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Creighton vs. Nebraska, 4.9

Nebraska's Ty Roseberry (right) sits in the Huskers' dugout before the game against Creighton on Tuesday at Haymarket Park.

Ty Roseberry didn't have many doubts he could play baseball at the Division I level.

Why would he? In two seasons at Nebraska-Kearney, he turned himself into one of the top power hitters in the nation. As a sophomore last season, his 15 home runs for the Lopers tied for first in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Roseberry was one of the top sluggers on a UNK team that led NCAA Division II in doubles and was second in the country in home runs.

But sometimes life throws you a curve. Roseberry and his teammates found out early last season that their program would be cut at the end of the year as part of budget-tightening measures in Kearney.

The Loper players with remaining eligibility were left to scatter to the wind, hopeful of finding homes and continuing their college careers.

Roseberry decided to take his shot a couple of hours down the road.

"Obviously I’m from Nebraska, and most kids from Nebraska want to go there," the Kearney native said this week of joining the Huskers. "I just felt like, at the point I was at in my career, I had some other Division I offers and some Division II offers, and I just felt like I wanted to spend my next two years here and give it a go."

Roseberry walked into a situation with a head coach in Darin Erstad who has preached open competition for every spot, no matter your age or experience.

It took some time. But when Roseberry’s chance came, he ran with it.

He delivered a hit in his first at-bat as a Husker, singling in the ninth inning of Nebraska’s 7-0 win over Kansas State on April 2.

A few days later, on April 5, he was hit by a pitch and scored a run in a 17-0 win over Purdue, and made a diving stop at first base for the final out of the game.

And on April 6, he put the exclamation point on NU’s series-clinching win by blasting a home run to left in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Huskers’ final run of a 13-4 blowout.

"It was definitely rewarding, just knowing how much work I put in to get to that point," Roseberry said. "And, I guess, everything that's happened over the past year."

Briefly

Even flying a thousand miles won't get the Huskers away from lousy weather.

Due to a forecast of rainy weather in State College, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Penn State have scrambled the schedule to get all three games in.

Friday's game will start at noon, with rain showers expected to move in later in the day. A doubleheader is set for Saturday beginning at 2 p.m., and no game will be played Sunday with rain forecast for most of the day.

Penn State, despite a 1-7 start in league play, is much improved from recent years, Erstad said.

"They are a lot better. Especially on the mound. They’ve got some dudes on the mound. They had a really good record going into conference play, and played some really good teams, and they’ve lost some close games," Erstad said. "But just watching the stuff I watched today, they’ve got real arms on the mound. And it’s going to be everything we can handle."

The Nittany Lions sit at 17-12 overall, already two wins ahead of last season's total and one short of their total from 2017. There's work to do to get to a second winning season since 2012, but Penn State is at the very least more competitive this season.

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

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Husker basketball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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