Fall Report: NebraskaFall Report
After making three regionals in four years from 2014-17, Nebraska crashed to 24-28 overall and 8-14 in the Big Ten last spring, as injuries piled up and the Huskers simply were not able to overcome their attrition. Most notably, key pitchers Chad Luensmann, Robbie Palkert, Reece Eddins and Connor Curry all missed virtually the entire season, three of them with Tommy John surgery.
“We couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Nebraska coach Darin Erstad said. “The boys kept fighting, kept competing, it just wasn’t in the cards. It just happens, and you move on, and here we go … I’m excited about getting those guys healthy and back up to speed — those four guys are all experienced guys on the mound.”
Luensmann is a proven star in the bullpen, with 55 career relief appearances, 21 saves and a 2.55 ERA. Palkert has 42 career relief appearances and a 2.54 ERA, while Eddins has 46 appearances and a 3.89 ERA. All of them could see their roles change in 2019, as Erstad anticipates Luensmann, Palkert and Curry could be limited to one outing per week at the start of the year, which could make them all better suited for starting jobs. Eddins, a strike-thrower with good angle on his fastball and a good breaking ball at times, was back in action this fall and threw well. He’s a fifth-year senior who would like an opportunity to start, though he also could be an excellent fit toward the back of the pen.
The Cornhuskers have some other experienced pitchers returning, and the nation’s No. 16 recruiting class this fall provided further reinforcements, making this staff dramatically deeper than it was in 2019.