April 17, 2014

Storm Chasers give up season high three homers in loss to Express

Pena_OmahaThe Omaha Storm Chasers (6-7) gave up a season high three home runs to the Round Rock Express (8-5) as they dropped the second game of series by a score of 8-2. The Texas affiliate hit all three long balls off Omaha starter John Lamb, who had allowed only three total home runs in his first five Triple-A starts.

With a strong wind out to right field, the Express took advantage as Brad Snyder and Brett Nicholas each hit homers in the second inning to that part of the park for an early 3-0 lead. After Lamb retired nine of ten batters in the third through sixth innings, Brent Lillibridge took him deep for a solo homer to right in the sixth to stretch the lead to 4-1. Round Rock has pounded out 18 homers this season, tops in the Pacific Coast League.

Storm Chasers catcher Francisco Pena provided some power for Omaha in the fifth inning on a solo homer, also to right field, for his second straight game with a round-tripper. The other offensive bright spot for Omaha was Matt Fields extending his hitting streak to a career best 13 games with a second inning single. Fields is one of two players in the PCL this season that has hit safely in all his team’s games, with Justin Bour of the New Orleans Zephyrs being the other. [Read more...]

10 run, 11 hit 2nd inning keys Nebraska past Mavs

NebTrailing after the top of the first inning for the second straight game, the Nebraska baseball team (25-14, 7-2 Big Ten) exploded for a combined 15 runs in their first two at-bats, including a 10-run, 11-hit second inning en route to a 17-6 victory over the Omaha Mavericks on Wednesday at Hawks Field.

Austin Darby paced the NU offense with a three-hit, four-RBI day at the plate. While Steven Reveles produced his first career four-hit game and Michael Pritchard was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs.

Eight NU batters drove in runs in the victory, while five Huskers recorded multi-hit outings and six NU players scoring at least twice.

The Huskers last scored 10 runs in a inning during a 15-2 win over Northern Colorado on March 24, 2010 and the Huskers last plated 17 runs in a game at Ohio State on April 15, 2012, when they completed a doubleheader sweep with a 17-9 win. [Read more...]

Tim Miles adds point guard to Nebraska hoops with signing of Tarin Smith

NU2University of Nebraska Men’s Basketball Coach Tim Miles announced Wednesday that point guard Tarin Smith (Ocean Township, N.J.) signed a National Letter-of-Intent with the Nebraska basketball program.

Smith is a 6-foot-2, 175-pounder who played for Hall of Fame Coach Bob Hurley at St. Anthony, helping the Friars to consecutive state runner-up finishes. In two seasons as a starter, Smith guided the Friars to a 53-7 record and a pair of sectional titles.

“Tarin is a great addition to our program,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “He is the complete package at the point guard. He has excellent feel for the game. He is a leader. He has a terrific skill set, and is long and athletic on the defensive end. I love his personality, and he is really an endearing, bright young man. The Huskers landed a treasure in Tarin Smith!”

As a senior, he was a third-team all-state selection by the Newark Star-Ledger, averaging 15 points, four rebounds and four assists per game, as St. Anthony went 25-5 on the season. Smith reached double figures in all but two games as a senior, including a pair of 23-point outings. One of his best performances was a 12-point, eight-assist, six-rebound effort in a win over eventual state champion Roselle Catholic. [Read more...]

Creighton hoops adds transfer Maurice Watson Jr.

Maurice Watson Jr. (photo by Steve McLaughlin, courtesy Boston University)

Maurice Watson Jr. (photo by Steve McLaughlin, courtesy Boston University)

Creighton men’s basketball head coach Greg McDermott has announced that guard Maurice Watson Jr. will transfer from Boston University and enroll at Creighton this summer. Watson’s decision became official on Tuesday when he returned a signed financial aid agreement to Creighton.

He will sit out the 2014-15 season due to transfer requirements before having two years of eligibility in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

“We are excited to welcome Maurice Watson Jr. to the Creighton Basketball Family,” said Bluejay head coach Greg McDermott. “Maurice has proven over the course of the last two seasons at Boston University that he is an unselfish point guard who also has the ability to score the basketball. I believe he will excel in our up-tempo system. He comes from a tremendous family and possesses the core values in terms of character and passion that our program has come to expect. We can’t wait to get him on campus!”

Watson is a 5’10 guard who spent the previous two seasons as the starting point guard at Boston University. He owned 800 points, 410 assists and 125 steals in two years with the Terriers, where he started 63 of 65 games and played for a pair of postseason squads.

Watson led BU by averaging 13.3 points and 7.1 assists per game as a sophomore, the latter a figure that ranked third-best nationally. He was named First Team All-District by the NABC and USBWA, and also First Team All-Patriot League. Watson’s 248 assists ranked tied for ninth-most nationally among sophomores since 1997-98.

He averaged 11.2 points and 5.4 assists per game as a freshman, earning All-Rookie Team and Third-Team All-America East Conference accolades in 2012-13. He was a four-time AEC Rookie of the Week, and became the sixth freshman in league history to lead the AEC in assists.

Watson hails from Philadelphia, Pa., where he played for his father Maurice Watson Sr. at Boys’ Latin High School. He was an ESPN Top-100 recruit and PARADE Magazine All-American after finishing second in Philadelphia Public League history with 2,356 career points.

Creighton went 27-8 in 2013-14 while finishing second in the BIG EAST. The Bluejays advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season. The Bluejays are coached by Greg McDermott, who is 107-38 after four seasons at Creighton.

Huskers pound out 22 hits in knocking off Kansas State

Michael Pritchard went a career-high 5-for-5 with a double and two RBIs

After facing a 4-0 deficit following the top of the first inning, the Nebraska offense lit up the scoreboard in a 14-5 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats on Tuesday night at Hawks Field. The Huskers amassed a season-high 22 hits as five NU batters registered three hits or more on the evening, while matching a season-best in runs. The Huskers have won nine of their last 10 games and are now 24-14 on the season.

Nebraska’s first three batters went a combined 12-for-14 on the night, including a 5-for-5 performance from Michael Pritchard, the senior’s first career five-hit game. Freshman leadoff hitter Ryan Boldt chipped in his third four-hit game of the year, while Jake Placzek, Ben Miller and Blake Headley each produced three hits. Five Huskers tallied doubles on the night, including two from Headley, while Tanner Lubach launched his third homer of the season with a two-run shot in the fifth.

Pritchard notched four singles and a double on the night and is 13-for-25 in his last six games, while raising his average 45 points from .261 to .306.

Nebraska’s 22 hits were the most by an NU offense since it notched 24 hits in a 22-3 win over Louisiana Tech at Hawks Field on March 16, 2012.

While Nebraska’s offense was scoring runs, the NU bullpen silenced KSU’s bats that scored a combined 22 runs in the first two meetings this year. Four NU relievers combined to give up one run on six hits over the final 8.0 innings of the game, with the lone run scoring on a wild pitch. Sophomore Colton Howell earned his first career win in 3.0 innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits with a pair of walks and two strikeouts.

Along with Howell, Bob Greco pitch 3.0 scoreless innings of relief, while Zach Hirsch tossed a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts and freshman Max Knutson ended the game with a scoreless ninth inning.

After falling behind 4-0, the Huskers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, starting with three straight singles from Boldt, Placzek and Pritchard. Boldt scored on a Pritchard single and Pat Kelly drove in the second run for the Huskers with a sacrifice fly. Nebraska evened the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the third on a RBI single by Kelly and a double-play ball off the bat of Austin Darby.

The Wildcats retook the lead, 5-4, in the top of the fourth on a wild pitch by Howell, but NU answered in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs to take the lead for good. After Boldt scored on a balk to tie the game, Pritchard laid down a two-out bunt single and Placzek scored on the play to put the Huskers ahead, 6-5.

After Greco set the Wildcats down in order in the top of the fifth, the Huskers pushed their lead to five with four runs on five hits to take a 10-5 lead through five innings. Lubach blasted his third home run of the year over the wall in left to give NU an 8-5 lead, while Boldt and Placzek added RBI singles after Headley doubled.

NU put up another four-spot in the bottom of the eighth on four hits, including back-to-back-to-back doubles with two outs. Quinn McGill started the rally by notching a pinch hit, two-RBI double off the left-field wall, before Lubach followed with his second extra-base hit of the game and Headley stroked his second double of the game.

The Huskers continue their five game homestand tomorrow night when they host the Omaha Mavericks at 6:35 p.m.