Nearly every senior from Nebraska’s 2020 baseball team appears set to make another go of it next spring.
More than seven weeks after the coronavirus pandemic halted the Huskers’ season at 15 games, coach Will Bolt said Monday that five of the program’s six seniors will take advantage of the blanket waiver afforded to any spring-sport athletes who wish to retain their eligibility.
Speaking on the Husker Sports Network, of which KCNI/KBBN is an affiliate, Bolt said, “There’s obviously potential professional opportunities there for most guys but with a five-round (MLB) draft and so much uncertainty with free agent signings and stuff, I think most of those guys are planning on just coming back and playing next year.”
Four of the returning seniors were regulars in the 2020 lineup — center fielder Joe Acker, left fielder Mojo Hagge, catcher Luke Roskam and first baseman Ty Roseberry. The other, left-hander Gareth Stroh, opened as the Friday night starting pitcher and began a pair of February contests before injuring his throwing elbow. Next season will be Stroh’s sixth in college baseball after sitting out 2019 as a Purdue transfer.
Circumstances for the seniors vary. Roskam and Stroh are headed for summer ball in the Northwoods League — assuming shutdown measures against the pandemic are lifted by then — while Hagge plans to play in the Alaska Baseball League. Roseberry, a walk-on from Kearney who will graduate in December, has an internship lined up with an agronomy business in his hometown. Acker is rehabbing a leg injury.
Bolt said the extra players will provide new challenges to a sport that already deals with draft-eligible prospects and junior college recruits. The returning seniors won’t count against standard NCAA baseball limits of 11.7 scholarships split among 27 athletes and a 35-man roster in 2021. They do, however, bring back unexpected financial costs and competition for playing time.