Nebraska baseball’s first full schedule under coach Will Bolt has arrived with a home-heavy March, a challenging Big Ten slate and a distinct Southwestern flavor among nonconference foes.
The Huskers unveiled their 2022 schedule Tuesday that includes 33 home games across 14 regular-season weeks. The jewel of their early-season action is a three-game series Feb. 25-27 against TCU at Globe Life Field — the $1.2 billion home of MLB’s Texas Rangers.
Though March weather in Lincoln is always unpredictable, Nebraska is set to play 15 of its 17 games that month inside Haymarket Park against a variety of opponents, including warm-weather teams San Diego State, Long Beach State, New Mexico State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. NU also opens Big Ten play in that stretch against perennial contender Michigan (March 25-27).
“A lot of home games in March, so pray for warm weather,” Bolt told The World-Herald last month. “Or it doesn’t have to be warm, but just no snow.”
Nebraska won the league title last year in a conference-only format that saw it face the other 12 Big Ten programs at least three times each.
This year the conference returns to its standard unbalanced model in which each team plays eight others while missing four. The Huskers don’t encounter Maryland (finished second last year), Northwestern (tied ninth), Penn State (tied ninth) or Purdue (tied 11th).
Also of note, NU will host BYU for four games on April 14-17 — the finale will be Saturday since BYU doesn’t compete on Sundays.
Single midweek home games against South Dakota State (March 23), North Dakota State (April 20) and Oral Roberts (May 17) also dot the schedule, along the resumption of midweek contests against Creighton, UNO and Kansas State.
“We are really excited about the 2022 season and slate of games on the schedule,” Bolt said in a press release. “The nonconference portion is certainly challenging, and the Big Ten Conference has been one of the nation's best for the last several years. We really feel like the home schedule has some great matchups that our incredible fan base can be excited about this coming spring."
Nebraska begins its year Feb. 18-20 at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas. It’s the program assistant coach Lance Harvell left to join Bolt in Lincoln after the 2019 season. Harvell and current SHSU head coach Jay Sirianni were assistants together for five seasons under Matt Deggs, who is now at Louisiana-Lafayette. Sirianni is also a former NU pitcher who was teammates with Bolt in 1999 and a grad assistant with the school in 2001.
TCU the following weekend marks Nebraska’s first games on an MLB diamond since facing Kansas at Kauffman Stadium in April 2016. The Huskers also played at Houston’s Minute Maid Park and Minnesota’s Target Field in 2015.
New Mexico State’s trip to Lincoln for two games March 15-16 marks the return of former NU assistant Mike Kirby, in his third season with the Aggies. Former Husker Michael Pritchard is also part of the staff.
Bolt’s first two seasons at Nebraska have been historic outliers. His debut in 2020 was cut short after 15 nonconference games because of the pandemic. Then in 2021 the Big Ten was the only power league to mandate a league-only schedule — which NU received 16 days before its opener — in a move that torpedoed the Huskers’ postseason resume and chances at hosting an NCAA regional.
The Big Ten tournament also returns after two years off and will run May 24-29 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.
Only six Huskers are still on the roster from 2019, the last "normal" season. Four of those were regular contributors then and should be now: pitchers Shay Schanaman, Kyle Perry and Colby Gomes and infielder/outfielder Cam Chick.
Feb. 18-20: at Sam Houston State (4 games)
Feb. 25-27: vs. TCU (Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas)
March 4-6: San Diego State
March 8: at Kansas State
March 11-13: Long Beach State
March 15-16: New Mexico State
March 18-20: Texas A&M Corpus Christi
March 23: South Dakota State
March 25-27: Michigan
March 29: at Creighton
April 1-3: at Ohio State
April 6: at UNO
April 8-10: Rutgers
April 12: Creighton
April 14-16: BYU (4 games)
April 20: North Dakota State
April 22-24: at Indiana
April 26: Kansas State
April 27: UNO
April 29-May 1: Iowa
May 6-8: at Minnesota
May 13-15: at Illinois
May 17: Oral Roberts
May 19-21: Michigan State
May 25-29: Big Ten Tournament at TD Ameritrade Park
*Home series in bold