Huskers showing grit, comeback ability

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Cornhuskers have a knack for making a comeback.

After marching into the College of Charleston after taking three of four from Grand Canyon University, the Huskers are riding the highs of a now four-game win streak. However, this series was much different from GCU. In Phoenix, the Huskers jumped out early and set the tone. As for Charleston, the Huskers played from behind in each of the three games.

The Huskers’ grit is different to last year’s team. As coach Will Bolt has previously mentioned, the team build is different this year, and so is the mindset. Following the injury to Josh Overbeek, Riley Silva moved up in the lineup from the nine-hole to the two spot. With that change, the one-two punch of Cayden Brumbaugh and Silva has been a difficult tandem to limit.

“What you get there is two guys that when they are up the opposing dugout goes, ‘Gosh, those guys are up again?’” Bolt said. “That’s the kind of feeling you want to have at the top of the order where guys are just pesky.”

That peskiness, combined with clutch hitting and power from Tyler Stone and Josh Caron, has been a recipe for late-game success for the Huskers. In game one against the Charleston Cougars, the Huskers found themselves down 5-1 entering the ninth.

With the odds stacked against them, the Huskers jumped on Cougar reliever Davis Aiken and loaded the bases with no outs in the inning. Following two RBI walks from Stone and Chase Sanderson, Riley Silva laced a two-RBI single into right field, tying the game at five. The scrappy Husker hitters remained patient at the plate and attacked the fastball – the message Bolt emphasized following the opening weekend of play.

Nebraska would later force extras and win the game following a Cole Evans RBI groundout in the top of the tenth. Bolt said the team has learned how to win close games against good opponents, by embracing the challenge.

“You have to be accepting of the expectations and be accepting of the intensity level it takes to win games against opponents that are capable (of winning) and aren’t just going to hand you things,” Bolt said.

Nebraska coach Will Bolt
Nebraska coach Will Bolt at practice leading up to the Huskers opening series of the season. Photo courtesy Kyler Adams.

Following a rainout Friday, Saturday’s game was reminiscent of Thursday. After the Huskers went down 4-1 in the seventh inning, the pesky Nebraska hitters began chipping away at the Charleston lead.

After Josh Caron singled and Cole Evans walked with two outs, Dylan Carey laced a single into right-center field that scored Caron from second and advanced Evans to third. Ben Columbus then followed suit with a single of his own, scoring Evans and bringing the game within one.

The ninth inning showed off the Brumbaugh-Silva duo. Both hitters singled, and after Silva stole second, Caron singled to center field tying the game at four. Tyler Stone then hit a deep fly ball to the left-field warning track where he would be credited with the go-ahead sacrifice fly. The intensity of the unit has continued to keep the Huskers in the games late.

“They’ve bought into the intensity level that it takes to get over the hump of some of those games and what it takes to be on the right side of winning plays,” Bolt said. 

Sunday’s game was again more of the same. After Charleston jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, Nebraska would later rally to score five unanswered runs and sweep the Cougars on the road. The Huskers’ team-first mindset has been preached by the players all season, yet the actions and game-winning plays have shown the team’s grits. 

“They know it’s not going to be about the stats and the glory, but it’s going to be about what I can do to help the team win,” Bolt said. 

With the Huskers’ daring late-game approach, they’ve proven they are a sneaky good team with a lot of talent and resiliency on the roster.

The Huskers will host their home opener against the South Alabama Jaguars at 4:05 p.m. Friday at Haymarket Park.

Noah Douglas
Noah Douglas
Noah Douglas is a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in Journalism and Sports Media. He has previously covered high school and collegiate athletics at the Lincoln Journal Star. Follow him on X (Twitter) @DouglasNoha.

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