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 released Thursday.
The Huskers, who reached the title game of an NCAA Regional for the sixth time in the last eight seasons in 2007, 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.
According to Head Coach Mike Anderson, the Huskers’ non-conference schedule, which also features NCAA qualifiers UC Riverside, Louisiana-Lafayette and Creighton, will prepare Nebraska for the rigors of Big 12 action. Anderson credited the Huskers’ tough non-conference slate in 2007 as a key reason the Big Red reached postseason play for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.
“We’re going to challenge ourselves again with this schedule,” Anderson said. “We understand that, but it was worth it to get our team ready for the postseason.”
“Last year was an example where playing a tough schedule paid off in getting into the NCAA Tournament,” Anderson said. “Because of the tough non-conference schedule we played and the wins against good teams outside of the Big 12, it not only helped us prepare for the conference, but also helped us in the NCAA Regional.”
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).
The Huskers open the 2008 season at Stanford’s Sunken Diamond for a four-game series with the Cardinal Feb. 22-24. It marks the Huskers’ first trip to Stanford since the 2000 Super Regional. One week later, the Huskers will open the home campaign with another familiar foe, as UC Riverside visits Hawks Field for a four-game series. The Huskers took on the Highlanders, who won the Big West Conference title in 2007, at the Tempe Regional last June. The four-game set begins a 10-game homestand prior to the Huskers’ Big 12 opener at Kansas State on March 14.
Following the series at K-State, Nebraska begins a seven-game homestand with a bang, as Arkansas makes its first-ever visit to Hawks Field for a two-game series on March 18-19. The week continues with a key Big 12 Conference series against Oklahoma and two games against Northern Colorado. The Huskers wrap up the month with a series at defending Big 12 regular-season champion Texas.
The month of April is heavy into conference action, as NU hosts Texas Tech (April 4-6) and Kansas (April 18-20) and travels to Oklahoma State (April 11-13) and Baylor (April 25-27). The Huskers will play several midweek contests including the first two games of a three-game series with Creighton (April 1 and April 22) as well as matchups with Iowa (April 8), Wichita State (April 15) and two games against Western Illinois (April 29-30) which begin NU’s final homestand of the year.
The Huskers will spend the first two weekends of May at Hawks Field, hosting Louisiana-Lafayette (May 2-4) and Big 12 Tournament champion Texas A&M (May 9-11) in the final home weekend of the regular-season. NU wraps up its three-game series with Creighton in the annual game at Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium on Tuesday, May 13, before closing conference play at Missouri on May 16-18.
Postseason play begins with the annual Big 12 Tournament at the Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City from May 21-25 before NCAA Regionals (May 30-June 2), NCAA Super Regionals (June 6-9) and the College World Series (June 14-25) at Rosenblatt Stadium.
For the full Schedule