A trio of former Huskers are set to compete in the 2010 Major League Baseball Playoffs, as the teams of Dan Johnson (Tampa Bay), Joba Chamberlain (New York Yankees) and Brian Duensing (Minnesota) all qualified for postseason play.
Chamberlain and Duensing, both pitchers for the 2005 Huskers, will meet up in the American League Division Series that begins Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. Chamberlain will be making his third playoff appearance after going 3-4 with a 4.40 earned-run average this season to go along with three saves. Duensing has quietly put together a strong 10-3 record for the American League Central Division champion Twins with a 2.62 earned-run average. He has one game of playoff experience from the 2009 postseason and is scheduled to start Game 3 this Saturday for Minnesota.
A member of Nebraska’s first-ever College World Series team in 2001, Johnson and the Rays will be on the other side of the American League Division Series when they begin play Wednesday afternoon against the Texas Rangers. Johnson embarked on another late season tear, as he hit seven home runs in 40 games to help Tampa Bay claim the AL East title over the Yankees.
Johnson, Chamberlain and Duensing were each All-Big 12 selections during their NU careers. Johnson was a consensus first-team All-American in 2001 as he led the team with a .361 batting average and hit a league-leading 25 home runs. Chamberlain shined during the 2005 season with a 10-2 record and 2.81 earned-run average, while Duensing produced a perfect 8-0 mark with a 3.00 earned-run average the same year.