Subscribe for 33¢ / day

Nebraska went to Cal Poly last season and found a beer garden full of college kids behind its dugout.

Cal Poly gets to see Nebraska's early-March weather this season, which is probably way worse than playing in front of some overserved 20-somethings.

The home opener for the Husker baseball team is here, with first pitch set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Haymarket Park.

Nebraska (6-5) comes into the game off a 10-9 extra-inning win over Wichita State on Sunday that saved the Huskers from a three-game sweep and could serve as a turning point in a still-young season.

The victory also capped off a strong stretch for Zac Repinski, a senior who may have found himself a spot in a lineup that is still fluid as the Huskers sort out roles.

"He didn't get a lot of chances last year, and was trying so hard when he did that he was swinging at the ball before it came out of the pitcher's hand," Husker coach Darin Erstad said Tuesday. "He's just worked really hard. He's got some different type of ideas at the plate, and he's really done a nice job of blending those with what we want to do and has found a nice mix."

Inserted into the starting lineup for all three Nebraska games against the Shockers, Repinski went a combined 6-for-12 with two hits in each game. They were his first six hits of the season after starting the year 0-for-8, and his two-run, ninth-inning home run forced the series finale to extra innings, where NU won in the 10th.

"I felt really confident at the plate. I felt like I could have done anything, hit anything that was thrown my way," Repinski said. "And I feel like a lot of guys are starting to feel that sense. So hopefully that can be a jump-start for us."

A Minnesota native and transfer from Des Moines Area Community College, Repinski has already surpassed last season's hit total (five), which came in just 16 appearances during Nebraska's Big Ten title season.

Listed as an outfielder, Repinski made two starts at second base and another at first during the Wichita series.

"I'm comfortable wherever," he said. "Wherever I need to play to help our team be successful, I'm fine with that and I'll be prepared for that."

Despite his 0-for-8 start, Repinski never lost confidence. It is, as Erstad likes to say, a results-based game, and the senior knew those results would come eventually.

"At the beginning of the season I felt like I was hitting the ball really hard, and that confidence just stayed with me," Repinski said. "So I just kept thinking anything that was thrown at me I could hit."

Of course, it wouldn't be a Nebraska season opener without mentioning the weather.

Maintenance crews were removing any snow still lingering around Haymarket Park on Tuesday afternoon before the Huskers practiced in the facility for one of the few times this season as a, shall we say, brisk wind rolled out to right field.

Thursday's high is forecast at 44 degrees, and temperatures could get into the low 50s Friday.

Saturday could present some issues. There's a chance of sleet early in the morning and a 30 percent chance of precipitation the rest of the day with highs reaching the lower 50s.

For comparison, the forecast highs in San Luis Obispo, where Cal Poly's campus sits about 11 miles from the Pacific Ocean, are 73 Thursday, 67 Friday and 61 Saturday. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

0
0
0
0
0

Load comments