Aaron Palensky

Aaron Palensky, a second-team All-Big Ten selection, soars to catch a ball against Michigan State in March.

A pair of Nebraska newcomers will take All-Big Ten status into the league tournament this week.

Sophomore outfielder Aaron Palensky and freshman infielder Cam Chick both landed on the All-Big Ten second team. Chick also earned a spot on the all-freshman team. Outfielder Joe Acker was NU’s sportsmanship award winner.

Palensky, a Papillion-La Vista South grad who arrived via Southeast Community College, leads the Huskers in batting average (.339), hits (65), doubles (11), triples (two), home runs (five) and runs scored (36). He also has 28 RBIs.

Chick, a 5-foot-9 left-side infielder/designated hitter from Rocheport, Missouri, is hitting .246 overall but came on with a .316 mark in conference play. A midseason injury to shortstop Spencer Schwellenbach gave Chick an opportunity that he didn’t relinquish. One of the team’s best base runners has four steals and 26 runs scored.

The two all-league selections tie NU’s lowest total as a Big Ten member. The Huskers also had two last season, when they missed the conference tourney for the first time. Four Huskers were recognized following the regular-season title in 2017, and the high mark was seven in 2012.

One notable omission was senior Matt Waldron, Nebraska’s Friday starter throughout the season. The right-hander from Omaha Westside finished 14th in the league with a 3.17 ERA and struck out 70 against six walks in a team-high 821⁄3 innings.

“Matt’s been fantastic,” NU coach Darin Erstad said Monday. “I hope he gets an honor, but it’s not going to change my opinion of him or his value to our team.”

The player of the year is Michigan outfielder Jordan Brewer, and the pitcher of the year is Indiana’s Andrew Saalfrank. Maryland first baseman Maxwell Costes is freshman of the year. First-year Indiana coach Jeff Mercer is coach of the year after guiding the Hoosiers to the regular-season crown.

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Evan Bland covers Nebraska football, baseball and other sports for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @EvanBlandOWH.

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