LINCOLN — Before Nebraska’s home opening series against New Mexico last weekend, the Husker veterans gathered the team together just to reinforce the importance of a team-first attitude.
Staying upbeat despite the struggles (NU was 0-7 before a two-game sweep over the Lobos) makes all the difference, said senior third baseman Josh Scheffert.
“Guys showing up at the ballpark ready to play, ready to support other teammates — I think that’s huge,” Scheffert said. “It creates a lively energy in the dugout and builds confidence for the players.”
The positive vibes were flowing through Nebraska’s squad the entire weekend, and the players hope they can carry that momentum into Wednesday’s doubleheader against Northern Colorado at Haymarket Park.
The Bears (3-4), who move to the WAC next year, were picked to finish fifth in the Great West preseason poll. They split two midweek games with Nebraska last year. They had lost 16 of their last 17 contests against the Huskers.
Northern Colorado will start sophomore right-hander Eian Raeber, who’s thrown just one inning on the year so far. Sophomore lefty Aaron Bummer will counter for NU.
Wednesday’s second game will begin about 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first. Starting pitchers have yet to be announced.
No matter who starts, though, Nebraska coach Darin Erstad will likely use his full bullpen Wednesday, capitalizing on the opportunity to get work for some pitchers who haven’t thrown too often just yet. About 75 percent of the team’s 75 innings have been split among five guys.
Erstad said he’ll be looking for pitchers who throw strikes. That’s the best way to build off last weekend, which was highlighted by Christian DeLeon’s eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 win.
“I’m happy that (after) the hard work and everything they’ve put into this, they’re getting a few wins,” Erstad said. “Because just as losing’s contagious, winning’s very contagious as well.”
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