Cal: Huskers are a future regional team

Nebraska had chances to take a home series with No. 18 Cal over the last four days, but should be happy with a split.

Lincoln, NE - As spring football practices begin and the Nebraska basketball coaching search intensifies, lost in the shuffle was a four game series on the baseball diamond with Pac-12 opponent Cal.

The Golden Bears, who are ranked as high as No. 18 in the polls on Monday, left Lincoln splitting with the Huskers, after Nebraska took games on Saturday and Monday.

"It was a great weekend and a good test for our guys," said Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad, whose squad outscored Cal 29-25. "Going 2-2 in a four game series is not the end of the world. There are a lot of positives to take out of the weekend.

"That's a team that went to the College World Series last year and they are only missing a couple guys from that team."

But the first year head won't use the weekend series as a measuring stick of where the program is currently at or where they could be headed.

Nebraska did take a non-conference series with No. 5 UCLA last year – but had lost four straight series coming into the weekend against ranked foes: Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, and Fresno State.

"I don't care compare it to anything. I'm worried about who we have and could really care less who we are playing," said Erstad. "I'm trying to get our team ready and play our baseball – whoever we play we play."

Cal head coach David Esquer, who has made the NCAA Regional four times in his 13-year career and was the National Coach of the Year in 2011, feels the Huskers are poised for a good season.

"I think they are very good. They are physical and strong. They are really a mature team. I think they are a regional team for sure. I really do," said Esquer. "That's why I think it's so good to play this quality of an opponent in this atmosphere. You would like to win the series, but taking a split on the road is a step in maturing our club."

Nebraska infielder Josh Scheffert, who his first home run of the season on Monday, said the Huskers are not satisfied with a split.

"We won today, but that's not where we want to be. We wanted the series," said Scheffert. "It's fun playing a good team like that. I'm not going to give them a whole lot of credit, but they are pretty good ball club. They know what they are doing and have a good coach. But we split with them. That's not where we want to be."

Nebraska will play its fifth game in five days when they take on South Dakota State Tuesday at home. Game time is scheduled for 1:35 P.M.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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