Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Husker Baseball Starts Up Practice, Feels Good About Team Chemistry

January 27, 2023

Nebraska baseball started practice on Friday, three weeks out from its Feb. 17 season opener. 

The Huskers, once again fielding a roster made up of a significant number of newcomers, went through a variety of stretches and drills before scrimmaging in the outdoor practice session at Den Hartog Field.

In weather that kept around 40 degrees, head coach Will Bolt and players were happy to be outside. 

“We’ve been inside for a little while now,” Bolt said prior to practice. “We’re fortunate to have this field here, that’s got turf and we can clear it out and we appreciate the guys over here on the field crew for helping us get it ready. So I know the guys will be excited.”

The head coach mentioned that this is the third straight year the team has had to incorporate 20 or more newcomers to the program. With so many new faces, whether they be freshmen or transfer portal additions, making sure they all mesh has been a focus.

A major theme of the team’s additions has been bringing in more experienced players. Bolt has chalked up some of the team’s struggles last year to the roster’s youth, but said that the team’s chemistry will benefit this year from the offseason changes. 

“You ask the guys to let their personalities come out,” he said. “Again, when you’re a little bit older, you’re more comfortable. So you’re a little more able to do that. Some of our better players that have been in the program now are juniors and seniors or fifth-year guys, and so they’ve kind of helped set the tone too. And so it’s always a work in progress.”

Of the tone setters, Bolt specifically pointed out fifth-year players Kyle Perry, Shay Schanaman, Efry Cervantes and Griffin Everitt. He also gave credit to juniors Brice Matthews and Max Anderson, who were freshmen in Bolt’s first full season and are now taking on leadership roles.

Redshirt sophomore Garrett Anglim also put an emphasis on the team’s bond when talking about takeaways from last season and improvements to be made going into this one. He said that it’s the closest Husker team he’s played on yet.

“We’re together all the time,” Anglim said. “When we’re not having to be together, we’re choosing to be together. With meals, hanging out on our free time and everything like that. So just kind of taking each other all in and learning about each other.”

Freshman Caleb Clark, one of the team’s many newcomers, echoed the same sentiment. Along with that, he said he’s been able to pick up on the team’s drive to rebound from what was a rough 2022 season. 

“You could tell a lot of the guys that were here last year did not enjoy what happened last year and they really wanted to get back to that 2021 team, the way that they were able to just compete every game and that I don’t care attitude, like, we just want to go out there and compete our our butts off,” Clark said. “So I think a lot of the guys that came back and the guys who also came in as well, we all kind of have that same mentality of like, we just want to win baseball games, so we don’t care what else happens.”

There is still plenty to accomplish for the team in the weeks before the regular season begins. The roster is yet to be finalized, and players such as Clark don’t yet know what role they’ll play on the team. Additionally, the team’s chemistry will only truly be tested once games get underway. 

“We haven’t faced any adversity yet, so that’s when you really start to see the chemistry,” Bolt said. “But yeah, the guys have made it a real big point, the coaching staff has made it a big point. And it’s been a fun group to be around.”

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Tags: Baseball