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Cambridge's Silva reflects on successful season at Nebraska

The Huskers won the Big Ten Conference championship and played in the NCAA tournament
Riley Silva just completed his junior season at the University of Nebraska after spending two seasons at Barton Community College.

University of Nebraska outfielder Riley Silva experienced all the ebbs and flows a college baseball season has to offer in 2024.

It began with a preseason snub as the Huskers were tabbed a middle of the pack team in the Big Ten Conference.

Three and a half months later, the Cambridge outfielder and his teammates were dog piling as Big Ten champions following the final out of the conference tournament.

A week later, their season was over after going 1-2 in the NCAA tournament, two steps away from reaching the College World Series.

Such is life in the game of baseball. 

"I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways from the season is that you should never let anybody dictate on how your season goes, we were picked preseason not to win the Big Ten and finish mid in the rankings in our conference," Silva said.

"Some teams might see that and just finish where they were predicted and be happy with that outcome because that’s where people expected them, but not us. We kept our head down every day and put the work in the classroom, the weight room and on the field and it clearly paid off."

From an individual performance perspective, Silva also experienced the highs and lows a season can bring but was happy with his play overall.

He hit .256, stole 32 bases and had a .988 fielding percentage while playing in 61 of the team's 62 games.

As most competitive athletes, Silva still believes he can be better and is excited to return to Lincoln in the fall for his senior season.

"Personally, I think my season ended off a little rough for me," he said.

"I think the first half to middle of my season was one of the best seasons I’ve ever had and my coaches have agreed on that. But towards the end of the season, something changed for me and I wasn’t the same player that I was at the beginning of the year."

Silva plans to tweak his swing, change up his stance and get stronger this summer to ensure the struggles he had late in the year aren't repeated.

With plenty of work ahead, he's looking forward to representing Nebraska one more time.

"There's so many memories throughout the season that I could reflect on and I could go on for hours about," Silva said.

"I couldn’t be happier to be at such a great school in a great city."