Originally, Nebraska baseball’s home-opening series was set to be played March 4-6 against San Diego State at Haymarket Park. That’s not happening anymore, the team announced Wednesday.
Instead, the Huskers will return to Arlington, Texas, that weekend to play four games in two days against the host Texas-Arlington Mavericks and Northwestern State Demons. Nebraska kicks off the 2022 season in Huntsville, Texas, with a three-game series against Sam Houston on Feb. 18-20 before taking on TCU in a three-game series on Feb. 25-27 in Arlington. The Huskers will then go back to Arlington for the Northwestern State and Texas-Arlington series.
Here’s what the new schedule looks like:
Friday, March 4: Nebraska vs. Northwestern State
Friday, March 4: Nebraska vs. Texas-Arlington
Saturday, March 5: Nebraska vs. Northwestern State
Saturday, March 5: Nebraska vs. Texas-Arlington
Nebraska’s new home-opener will be a three-game series Match 11-13 against No. 24 Long Beach State.
The Huskers are coming off a 2021 season in which they went 34-14 overall (31-12 in Big Ten play) and won the regular-season conference title while also appearing in their first NCAA Regional Final since 2007.
According to Perfect Game USA, Nebraska begins the year No. 22 and is the only Big Ten team in the top-25. Vanderbilt, Texas, Stanford LSU and Notre Dame landed in the top five.
Of the 12 non-conference opponents on Nebraska’s schedule, two are ranked according to Perfect Game USA, including No. 8 TCU and No. 24 Long Beach State. The Huskers play both in a three-game series this season.
In October, Nebraska held its annual Red-White Series, which was won by the Red. Here are quick recaps from all three of those games.
Head coach Will Bolt said he didn’t use the scrimmages to see who accumulated the best stats, like batting average and earned-run average. Instead, he used it as a way to see who possesses the intangibles that make winning baseball teams.
With all four captains from the 2021 team gone in Joe Acker, Mojo Hagge, Jaxon Hallmark and Spencer Schwellenbach, who are the players Bolt can rely on? That’s what he and his coaching staff wanted to find out, and the fall portion of their offseason was a good place to start.
“It’s so much less to do with the physical aspect of it, as who can show up every day,” Bolt said. “Who can show up and have a competitive spirit every day. That part of it I’m much more concerned about than what a guy’s ERA or batting average is in the fall. When I say I don’t care about that, I mean that 100 percent. That kind of stuff doesn’t really matter because there are so many guys who are going to work on things and they’re going to be totally different from a physical standpoint come spring.”
One of the bigger question marks headed into the 2022 season is the pitching staff. Nebraska will be without Cade Povich, Chance Hroch, Schwellenbach, Max Schieber and Cam Wynne. Povich and Hroch pitched the most innings in 2021 while Schwellenbach threw the fifth-most.
Along with the pitching staff and bullpen, the Huskers will need to find replacements for all three outfield positions. The infield looks solid, with Cam Chick and Brice Matthews leading the way.