Three Hoosiers Named First Team All-Big Ten
May 20, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Three members of the Indiana baseball team have been named First Team All-Big Ten, the conference office announced today. Catcher Josh Phegley, pitcher Matt Bashore and outfielder Andrew Means all picked up first team accolades, marking the most first team selections for the Hoosiers since they finished second in the conference en route to a tournament title in 1996. Indiana finished in sixth place in the conference in 2008, and will face No. 3 seed Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday at 3:35 p.m. in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Indiana was second to only first-place Michigan (six selections) with its three honorees on the first team. Purdue (two), Illinois (two) and Minnesota (two) were the only other teams to place more than one student-athlete on the first team. Phegley was one of four unanimous first team selections, joining Player of the Year Nate Recknagel (Michigan), Pitcher of the Year Zach Putnam (Michigan) and outfielder Kyle Hudson (Illinois). Means was also named Indiana's Sportsmanship Award Nominee.
Phegley has posted one of the top seasons by a Hoosier ever, as he has emerged as an All-America candidate in his second season in Bloomington. He is the first catcher since Matt Braughler in 1996 to pick up first team All-Big Ten honors. The Terre Haute, Ind., native has already been named to the Wallace Award (top player in the nation) Watch List and is a Johnny Bench Award (top catcher in the nation) semifinalist this year.
Phegley leads the team in nearly every offensive category, and is in the top five in the conference in nearly every category as well. In addition to leading the Big Ten in batting average (.436) and RBI (71), he is second in home runs (13), runs scored (63), slugging (.733), on-base percentage (.514), hits (88) and total bases (148). With his impressive batting average and improved power has come a tremendous upswing in Phegley's RBI total. This season, he set a school and conference record with 45 RBI in Big Ten games. His 71 overall RBI tie him for third on the school's all-time list with Alex Smith (1985) and are the most since Mike Smith had 92 when he won college baseball's only triple crown in 1992.
Bashore had a breakout sophomore season, leading the Big Ten with 83 strikeouts and going 7-3 with a 3.16 ERA. He is the first Hoosier pitcher that has been named first team All-Big Ten since Dan Ferrell and Kevin Zaleski were honored in 1996. Bashore tied Michigan's Chris Fetter for the conference lead with three Pitcher of the Week selections on the season. He had five complete games in his 12 starts on the year, with all five coming in conference play. The Tipp City, Ohio, native struck out 12 men against Portland on March 14, the most since Zach McClellan struck out 14 Vermont hitters in 2001.
Bashore collected one-run victories in each of his final four starts for IU. The sophomore outdueled Michigan's Chris Fetter in a 2-1 win on April 26, then followed that up with his second straight complete-game, walk-off victory, a 5-4 triumph over Purdue on May 4. Bashore was brilliant in the Hoosiers' 2-1 win over Northwestern on May 10, allowing only three hits and one unearned run in a complete-game victory for IU. He closed his Big Ten regular season with a 7-6 win over Michigan State last weekend.
Means picks up first team honors in 2008 after being a second team selection in 2007. He is the first Hoosier outfielder to grab first team honors since Kennard Jones in 2002. Means was the only position player this season to garner Big Ten Player of the Week honors more than once. The junior led the Big Ten with 65 runs and eight triples - the most by a Hoosier since 1991 - while hitting .365 with 30 stolen bases. He hit .392 with 38 runs and 17 steals in conference play, with all totals ranking in the conference's top 10.
Means finished the year with a flourish, as he had multiple-hit games in each of the four contests at Michigan State in leading the Hoosiers to a road sweep of the Spartans. The junior hit .563 with a .938 slugging percentage and a .632 on-base percentage on the weekend. The leadoff hitter scored nine runs in the series, including a career-high four in Friday's opener. He capped the weekend off with three hits and three runs in the series finale to push the Hoosiers into the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2003.
This season set new highs for the Hoosiers in terms of weekly accolades. In addition to Means' two honors, sophomore Phegley has garnered one Player of the Week nod. Combining that with Bashore's three Pitcher of the Week laurels, the Hoosiers have collected more weekly hardware than any other IU team since the weekly awards' inception in 1990.
The Hoosiers have earned the No. 6 seed in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament and will take on No. 3 seed Penn State in the opening round, Wednesday at 3:35 p.m. EDT at Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Hoosiers finished the regular season at 28-28 after a four-game sweep of Michigan State last weekend. It was their first Big Ten series sweep since 1999 against Northwestern.
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