There are no givens in baseball, but Nebraska came up with clutch hits and sterling pitching for the sixth consecutive home game as NU beat Indiana State 4-3 on a brisk, windy Tuesday afternoon at Haymarket Park.
Sophomore center fielder Ryan Boldt singled in a run in the seventh to put Nebraska ahead, and Jake Placzek hit an RBI single in the eighth to propel Nebraska to the win.
The hitting and pitching combination has given NU six wins in a row.
But Husker pitching coach Ted Silva knows there is more to it than winning the 19th game of a 56-plus game season.
"We'll give up runs," Silva said. "We throw strikes, so we'll get hit. But from our seniors to freshmen, starters to relievers, position players to pinch hitters, everybody is pulling on the same side of the rope.
"Starters have been good and I'm just as excited about this team as coach (Darin) Erstad and all the players," said Silva, whose pitching staff carries a 2.68 earned-run average in the 13-6 season. Closer Josh Roeder was touched for a run in the ninth inning, but that was just the fourth run the NU bullpen has allowed in the past 12 games.
Add in starting strength, like that shown by freshman Garret King, who gave up six hits and two runs in five innings Tuesday, and you have a pretty good formula for winning games.
"Garret had a good breaking ball and was pounding the fastball, and other than the one he got behind and got smoked for a solo home run, he was strong," Erstad said. "Then (Jeff) Chesnut, (Colton) Howell and Roeder did their thing."
Chesnut, Howell and Roeder have been slamming the door on everybody they've faced since a trip to Houston for a three-game set.
But Silva said it's way too early in the season to assess the pitching staff.
"We'll add and subtract and see how people do week to week, but trying to stay the course is hard," he said.
"Credit King for figuring out what it takes to win, to compete," Silva said. "We reiterate what's important and keep positive.
"Credit to the bullpen for throwing strikes and competing in the strike zone, because that is so difficult to do, and then results take care of themselves."
Nebraska scored two in the third inning when Placzek, who has been hampered by finger injuries, singled and scored on a single by Boldt. Indiana State scored when Jacob Hayes mashed a solo home run off the right-field foul pole in the fourth and the Sycamores tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth on an RBI single.
"We can do better (on offense)," Erstad said. "I don't think we put a lot of great swings on it today. But, for me, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I have a different expectation level of how to grind it out. I can't tell you how many guys (were) sprinting from class or to class after this, and to play as clean as we did and get the win is all I'm worried about."