The Millard West pipeline produced again for the Nebraska baseball team on Monday as pitching prospect Sam Novotny announced his commitment to the Huskers’ 2022 class.
An uptick in velocity and a strong stretch on the showcase circuit put Novotny squarely on Nebraska’s radar this summer before it offered earlier this month. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder becomes the sixth pledge of NU’s 2022 class and fourth from within the state.
Novotny, who will be on scholarship, chose the Huskers over an offer from Creighton and celebrated Monday with family over dinner and cupcakes. He recently visited campus on his own and was impressed by the facilities, as well as coach Will Bolt and his staff.
“I woke up these last couple days just seeing red,” Novotny told The World-Herald. “That was my deciding factor was I knew that was where I wanted to go.”
Novotny’s decision makes him the fourth Millard West player to commit to Nebraska in a five-class span. Pitcher Colby Gomes (2018 cycle) and infielders Max Anderson (2020) and Corbin Hawkins (2021) are also from the high school.
Novotny throws in the mid-80s and relies on a four-seam fastball, curveball and a changeup as his out pitch. Lots of weak contact has typically been his game until recently — his summer stats with Nebraska Prospects in mid-July featured 41 strikeouts in 25 innings with four walks and a 1.37 earned-run average.
Born in Washington state, Novotny grew up in a family with season tickets to the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks. The son of two Nebraska natives, he moved to the Omaha area two years ago with a general knowledge of the Huskers but didn’t plan on going to school in Lincoln until his recent courtship with the baseball program.
“I think I can really contribute to this program,” Novotny said. “I’m super excited, and I think we can do some damage at Nebraska.”
Novotny’s announcement makes him NU’s first commitment in almost six weeks — seemingly an eternity for a second-year coaching staff that has signed or received commitments from 41 players spanning five classes since arriving in June 2019.