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Six Huskers Earn Big Ten Honors, Erstad Named Coach of the Year

Bloomington – Six Nebraska baseball student-athletes and Head Coach Darin Erstad were honored by the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday, as the league office released the 2017 All-Big Ten Honors.

Erstad was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the first time in his career after leading the Huskers to their first Big Ten regular-season title. Jake Meyers (utility) and Scott Schreiber (designated hitter) were first-team picks, while Angelo Altavilla (shortstop) and Jake Hohensee (starting pitcher) were third-team choices. Third baseman Luke Roskam was an unanimous pick for the All-Freshman team and Ben Miller was Nebraska's Sportsmanship Award recipient.

Erstad is in his sixth year as the head coach of the Huskers and has guided the Big Red to a 210-137-1 (.605) record during his tenure. Including NU's first-place finish this season, the Huskers have finished second or better in the Big Ten four times in six seasons. Earlier this year Erstad became just the fifth head coach in program history to total 200 wins and is four wins shy of tying Dave Van Horn for fourth place on the all-time wins list. Erstad is the first Husker baseball coach to be named conference coach of the year since 2005 when Mike Anderson was named Big 12 Coach of the Year.

Schreiber was a first-team pick for the second straight year after earning first-team honors at first base last season. Schreiber is the first Husker to earn first-team honors in consecutive seasons since Pat Kelly, who was a first-team pick at second base in 2013 and 2014. During the regular season Schreiber ranked sixth in the Big Ten in both hits (70) and RBIs (46), while ranking eighth in doubles (14) and ninth in batting average (.335). With 70 hits this season, Schreiber is looking to become the first Husker to top 80 hits in a year since 2013 when Kelly produced 85.

A third-team choice in the outfield last season, Meyers earned first-team honor this year for his performance both as a position player and as NU's Sunday starter. At the plate, Meyers finished the regular-season tied for second in the Big Ten with 48 runs scored and his on-base percentage of .431 ranked sixth in the conference. On the mound Meyers tied for the league lead with eight wins and his nine walks were the second fewest allowed in the league. The Huskers are 11-1-1 in games Meyers has started this season, with the only loss coming to Oregon State during the second weekend of the year. During Big Ten play, Nebraska was 7-0-1 with Meyers on the mound.

After playing in 14 games, including two starts, as a true freshman last season, Altavilla became Nebraska's starting shortstop in 2017. The sophomore ranks second on the team in batting average (.323), doubles (13) and RBIs (37). During Big Ten play, Altavilla was ninth in the league with 14 walks and tied for 11th in runs scored with 20.

Hohensee missed the entire 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery and returned in 2017 as Nebraska's Friday starter. The junior from Lincoln earned third-team honors after going 6-3 in 13 starts. Overall on the year he ranked eighth in the Big Ten with an opposing batting average of .240. During league play he was fifth in innings pitched (48.0) and 11th in strikeouts (36).

Roskam was an unanimous pick for the Big Ten All-Freshman team after hitting .270 in 37 games, including 31 starts. The Chaska, Minn., native has roped seven doubles, one triple, four home runs and drive in 18 runs.

The Huskers open postseason play tomorrow at Bart Kaufman Field, when they take on the Purdue Boilermakers in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at 4 p.m. (CT). The game will be carried live on the Big Ten Network.

Nebraska's 2017 All-Big Ten Award WinnersCoach of the Year Darin Erstad

First TeamJake Meyers - Utility
Scott Schreiber – DH

Third TeamAngelo Altavilla – SS
Jake Hohensee – SP

All-Freshman TeamLuke Roskam – 3B *

Sportsmanship AwardBen Miller

*-denotes unanimous decision


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State Track Results 2017

State track took place this last weekend in Omaha. View results below from Grand Island area athletes. 

 

Team results from all four classes 

Class A Boys - #1 Creighton Prep - #2 Grand Island - #3 Lincoln Southwest 

Class A Girls - #1 Millard West - #2 Kearney - #3 Lincoln Southwest 

Class B Boys - #1 Ogallala - #2 Wahoo - #3 Beatrice 

Class B Girls - #1 Aurora - #2 Holdrege - #3 Waverly 

Class C Boys - #1 Norfolk Catholic - #2 Thayer Central - #2 C.City - #4 B.Creek 

Class C Girls - #1 Chase County - #2 Crofton - #2 Ainsworth - #4 Stanton 

Class D Boys - #1 South Loup - #2 BDS - #3 Exeter-Milligan 

Class D Girls - #1 Giltner - #2 Brady - #3 Riverside 


Huskers Knockout PSU to Capture Big Ten Crown

University Park, Pa. – The Nebraska baseball team (34-18-1, 16-7-1 Big Ten) hammered 18 hits in a 21-3 win over Penn State to capture the Big Ten regular-season title on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Nebraska captures its first Big Ten regular-season crown since joining the conference prior to the 2012 season. This is the seventh regular-season conference title won by Nebraska (1929 Big Six; 1948 and 1950 Big Seven; 2001, 2003 and 2005 Big 12).

Junior left-hander Jake Meyers made his 13th start of the season, and threw 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out a career-high seven batters. Matt Waldron (2.0 innings) and Nate Fisher (1.0 inning) each made relief appearances.

Nebraska took a 7-0 lead after the top of the first inning. The Huskers produced three hits, with Ben Miller and Angelo Altavilla each doubling and Mojo Hagge singling. Three Huskers were walked and three Huskers reached on a hit-by-pitch. The first four Huskers reached base before back-to-back groundouts. The inning continued six batters later before a groundout ended the inning. Meyers retired all three Nittany Lion batters in the bottom of the first.

The Huskers added three runs in the second inning off four hits. Miller, Luis Alvarado and Luke Roskam singled in the first three at-bats and each scored. Jesse Wilkening was hit by a pitch and Hagge produced a single before the inning ended with a flyout. Penn State went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second.

NU managed one base runner, Scott Schreiber, who advanced to third on a passed ball after reaching on an error by the right fielder. He couldn't score after back-to-back outs. Penn State got its first baserunner in the bottom of the third, but Meyers forced two flyouts and a strikeout to end the inning.

Jake Schleppenbach doubled down the right field line after a pair of outs to begin NU's fourth inning. He was left on-base after a flyout ended the inning. Meyers retired all three PSU hitters in the bottom half of the frame.

Altavilla reached on an error in the fifth, and scored after a Schreiber triple. Schreiber scored when Miller grounded out, increasing the lead to 12-0. Meyers struck out two Nittany Lions and forced a flyout to right field.

After Nebraska's leadoff hitter struck out in the sixth, Wilkening reached on an error and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Schleppenbach walked, and Hagge singled to drive in Wilkening. Meyers walked to load the bases and Altavilla singled to bring in a pair of runs. Schreiber drove in two more runs with his single up the middle. Miller added a hit that moved Schreiber to second, and both baserunners advanced on a wild pitch. Schreiber attempted to score on a wild pitch, but was tagged out at home. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases, but all three Huskers were left stranded. In all, NU scored five runs on four hits in the top of the sixth. Meyers added two strikeouts to set a new career high with seven, as he retired all three Nittany Lion batters.

Leadoff hitter Schleppenbach singled in the seventh, but NU was unable to score after a pair of fielder's choice outs and a flyout. Waldron came to the mound in the bottom of the seventh and retired all three Nittany Lions batters he faced.

Schleppenbach hit a grand slam in the top of the eighth after the first three Huskers reached base. Hagge then doubled off the right field wall and Altavilla was walked, but both were left on-base.

Two Huskers were walked in the top of the ninth, but a double play ended the inning. Penn State managed three runs in the bottom of the ninth before Nebraska recorded the final out.

The Huskers return to action next week when they head to Bloomington, Ind., for the Big Ten Tournament.


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Danger take care of Greenbay

The Nebraska Danger, coming off a bye week, rolled the Green Bay Blizzard 41-25 at the Heartland Events Center Saturday night.

The first half got off to a quick start when quarterback Patrick McCain took off for an 11-yard touchdown rush, less than two minutes into the game. This was after the Danger defense picked up a fumble recovery on the opening play of the game. From there, the Blizzard amassed only 60 total yards in the first half, including two field goals, before finally scoring a touchdown with two minutes left in the half. Nebraska on the other hand, kept the offensive wheels turning. Less than a minute into the second quarter McCain rushed three yards before having the vision to lateral the ball to Eric Thomas, who took it 32 yards to the house for a touchdown. Another touchdown and a field goal gave the Danger a 31-13 lead at the half. Averaging 7.1 yards per play, Nebraska piled up 142 total yards through the first half. Patrick McCain completed six of his seven first half passes for 66 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 22 yards and a touchdown.

“Patrick was out there killing it tonight. Our offense found a groove early on and ran with it. On the other side, our defense did a great job getting off the field. We gave up a couple field goals and a late touchdown but overall in the first half we never let them find any rhythm,” said Head Coach Hurtis Chinn.

The second half started with two three and outs and both kickers missing their respective field goal attempts. With less than nine minutes left, Green Bay intercepted a Nebraska pass. After that they held onto the ball for six minutes, driving down the field before the Blizzard punched the ball into the end zone when quarterback Greg McGhee weaved his way eight yards to the end zone. The third quarter ended with the Danger still leading 31-19. The Danger received the kickoff that started the fourth quarter and just under three minutes later, McCain found Carl Sims for a 28 yard touchdown pass. The ensuing Blizzard drive nearly ended in a touchdown but was called back for offensive pass interference. Two plays later, Courtney Hall intercepted the ball for the Danger and returned it to the 25-yard line. Nebraska then turned over a ball on an interception of their own with just over six minutes left in the game. The Danger defense then stepped up big time forcing a turnover on fourth down and giving the ball back to their offense. The Danger then turned the ball back over to the Blizzard after a failed fourth down attempt. Green Bay then quickly answered with a 40 yard touchdown pass to pull back within two possessions, 38-25. Danger kicker sealed the win for the Danger by kicking a 32 yard field goal with a final score of 41-25.

“We slipped a bit in the second half not playing quite as crisp as I would have liked. With that said we can now look to the final stretch of the season. It is not an easy stretch but if we play to our potential I think we can put ourselves in a good position to make the playoffs,” Chinn said.

The Danger next play against the Arizona Rattlers in Phoenix next Sunday, May 28. The next time the Danger play in the Heartland Events Center is June 17 to finish the season against the Wichita Falls Nighthawks.


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Huskers Stunned by Nittany Lions in Ninth Inning, 8-7

University Park, Pa. – The Nebraska baseball team (32-18-1, 14-7-1 Big Ten) fell to Penn State (18-35, 4-18 Big Ten) in the series opener, 8-7, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Thursday night.

Junior right-hander Jake Hohensee made his 13th start of the season, and went 5.1 innings, giving up four runs, all of which were earned. Robbie Palkert threw 2.0 innings, giving up one run which was unearned. Chad Luensmann gave up three runs, all unearned, in 1.1 innings.

Leadoff hitter Jake Meyers homered in the first at-bat of the game to left field, marking the first time since DJ Belfonte against Texas A&M on May 1, 2010 that a Husker led the game off with a home run. Angelo Altavilla drew a walk, but a double-play lineout and strikeout ended the inning for the Big Red. Penn State took the lead after the first inning with three runs on three hits, highlighted by a home run from Willie Burger.

Luis Alvarado was walked in the top of the second, but the Huskers couldn't get another baserunner. The Nittany Lions had one baserunner reach on a throwing error by the third baseman, but didn't add to their lead in the bottom of the second.

Meyers walked after a flyout started the third for Nebraska. Meyers advanced to second on a passed ball, but was stranded after back-to-back outs. Hohensee retired all three Nittany Lions in the bottom of the third.

Luke Roskam walked in the fourth, but was thrown out on a fielder's choice that put Alvarado at first base. The inning ended with a Jesse Wilkening groundout. The Nittany Lions went 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the fourth.

Mojo Hagge tripled in the top of the fifth and Meyers drove him in with a one-out single through the left side. Altavilla singled through the right side in the following at-bat, advancing Meyers to second. After a Scott Schreiber strikeout, Ben Miller hit an RBI single through the right side to tie the game at 3-3. Roskam struck out to end the inning. Hohensee retired all three Nittany Lion batters.

Jake Schleppenbach reached on a hit-by-pitch in the sixth and advanced to second on a passed ball, but was left on-base. Hohensee had retired 10 consecutive batters before a leadoff double for the Nittany Lions in the bottom of the sixth. The runner scored with another double, giving Penn State a 4-3 lead. The next three batters were retired.

In the top of the seventh, Meyers was walked and advanced to third on an Altavilla single to right field. Schreiber grounded out, but brought in Meyers. Roskam was walked, but both baserunners were left stranded. Palkert struck out two, and also forced a flyout in the seventh.

Wilkening doubled in the leadoff spot in the top of the eighth. Schleppenbach grounded out in the subsequent at-bat, advancing Wilkening to third. Meyers was walked for the third time of the night after back-to-back outs. Altavilla ripped a double down the right field line, which scored both Wilkening and Meyers and gave NU a 6-4 lead. Schreiber drove in Altavilla, but was thrown out at second base.

PSU had a leadoff single in the eighth, and also drew a walk. Luensmann came in and forced two groundouts, but Penn State scored on an error by Miller.

In the top of the ninth, all three Husker batters were retired. Penn State scored three runs off two hits to complete the comeback, as two Huskers committed errors.

Game 2 of the three-game set between the Huskers and Nittany Lions is set for Friday at 5:30 p.m. (CT).


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GICC announces new boys soccer coach

Grand Island Central Catholic would like to announce the hiring of John Kenna as the new head boys soccer coach. Kenna has been an associate head coach at Grand Island Senior High boys varsity team since 2015, and was assistant coach for the boys varsity at Senior High School since 2012. He as also been vice president, president and past president of Heartland Futbol Club youth soccer program 2013-present. Kenna and his wife Kathryn have four kids ranging from the ages of 12 to 4 years of age. His son, Jack currently attends Central Catholic and will be a 7th grader in the fall. Joining Coach Kenna on staff will be Monty Ritchie, who will serve as Associate Head Coach. Ritchie previously coached at Grand Island Senior High School, serving as Head JV Coach from 2008 to 2015. He is currently a board member with Heartland Futbol Club, where he also coaches four teams. He and his wife, Carrie, have two sons.


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State Track Participants

The 2017 State Track & Field Invite will start on Friday in Omaha at Burke Stadium. The first running event will begin at 9:00 A.m., with the girls' Class C events being run first, followed by the girls' Class A, boys' Class C, and boys' Class A events. Then at 3:30 P.M. classes D and B will begin with the girls' Class D, followed by girls' Class B, boys' Class D, and boys' Class B events. Download and view a schedule below. Also, view an individual list of all the area athletes that will be participating in Omaha. 

 

State Track Schedule

 

 


Hastings College: Sunderman resigns

Head Women’s Tennis Coach Roger Sunderman has resigned from his position effective immediately. “I want to thank Hastings College for the opportunities for professional and personal development that have been provided to me during the last four years,” Sunderman said. “I have enjoyed working for Hastings College and appreciate the support provided me during my tenure with the College.”

“I want to commend Coach Sunderman for the outstanding season the women's tennis program just completed. Thank you Coach Sunderman for all that you accomplished for Hastings College. Good luck to you in your future endeavors,” said Ron Hergott, Hastings College Lifetime Sports Director.

Sunderman led the women’s tennis team to its first ever Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season and tournament crowns; this was also the first time the team had won a conference title since 2000.

Hastings will begin to look for a new women’s tennis coach immediately.


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Danger gear up for Blizzard Saturday night

GRAND ISLAND, NE – The Nebraska Danger are still fighting to earn a spot in the Intense Conference playoffs, and Saturday’s match-up against the Green Bay Blizzard is important in keeping the Danger in the hunt for a spot. The Danger are currently third in the Intense Conference standings, one game behind both the Arizona Rattlers and Spokane Empire with five games remaining.

 

The Blizzard will be traveling to Grand Island looking to end an eight game losing streak. Green Bay picked up a pair of early season wins against the Cedar Rapids Titans, but have fallen just short in almost every game since. Two of those losses were only by one point; to Arizona 30-29 and at Iowa 26-27. The Blizzard were also able to jump out to an early 17-0 lead against Sioux Falls before having that lead evaporate in a 49-56 loss.

 

“Green Bay is really a solid team, but just has not been able to get over the hump this season,” said Danger head coach Hurtis Chinn. “They’ve been real close in most of their games, so we need to be focused and play solid for four full quarters.”

 

Finishing out games has been a point to work on for the Danger this season. Two weeks ago, the Danger fell behind the Wichita Falls Nighthawks 26-35, but were able to claw their way back to only trail 40-44 with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing drive, the Danger looked to have two separate stops on the Nighthawks, but penalties kept the drive going. An illegal defense penalty negated a fourth down stop and holding gave the ball back to the Nighthawks after the Danger appeared to have pulled in an interception. The Nighthawks capped off the drive with a touchdown and went on to win 40-57.

 

“Some unfortunate penalties really killed our momentum tonight,” said Chinn. “When that happens, we preach to forget about it and move on. Focus on the next play and don’t worry about what has already happened. It’s still a work in progress, but I know our guys have what it takes.”

 

Kickoff is set for 7 pm Saturday night at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, with First Responders Night as the feature. The Grand Island Professional Firefighters Local 647 will be sponsoring “Fill the Boot” for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. All First Responders can get a free general admission ticket by showing ID at the Heartland Events Center Box Office. Doors open at 6:00 with pre-game activities beginning at 6:30.

 

Tickets for Saturday night are available at area Pump & Pantry stores, the Heartland Events Center Box Office, or via Ticketmaster. The game will be broadcast live on 2DayFM 103.1, or streamed live at www.2dayfm1031.com with live video available at DangerFootball.com/Watch.


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Heartland Lutheran track athletes prepare for state

State track meet starts on Friday with local Grand Island athletes participating. Listen below at KRGI's Steve Stein had a chance to catch up with a couple of members of the Heartland Lutheran track team.

 

Emily Wiegert HL 05-15-17 Emily Wiegert HL 05-15-17 (File size 3318 KB)

Jeremiah Reeser HL 05-15-17 Jeremiah Reeser HL 05-15-17 (File size 5760 KB)


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