Indiana Dominates Big Ten Postseason Awards
May 20, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana's Joey DeNato, Sam Travis and head coach Tracy Smith highlight the 2014 Big Ten baseball yearly awards as the conference announced its All-Big Ten teams on Tuesday. Travis was named Big Ten Player of the Year, DeNato Pitcher of the Year and Smith Coach of the Year. The Hoosiers also had eight players earn first team All-Big Ten honors to tie a conference mark for most first team honorees from one school.
Travis - a unanimous selection - becomes the fourth Hoosier to ever earn the Big Ten Player of the Year honor and the first since Alex Dickerson in 2010. The Orland Park, Ill., native finished the regular season batting .357 overall (3rd in Big Ten) with 10 home runs (1st) and 53 RBI (1st) as he did not commit a single error the entire year in 490 chances. Travis also led the conference in hits (76) and total bases (124), was second in slugging percentage (.582) and runs scored (49), sixth in on-base percentage (.420) and tied for eighth in doubles (14).
With DeNato being named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, he becomes the third Indiana pitcher to ever earn the award and the second in as many years. IU's all-time career leader in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts, DeNato finished the 2014 regular season with an 11-1 record and an ERA of 1.83 in 93.2 innings pitched. He struck out 68 batters and gave up only 19 earned runs the entire year. He led the conference in wins, ERA and pickoffs, was second in innings pitched and third in strikeouts. He boasted a perfect 7-0 record in Big Ten games to lead the league and posted a 1.76 ERA in conference games only.
Smith earns his second consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year honor as Indiana has won back-to-back outright regular season conference titles for the first time in school history. Smith led the 2014 Hoosiers to the program's most Big Ten wins (21) in regular season play.
Indiana's eight first team All-Big Ten selections marks just the second time in Big Ten history that a single program has had eight individuals named first team all-conference (Ohio State, 1991). Indiana's Kyle Schwarber (C), Travis (1B), Dustin DeMuth (3B) and DeNato (SP) were unanimous first team selections. Joining them on the first team was Brad Hartong (OF), Scotty Donley (DH), Christian Morris (SP) and Luke Harrison (RP).
Schwarber is tied with Travis with a Big Ten-leading 10 home runs this season while hitting .340 with 36 RBI. Schwarber also paces the conference in runs scored (56), slugging percentage (.615) and triples (5). DeMuth hit an impressive .448 in Big Ten games only and .385 overall during the year to lead the conference and also has five home runs and 34 RBI.
Hartong finished the regular season with a .336 batting average overall and was fourth in the conference hitting .378 in Big Ten play. He has hit three home runs so far this year with 34 RBI. Donley caught fire in Big Ten play as he batted .383 in conference games for the second-best batting average in league play behind DeMuth.
Morris has started 12 games for the Hoosiers this season and is 5-3 on the year with an ERA of 1.99, which ranks third in the Big Ten in all games played. His 1.34 ERA in conference games ranked second in the league during Big Ten play. Harrison was a major part of the Hoosier bullpen as he finished the regular season with a 5-0 record in 23 appearances, posting a 1.87 ERA with 50 strikeouts and added two saves in 43.1 innings pitched. He posted an ERA of 0.45 in Big Ten games in 20.0 innings pitched with a 3-0 record and a save.
Outfielder Will Nolden also earned All-Big Ten recognition as he garnered third team honors. He ended the regular season with a .310 batting average overall and a .347 average in conference games only.
Relief pitcher Jake Kelzer was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team, as he did not give up a single run during Big Ten play in eight appearances. For the year, Kelzer struck out 38 batters in 24.0 innings pitched with an ERA of 2.62.
All-Big Ten selections are voted upon by the conference coaches.
DeMuth was also named Indiana's Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree.
The Hoosiers are the No. 1 seed in this week's Big Ten Tournament at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. Indiana will open tournament play on Wednesday vs. eighth-seeded Iowa at 6 p.m. ET live on the Big Ten Network.
All-Big Ten First Team: C Kyle Schwarber (unanimous), 1B Sam Travis (unanimous), 3B Dustin DeMuth (unanimous), SP Joey DeNato (unanimous), OF Brad Hartong, DH Scott Donley, SP Christian Morris, RP Luke Harrison
All-Big Ten Third Team: OF Will Nolden
All-Big Ten Freshman Team: RP Jake Kelzer
Sportsmanship Award: Dustin DeMuth
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