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Nine Innings with Kash
By Phil Stanton
new member of the Big Ten is Nebraska, and the new first baseman
for the Cornhuskers is Kash Kalkowski. A native of Grand Island,
Neb., Kalkowski was a two-way star at Grand Island High School,
leading the school to its first state title in 2008. He pitched
for Nebraska as a freshman in 2009, going 1-2 in 19 games with a
7.08 ERA. He struck out 32 in 34.1 innings. Kalkowski had
shoulder surgery and missed the 2010 season. He returned as a
hitter this past season, batting .299 with an on-base percentage
of .378. Kalkowski was second on the club with 12 doubles, three
triples, five homers and 42 RBI in earning honorable-mention
All-Big 12 honors. Nebraska went 30-25 overall last season and
9-17 in the Big 12.
Kalkowski recently took
time to answer our questions about the Cornhuskers.
First Inning – What will you miss most from
Big 12 road trips?
I will miss the weather on the Big 12 road trips
and the memories that I had with my teammates.
Second Inning – What are your thoughts about
the team moving into the Big Ten?
It's baseball I don't care as long as I get to
play baseball because it won't be around forever for me. You
only live once so go hard in any conference you play in.
Third Inning – Have the Huskers played any Big
Ten teams since you’ve been at Nebraska?
No I have never played any Big 10 team since I
have been here. (note: NU did not have a series against the Big
Ten, but defeated Iowa 7-3 at home in 2011)
Inning – Which Big Ten program is most likely to build a
baseball rivalry with Nebraska?
I'm going to say Ohio State or Illinois
Fifth Inning – If a Big Ten baseball fan is
coming to Lincoln for the first time, what else should he or she
experience besides Haymarket Park?
Well they could go see the new basketball
facilities or the football stadium. Go in the Haymarket and have
a nice dinner.
But really what's better than going to a baseball game?
Sixth Inning – What will be the keys
for Nebraska to have success in the Big Ten this season?
To come as one. And WIN at everything we do!!
Seventh Inning – How has the transition been
for you moving to first base?
It wasn't as hard as most people think it would
be. I have played infield my whole life. The toughest parts were
learning the foot work and finding the base when the throw is
coming to you. They key to first base is always thinking that
the throw is going to be the worst so you are ready for
Eighth Inning – Were you surprised with your
offensive success in 2011?
Yes and no. I always knew I could hit and that
helped me a little in my head just to think that. But for not
hitting for two years that kind of scared me, but with Coach
Estad helping me all last fall and summer I felt like I was
ready. And it helped when a fourth-round draft pick is hitting
in front of you so you can see what all they are throwing.
Ninth Inning – What are your personal and team
goals for the Huskers in 2012?
Personal goal is to help the team out and just
improve from last year. Team goal is what everyone wants, is to
go to the College World Series. But another team goal is to win
at everything we do on the field, we want to be the best!
(photos courtesy of Nebraska Media