Five Hoosiers Honored by Big Ten Conference
|2001-2002 News Update|
May 21, 2002
Junior Vasili Spanos was named to the All-Big Ten First Team on Tuesday.
Bloomington, Ind. The Indiana baseball team exceeded all expectations and five Hoosiers were honored for their contributions to the 2002 fourth-place Hoosiers, who are currently awaiting fifth-seeded Iowa at the 2002 Big Ten Baseball Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn.
Junior center fielder Kennard Jones was one of three Big Ten standouts that was named 2002 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year. Jones led the conference in overall hitting (.411), runs (72) and overall hits (88). In addition, Jones was second in hitting (.397) in conference games only. He led the league in hits (46), runs (30) and overall stolen bases (22). Minnesotas Luke Appert and Michigan States Bob Malek were also named Player of the Year.
Jones was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team as an outfielder.
Kennard deserved these awards, said Head Coach Bob Morgan. He did a great job for us all season and it is great to see him get the respect he deserves.
Jones is the second Hoosier to earn the Player of the Year award. In 1992, Mike Smith was the first-ever collegiate triple crown winner and earned the honor.
Joining Jones on the All-Big Ten First Team is junior third baseman Vasili Spanos. Spanos finished the regular season as the overall Big Ten champion in home runs with 16. He hit seven homers in Big Ten games and knocked in 62 runs overall, which was enough for second in the conference. Spanos was the overall champion in slugging percentage (.773) and also on-base percentage (.505). He also finished second in overall walks (44) and was the league leader in walks in Big Ten games (23).
This is the first time since 1996 that Indiana has been awarded with more than one All-Big Ten First Team honors. In 96, IU had three first team selections. Doug DeVore was the last honoree in 1999.
Additionally, three other Hoosiers were also named to the All-Big Ten team. Senior Eric Blakeley was named to the All-Big Ten Third Team as shortstop after a career season in 2002. Blakeley hit nine home runs and knocked in 59 runs for the Hoosiers. He tied for first in conference games only RBI with 27 and hit .332 overall.
Two Indiana hurlers were named to the All-Big Ten team with junior Nick Vitielliss earning second team honors and senior Zach Otte earning third team honors.
Vitielliss finished 2002 with a 5-1 conference record and an overall record of 7-1. His five conference victories tied him for third in the league and conference ERA of 2.91 earned him seventh in the Big Ten. His five conference wins tied the school record set in 1991 by Bob Scafa.
Otte was named to the All-Big Ten Third Team after a career senior season. Otte finished with a 4-2 conference record and a 7-3 record overall. His ERA of 2.19 won him the overall ERA crown and his conference ERA of 2.32 was the best among any Big Ten starter. He threw five complete games, all in Big Ten play, and earned two shutouts. Otte posted a 1-0 shutout over team batting champion Michigan State and a 3-0 shutout over Northwestern after IU only managed two hits on offense.
All of these guys are deserving of these honors, said Morgan. Otte had a great season and with all he has been through it is great to see him earn some respect. I thought Blakeley might have been higher, but the guys in front of him are pretty strong. Vitielliss was one of our top starters this season and hopefully he cane help guide us to a Big Ten Tournament title.
Indiana takes on Iowa on Wednesday at Noon at Siebert Field in Minneapolis, Minn. Look for the live scoreboard on the home of the Hoosiers: iuhoosiers.com.