Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Will Bolt Named Big Ten Coach of the Year, More Honors for Nebraska Baseball

May 30, 2021

Talk about a major haul of conference honors for the 2021 Big Ten champion Nebraska baseball team.

The Big Ten Conference released its season baseball awards on Sunday and the Huskers were well represented across the board. That included three of the league’s major awards.

Spencer Schwellenbach was named Big Ten Player of the Year—he is the first Nebraska baseball player to earn the honor—while Max Anderson was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Will Bolt as Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Schwellenbach is Nebraska baseball’s first player to be named player of the year since 2005 when Alex Gordon won Big 12 Player of the Year for the second straight season. He is the seventh player in program history to be named conference player of the year. He joins Gordon (2004, 2005), Matt Hopper (2003), Aaron Marsden (2003), Jed Morris (2002), Shane Komine (2000, 2001) and Darin Erstad (1995).

Schwellenbach—who started every game at shortstop and served as the team’s closer in 2021—ranked No. 10 in the Big Ten in runs (41), RBIs (35) and walks (28). He committed only three errors in 168 changes. On the mound, Schwellenbach had a 0.71 ERA in 25.1 innings over 16 appearances. He struck out 29, walked six and allowed just two earned runs through the regular season. He also ranked third in the Big Ten with nine saves.

As for Anderson, he ranked second on the team and eighth in the Big Ten with a .337 batting average during his freshman season. He is tied with teammate Jaxon Hallmark for the league lead in hits with 60. He is the fifth Husker in program history to be named conference freshman of the year, joining Chad Luensman (he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2016) and  Shane Komine (1999), Matt Hopper (2000) and Johnny Dorn (2005) who were all named Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

The 2021 season was Bolt’s first season in the Big Ten after his first was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. He was named coach of the year following the Huskers’ Big Ten regular-season title, which secured the Huskers’ automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Bolt—who helped Nebraska post a 31-12 record in 2021—is the second Nebraska coach to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Darin Erstad earned the honor in 2017.

In addition to the three big awards, the Huskers had four first-team All-Big Ten honorees.

Nebraska now awaits its fate in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers will learn where they are headed for postseason play during Monday’s NCAA Selection Show. That’s slated for 11 a.m. CT on ESPN2.

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