The Nebraska baseball team has picked up key wins early this season. The Huskers defeated No. 3 Texas Tech 2-1 on March 1, in Frisco, Texas and took down No. 21 Baylor twice in a three-game series from March 8-10.
However, there is one foe that has had Nebraska’s number so far this year — Mother Nature.
“There’s one thing I can’t control and that’s the weather,” head coach Darin Erstad said. “It’s doing a number on us right now.”
The weather has thrown a curveball at the team, which has had games canceled and postponed as well as start times and locations changed. Nebraska’s home opener was scheduled to be on March 5 against UNO, but that game was postponed due to the cold and Hawks Field at Haymarket Park still being covered in ice and snow.
The series against Baylor was originally scheduled to be in Lincoln at Haymarket Park last weekend, but the weather forced those games to be moved to Baylor Ballpark in Waco, Texas.
The next home game, a March 13 date against North Dakota State, has already been postponed due to snowy field conditions, according to a release by the Nebraska baseball team.
Nebraska’s next opportunity for a home game is on March 15, when the Huskers kick off a three-game series against New Mexico State, but Erstad said getting these games played as scheduled does not look “super promising.”
“We’re looking at all options right now,” Erstad said. “Can we find a field within driving distance? Can we find one that’s playable? With the wind and weather right now, who knows if we can even play here? It’s not ideal, but we make it work.”
Sophomore outfielder Carter Cross said the team can only worry about what they control.
“It sucks,” he said. “Weather is always an issue with baseball, but we can’t think about it too much. We have to prepare for a game just as we would if the weather wasn’t an issue.”
Even when the team is not in Lincoln, the Huskers cannot escape Mother Nature’s grasp. In an early-season series versus the Oregon State Beavers, Nebraska was set to play four games, one each day from February 21-24. Instead, the game on the Feb. 21 was canceled and forced the teams to play a doubleheader on the 22nd, which was also delayed a couple of hours due to weather.
On March 3, the Huskers were scheduled to close out the Frisco Classic with a matchup against No. 12 Mississippi State, but the opportunity to get another key win early in the season was taken away as the game was canceled due to scheduling conflicts caused by the weather.
“The big thing about baseball is getting into a routine by playing games,” Erstad said. “Once you start doing that, you get comfortable and you can work through stuff at game speed. We’re unable to do that, but hey, we have to work with what we have.”
Erstad said the biggest issue faced when trying to reschedule games is accounting for class time the student-athletes will miss.
“They have to go to school,” Erstad said. “That’s obviously super important.”
For now the tarp remains on Hawks Field at Haymarket Park, and the team practices indoors at the Hawks Championship Center. The phrase “it’s a beautiful day for baseball” seems like a cruel joke, but perhaps someday soon, it will be reality again.