Each week, we’ll take a look at how the Husker baseball team is faring during their summer league seasons. Most of these collegiate summer leagues run from early June until early August and take place across North America.
Around 10 Huskers are actively participating this summer. Let’s see what they’re up to so far.
Western Major Baseball League
We start in the beautiful country of Canada with Nebraska baseball’s reserve catcher Taylor Fish. Fish plays for the Okotoks Dawgs based out of Okotoks, Alberta. He’s had a hot start to his summer hitting at a great .308 clip including 12 hits, a home run and five RBIs.
Over the last week, games against Edmonton and Medicine Hat stood out. On June 19 against Edmonton, Fish collected two hits and two RBIs. The next day against Medicine Hat, he pushed across another RBI to go with three hits.
Taylor’s hot hitting in the summer hopefully continues as his bat will be needed for Husker baseball come next spring in either the DH role or as a spot starting catcher.
Coastal Plains League
Two Huskers are currently playing in the CPL with the Edenton Steamers.
Nebraska baseball bullpen ace and closer Josh Roeder has made seven appearances so far for the Steamers earning a 1.35 ERA going 6.2 innings and only allowing five hits. Opponents are hitting .217 off Roeder, who has notched four saves during his seven appearances.
Jake Placzek has struggled a bit at the plate in his 10 games with Edenton. Only hitting .188, he has been able to notch six hits and five RBIs. Compare that to his 2014 season’s .271 average with the Big Red.
New England Collegiate Baseball League
Ben Miller did a little of everything for Husker baseball in 2014. The trend’s continued thus far with the Laconia Muskrats.
He’s made two appearances on the mound and things haven’t gone well, to say the least. In his latest showing, he went a full inning allowing three runs on four hits to go along with two walks and two strikeouts. His ERA? 20.25.
Better news for Miller is his bat is coming along nicely. In the same game as his aforementioned pitching disaster, Ben batted .500 and drove in a run. On the short season, he’s earned a .296 average with a homer and six RBIs.
Summer ball is a good time. NH is the place to be
— Ben Miller (@BenMiller44) June 18, 2014
Also playing in the NECBL is pitcher Max Knutson. With the Danbury Westerners, Knutson has made one start and two other relief appearances. He’s been spectacular with a 0.00 ERA over 8.0 total innings and he’s only given up three hits. The young fireballer has also struck out eight opposing batters.
If Knutson keeps this up, he immediately becomes a top prospect to fill out a weekend pitching rotation that took a ding with Aaron Bummer leaving early.
Austin Christensen plays for the Duluth Huskies, and much like his role with the Huskers, plays as both a fielder and a pitcher. With the bat in his hands, AC’s best game with the Huskies was probably his first, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and scoring two runs. Since then, he’s cooled down, but is still hitting a respectable .207.
On the mound, Christensen has made two starts, notching an 0-1 record and a 4.82 ERA.
The other Northwoods Leaguer is center fielder and Nebraska baseball leadoff man Ryan Boldt. Boldt spent the early part of summer with the Rochester Honkers (aren’t some of these names great?)
In just seven games, Boldt was red hot collecting 10 hits, five RBIs and a triple to go along with four stolen bases. He was hitting a freakishly strong .357.
However, Boldt took leave from the Honkers to head to Cary, North Carolina to try out to be part of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. In his first game, he went 1-for-2 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk.
Texas Collegiate League
Nebraska reliever Jeff Chesnut is making his summer home in Victoria, Texas. Through four relief outings, Chesnut has earned a win and a 2.70 ERA. Chesnut looks to be a guy who is in the mix to fill in for graduated setup man Zack Hirsch. A strong summer could aid him in doing so.
West Coast League
The Husker baseball team’s largest contingent headed out to Pacific Northwest for the summer.
Christian Cox and Tanner Lubach are playing for the Medford Rogues while freshman Grant Gamble is with the Cowlitz Black Bears.
Cox has both pitched and played outfield for the Rogues. At the dish, he’s hitting .316 with two RBIs. On the bump, he’s notched four innings of relief work with a perfect ERA striking out five and only walking one.
I look for Cox to be a starter in the outfield for Darin Erstad’s bunch, but if he can continue to be consistent on the hill like he has so far this summer, he’ll be hard to keep out of the bullpen.
Lubach is hitting an astounding .346. The regular Husker catcher has collected five RBIs and nine total hits.
Finally, Grant Gamble, a redshirted freshman relief pitcher, has made just four appearances this summer, but has a win under his belt. An ERA of 2.08 over 4.1 innings pitched with five strikeouts, he’s been a little wild with seven walks. We’ll have to keep an eye on Gamble as he has not played in a game since June 13.
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