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Nebraska baseball bolsters its pitching by signing pair of juco aces

Nebraska baseball bolsters its pitching by signing pair of juco aces

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Nebraska bolstered its pitching Thursday with the announced signings of a pair of junior college starters.

Former Elkhorn South and Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College left-hander Jake Bunz joined the Huskers along with right-hander Koty Frank out of Eastern Oklahoma State Community College. Both dominated their respective leagues as staff aces and increase Nebraska’s 2020 class to 13 total players.

“Koty and Jake are two high-level winners that we are fortunate to add to our program,” Nebraska coach Will Bolt said in a release. “They check every box we are searching for in bringing in high-level junior college transfers. They will make our staff and our team better the instant they step foot on campus.”

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Bunz, whom NU offered earlier this month, was sitting out this season and is nearly 12 months into his recovery from Tommy John surgery. As a starter at Hutchinson last spring, he struck out 81 batters in 54 1/3 innings while walking 22 with a 3.48 ERA. He throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball, change-up and curveball along with a slider that is his out pitch. Recruiting coordinator Lance Harvell said in the release that he considers Bunz to be a “frontline arm” and weekend candidate.

“It felt good to have a school want me, especially my home-state school,” Bunz told The World-Herald recently. “It means a lot for them to reach out and trust me and trust my comeback process to get back on the mound.”

Frank, who didn’t publicly announce his decision until Thursday, compiled a 3.33 ERA in two juco seasons, striking out 127 batters in 110 2/3 innings. The 6-2, 185-pound Frank had a 2.68 ERA and 48 strikeouts against eight walks in five starts this spring.

“(Frank) knows who he is and knows how to get hitters out,” Harvell said. “He is going to be a valuable commodity for us on our pitching staff moving forward.”

Bolt’s first class as head coach includes nine players receiving partial scholarships, including five juco transfers.

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