Huskers aim to build on opening weekend

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Huskers will take on Grand Canyon University in a four-game series at Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark in Phoenix, starting on Thursday night. The series marks the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

The Huskers (1-2) are coming off a competitive opening weekend where they defeated Baylor, 4-1, and then dropped close contests against No. 21 Texas Tech, 6-3, and Oklahoma, 7-6, in the Shriners Children’s College Showdown in Texas.

The Huskers displayed encouraging potential and are looking to tighten up their performance against undefeated GCU (4-0).

“I think if you can take a step back now that we’re a day or two removed from it, it is probably as competitive an opening weekend as we’ve had,” Bolt said. “But also knowing that if you do tweak a couple of things, you can probably get that extra hit.”

The Huskers will rely on their pitching rotation, led by junior Drew Christo, senior Brett Sears, redshirt junior Will Walsh and sophomore Caleb Clark.

Sears and Clark had strong efforts in their previous starts. Sears received the opening-day start, allowing one run on three hits while striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings against Baylor. After struggling as a freshman, Clark started his second year off strong, surrendering one run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings against Oklahoma.

In the bullpen, newcomers like Tucker Timmerman, Evan Borst and Kyle Froehlich showed promise last weekend. Timmerman became the first Nebraska freshman to record a win on opening day since at least 1999, pitching two scoreless innings in two appearances.

Offensively, the Huskers shifted to a small-ball approach this season, focusing on situational hitting and base running. Dylan Carey was a standout performer, driving in a team-high three runs in the opening weekend. Cayden Brumbaugh laid down a team-high two sacrifice bunts, while Riley Silva swiped a team-leading two stolen bases through three games.

Starting third baseman Joshua Overbeek is unavailable against Grand Canyon after breaking his finger during the opening weekend. Overbeek was the Huskers’ top hitter in their first three games, hitting .417 with two RBIs. It’s a blow to the Huskers’ lineup, as Overbeek figured to play a large role after hitting for average and power at the junior college level last season. Overbeek will miss at least three weeks with the injury.

Facing a tough Grand Canyon team, Nebraska expects a challenge. The Lopes feature a balanced roster and averaged just over seven runs per game while allowing two runs per game in the opening weekend.

“They’ve got a really good pitching staff and a lot of tough left-handed hitters, so it’s gonna be a really good test,” Bolt said. “It’s a beautiful ballpark. It’s gonna be a great setting.”

The Huskers will look to build on their early-season performance, tighten up the bullpen, and carry some momentum into their series against Grand Canyon, aiming for a successful road trip in Phoenix.

Jonah Waits
Jonah Waits
Jonah Waits is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in Sports Media and Mass Communications. He has previously covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the Nebraska News Service. Follow him on X (Twitter) @WaitsJonah.

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