Two weeks of the college baseball season, and no Big Ten team has played a game. That will change this week as Nebraska heads down to Round Rock, Texas to take on the Purdue Boilermakers. We start our team preview this week with taking a look at boys who will be on the infield for the Huskers this year.
Nebraska will need to replace their starting first baseman from last year. Ty Roseberry started the season for the Huskers before he was replaced by freshman Luke Boynton. Boynton hit .426 but left the Huskers program last fall.
The likely starter is Leighton Banjoff. Banjoff had started eight games as the designated hitter, four games at third, and one game in left field during the pandemic shortened 2020 season. Banjoff did lead the team in batting average and picked up Freshman All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball last year.
If Banjoff is not at first, the Huskers could turn to several options. Colby Gomes played first base during the 2019 season. Luke Roskam and Gunner Hellstrom could also play first base. Hellstrom played first during the fall scrimmages for the Huskers.
Cam Chick returns to the Huskers and would serve as an ideal top of the table hitter. He would bring speed and good vision to the Huskers lineup.
Other candidates to play second base include Brice Matthews, Jaxon Hallmark, and Efry Cervantes. Matthews and Cervantes are first year players to the Huskers. Matthews has special athleticism as he was a top 100 player coming out of the state of Texas. Cervantes, a junior college transfer could play numerous positions for the Huskers. Hallmark most likely stays in center field.
Preseason All-American Spencer Schwellenbach returns to the Huskers. He appears to finally be healthy enough where he will also see some action on the mound. When he is not pitching I would expect him to be the main shortstop.
Besides Schwellenbach, Cervantes saw action at shortstop in the fall. Jack Steil and Max Anderson both freshmen could also see time at the shortstop position. Anderson will most likely see the bulk of the playing time at the hot corner.
The hot corner looks like it will be manned by a freshman come this spring. Anderson seems to have won the right to start the first weekend. Anderson was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Nebraska after clubbing ten home runs during his senior year of high school.
Multiple other Huskers could see time at third. Roskam has played third base in the past, but it is probably his worst defensive position. Banjoff had a few games of experience and did not commit an error last season. Matthews, Cervantes, and Steil all could get starts if the Huskers are looking for a different offensive look.