon Training Complex is designed to allow Nebraska's baseball and softball teams to practice year-round. It has 18,000 square feet of practice space and can be configured to include as many as six batting cages. The cages can also be retracted to open up the space for live game simulation and batting practice.
Nebraska and Creighton have competed in an in-state rivalry since their first meeting in 1902, a 9–3 Nebraska win. The Huskers and Bluejays play a three-game non-consecutive series each year, switching venues for each game. Creighton originally played home games at the Creighton Sports Complex and occasionally Rosenblatt Stadium, and now plays at TD Ameritrade Park. The Huskers defeated the Bluejays 2–1 in the first game between the teams at TD Ameritrade on April 19, 2011. Nebraska leads the series 72–48–2.
Nebraska also competes in a smaller in-state rivalry with Nebraska–Omaha. The Cornhuskers and Mavericks play a two-game non-consecutive series each year.
Nebraska 1, Kansas 0 (April 20, 1954)
|WP: Richard Geier LP: John Brose|
Richard Geier threw the first perfect game in Nebraska baseball history against Kansas on April 20, 1954. Geier struck out 10 on his way to retiring 27 consecutive batters. The Cornhuskers scored the only run of the game in the fourth inning when shortstop Dirkes Rolston walked with the bases loaded to score center fielder James Cederdahl.
Nebraska 3, Kansas 0 (May 3, 1980)
|WP: Cliff Faust LP: Jim Hicks|
In Nebraska's May 3, 1980 victory over Kansas, pitcher Cliff Faust retired all 21 Jayhawks batters who came to the plate, the second perfect game in school history. Faust allowed only five balls hit out of the infield, including a sinking liner off the bat of Dick Lewallen that became the final out of the game when left fielder Joe Scherger made a diving catch.
Nebraska 50, Chicago State 3 (7 inn.) (March 16, 1999)
|WP: Jay Sirianni LP: Ryan Lardi|
After defeating Chicago State 15–3 in the first game of a March 16, 1999 doubleheader, Nebraska won the second game 50–3, setting NCAA records for runs scored (50), margin of victory (47), and RBIs (48). Afterward, reporters and coaches called from across the country to verify the score was correct.
Nebraska scored at least four runs in every inning until the game was called following the top of the seventh due to a 12-run mercy rule. Eight Huskers accounted for nine home runs in the game: two from Ken Harvey and one from Scott Larsen, Adam Stern, and Brian Kent. Besides setting national records for runs (50) and RBIs (48), NU set a school record with 35 hits and Harvey, Jim Bailey, and Craig Moore broke or tied individual school records. Harvey and Bailey each scored seven runs, while Moore became the third player in NU history to drive in ten runs in a game. Bailey, who only had two official at bats, walked five times to tie a school record originally set by football All-American Tom Novak. Nebraska scored 23 runs before the Cougars had a single base runner. Eleven Huskers had at least two hits and seven had at least three hits. Jay Sirianni earned the win by retiring Chicago State's first six batters of the game.
|No. 10 Texas||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||3|
|WP: Jeff Chestnut LP: Travis Duke|
Nebraska defeated tenth-ranked Texas on March 28, 2015, in a game that consisted of a mid-game no hitter, 12 total hits, one run, and 27 strikeouts. NU pitchers combined for 19 strikeouts, 3 walks, and 4 hits allowed across 15 scoreless innings, including a stretch of nine consecutive no-hit innings. Following the game, pitchers Kyle Kubat, Jake Hohensee, Colton Howell, and Jeff Chesnut were collectively honored as the Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week, the first time in NCAA history the award was given to four pitchers from the same school.
Nebraska had runners in scoring position in each of the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th innings, but were unable to score until Tanner Lubach scored on Austin Darby's walk-off single in the 15th. The following day the Huskers finished a sweep of the Longhorns, allowing just three runs in 33 innings over the course of the series.
Honors and awardsEdit
Major League playersEdit
|Cody Asche||2008–10||2013–17||PHI, CHW|
|Stan Bahnsen||1965||1966–82||NYY, CHW, OAK, MON, CAL, PHI|
|Troy Brohawn||1992–94||2001–03||ARI, SF, LAD|
|Andrew Brown||2006–07||2011–12||STL, COL|
|Tim Burke||1978–80||1985–92||MON, NYM, NYY|
|Bob Cerv||1947–50||1951–62||KCA, NYY, LAA, HOU|
|Joba Chamberlain||2005–06||2007–17||NYY, DET, KC, CLE|
|Brian Duensing||2002–05||2009–18||MIN, BAL, CHC|
|Darin Erstad||1993–95||1996–09||LAA, CHW, HOU|
|Kip Gross||1986||1990–93, 1999–00||CIN, LAD, BOS, HOU|
|Dan Johnson||2000–01||2005–08, 2010–12||OAK, TB, CHW|
|Ad Liska||1925||1929–33||WSH, PHI|
|Dave McDonald||1962||1969–71||NYY, MON|
|Gary Neibauer||1965–66||1969–73||ATL, PHI|
|Pete O'Brien||1978–79||1982–93||TEX, CLE, SEA|
|Todd Sears||1995–97||2002–03||MIN, SD|
|Bob Sebra||1981–83||1985–90||MON, TEX, PHI, MIL, CIN|
|Steve Stanicek||1980–82||1987, 1989||MIL, PHI|
|Adam Stern||1999–01||2005–07, 2010||BOS, BAL, MIL|
|Tony Watson||2004–07||2011–||PIT, LAD, SF|
Other noteworthy playersEdit
|NCAA record||Big 12 record||Big Ten record|
|At bats||10 (Jim Smith, Nov. 24, 1974)||294 (Jeff Leise, 2002)||966 (Matt Hopper, 2000–03)|
|At bats (9 inn.)||9 (two players, Mar. 29, 2013)|
|Runs||7 (Ken Harvey, Mar. 16, 1999)||100 (Ken Ramos, 1988)||246 (Matt Hopper, 2000–03)|
|Hits||6 (six times)||106 (two times)||338 (Matt Hopper, 2000–03)|
|Doubles||3 (16 times)||27 (Cody Asche, 2007)||56 (Will Bolt, 1999–02)|
|Triples||3 (two times)||9 (Shawn Buchanan, 1990)||21 (Shawn Buchanan, 1988–91)|
|Home runs||3 (four times)||25 (Dan Johnson, 2001)||64 (Matt Hopper 2000–03)|
|RBI||10 (two times)||90 (two times)||271 (Matt Hopper, 2000–03)|
|Walks||5 (two times)||91 (Bobby Benjamin, 1988)||223 (Bobby Benjamin, 1988–90)|
|Stolen bases||–||60 (Scott Hooper, 1984)||103 (Jeff Carter, 1982–85)|
|Batting avg||–||.478 (Ken Harvey, 1999)||.451 (Marc Sagmoen, 1992–93)|
|Slugging pct||–||.930 (Steve Stanicek, 1982)||.791 (Dan Johnson, 2000–01)|
|Innings pitched||13.0 (Dennis O'Doherty, Apr. 26, 1974)||131.2 (Shane Komine, 2001)||431.0 (Shane Komine, 1999–02)|
|Appearances||–||36 (Mike Bellows, 1994)||92 (Jeff Chestnut, 2013–16)|
|Starts||–||18 (two times)||59 (Shane Komine, 1999–02)|
|Complete games||–||9 (Troy Brohawn, 1993)||18 (Shane Komine, 1999–02)|
|Shutouts||–||4 (Jamie Rodrigue, 2000)||6 (Jamie Rodrigue, 2000–03)|
|Strikeouts||17 (two times)||159 (Shane Komine, 2000)||510 (Shane Komine, 1999–02)|
|ERA||–||1.29 (Bill McGuire, 1984)||1.78 (Ben Amaya, 1982–83)|
|Wins||–||14 (Shane Komine, 2001)||41 (Shane Komine, 1999–02)|
|Losses||–||8 (Pat Driscoll, 1997)||17 (Dan Buehrer, 1973–76)|
|Saves||–||16 (Brett Jensen, 2004)||33 (Josh Roeder, 2013–15)|
|At bats||77 (Apr. 26, 1974)||2,448 (2005)|
|Runs||50 (Apr. 16, 1999)||676 (1985)|
|Hits||35 (Apr. 16, 1999)||787 (2001)|
|Doubles||10 (Apr. 23, 2008)||154 (2002)|
|Triples||6 (Mar. 1, 1985)||38 (1980)|
|Home runs||9 (Apr. 16, 1999)||94 (1985)|
|Total Bases||73 (Apr. 16, 1999)||1,228 (1985)|
|Strikeouts||22 (Feb. 20, 2009)||454 (1997)|
|Walks||19 (two times)||565 (1988)|
|Stolen bases||13 (Mar. 16, 1995)||196 (1984)|
|Batting avg||–||.339 (1985)|
|Slugging pct||–||.548 (1985)|
|Complete games||–||31 (1980)|
|Fielding pct||–||.981 (2013)|
- The Power of Color (PDF). Nebraska Athletics Brand Guide. July 1, 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
- "Van Horn set standard for NU". The Grand Island Independent. Archived from the original on October 1, 2002. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "2001 College World Series". Huskers.com. June 30, 2001. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "First College World Series". Huskers.com. June 5, 2001. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "Huskers Journey to Omaha for 2002 CWS". Huskers.com. June 11, 2002. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "2003 Season in Review". Huskers.com. July 1, 2001. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "Huskers Head to Big 12 Tournament". Huskers.com. May 24, 2004. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "Baseball Wraps up Historic Season". Huskers.com. June 23, 2005. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- McKeever, Curt (July 12, 2007). "Anderson pleased, but not satisfied, with season". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "2008 Big 12 Baseball Postseason Awards Announced". Big 12 Sports. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "Dorn Earns Third-Team All-America Honors". Huskers.com. May 20, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "Osborne Announces Change in Baseball Program". Huskers.com. May 22, 2011.
- "Erstad Named Nebraska Head Baseball Coach". Huskers.com. June 2, 2011.
- "Silva Named Pitching Coach at Nebraska". Huskers.com. June 16, 2011.
- "Bolt Returns to Nebraska as Associate Head Coach". Huskers.com. June 8, 2011.
- "Christy Joins Husker Baseball Staff". Huskers.com. July 5, 2011.
- "'Ready for the next phase of life': After eight seasons at the helm, Erstad resigns as Husker baseball coach". Huskers.com. June 3, 2019.
- Nebraska names Will Bolt Head Baseball Coach
- "Hawks Field at Haymarket Park". Huskers.com. February 11, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "Huskers Host Bears for Doubleheader". Huskers.com. March 4, 2013.
- Rawnsley, David. "Omaha's new crown jewel". Perfect Game USA. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- "Huskers Walk Off #16 Longhorns, 1-0, in 15 Innings". Huskers.com. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- Dixon, Michael. "Husker pitchers make history with four named on National Players of the Week list". Daily Nebraskan. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- "Dick Howser Trophy on Baseball Almanac." Dick Howser Trophy on Baseball Almanac. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2016. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/awards/dick_howser_trophy.shtml
- "Golden Spikes Award by USA Baseball on Baseball Almanac." Golden Spikes Award by USA Baseball on Baseball Almanac. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2016. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/awards/aw_goldenspikes.shtml
- 2008 Nebraska Baseball Media and Recruiting Guide: History Archived 2009-05-12 at WebCite
- "First-Team All-Americans". Huskers.com. June 24, 2009. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "University of Nebraska Baseball Players Who Made it to the Major Leagues". Baseball Almana. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "Huskers in Major League Baseball". Huskers.com. September 2, 2011.
- "MLB Player Index". MLB.com. Retrieved December 22, 2009.