Erik Bird is a sophomore relief pitcher for Nebraska who will contribute a
weekly journal to CollegeBaseballInsider.com in 2007. Bird, a native of Omaha,
Neb., went 0-2 with a 0.82 ERA as a freshman and becomes closer for the
Cornhuskers this year. Opponents hit only .218 and only 2 of 23 inherited
runners scored off of him in 2006. Bird's brother Brandon pitched for Creighton
and helped the Bluejays to the NCAA tourney in 2005.
March 2, 2007
Feels Like the First
The trip down to Houston was pretty
easy from Omaha. We had a chance to go to the hotel and change before we went to
practice. It was pretty nice because it was the first time where it was hot,
nice baseball weather. It was about 70 degrees down there, and it was like
everyone was playing baseball for the first time.
Everyone was giddy and ready to go
like a bunch of preschoolers running around out there, trying to hit the ball as
far as they could. We knew it was going to be a good weekend right away because
the weather was so nice.
The Friday game, we were missing our All-American ace because of a violation of
team rules. When Coach A broke the news to our team, it was a pretty big shock.
Not too many head coaches have the balls to leave an All-American ace pitcher
back at home, but rules are rules.
Drew Bowman started against Texas
A&M-Corpus Christi and shut them down. I was pretty impressed with his
performance, and he is going to be a major contributor for us this year.
On Saturday against Rice, Charlie Shirek started hot and threw maybe 30 pitches
over the first three innings. Our hitters were amazing in the first two innings,
and we jumped ahead 5-0. In my head, I was thinking the game was over because we
had Charlie on the mound and a great bullpen. I would have never imagined that
we would give up six runs in the fourth inning because of mental and physical
errors. It was a testament to being our sixth game and not being outside too
much. Those are the type of errors we won’t be making in May and June.
The one positive thing we took from
the game is that we should have won. Rice is always a quality team with a great
pitching staff and great hitters, but we thought that we let a win slip away
from under us.
Sunday’s game was pretty wild. I knew people were going to score runs, but I
didn’t expect to see the ball fly like it did. Johnny Dorn started and is
probably the most competitive person I know. He gave up some bombs to Florida
Atlantic, and they hit him pretty hard, but he is such as competitor that he got
us through the sixth inning and gave the bullpen the lead; we took over from
Our hitters started very hot. Ryan
Werhle hit a homer, and Craig Corriston hit his first homer, which was really
good to see. Steve Edlefsen came in in the seventh and eighth and really shut
them down. I came on and got the final out of a 9-8 game for my third save of
For the most part, it was a pretty good weekend, but they left my bag at the
airport. I still haven’t gotten my bag and it’s Wednesday afternoon. I’m getting
kind of worried because we are flying to Orlando Thursday morning at 8 a.m.
Greetings from the Heartland (2/23/07)
(photo courtesy of Nebraska Media Relations Office)