Freshman of the Year Sam Travis One of Eight All-Big Ten Hoosiers
May 22, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The All-Big Ten teams were announced on Tuesday (May 22) and a total of eight Hoosiers were selected amongst the conference's elite, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year - Sam Travis. Indiana tied Purdue for the most all-conference selections.
Jonny Hoffman was touted as the league's best relief pitcher, earning First Team honors. Catcher Kyle Schwarber, designated hitter Dillon Dooney and Travis (first base) each picked up Second Team accolades while Joey DeNato is all-conference for the second straight season, named to the Third Team.
The Big Ten's coaches voted five Hoosier rookies to the All-Freshman team, four by unanimous chose. The list includes: Travis, Schwarber, Kyle Hart (starting pitcher), Chris Sujka (outfield) and Chad Clark (third base).
Travis is the second Big Ten Freshman of the Year in school history, following in the footsteps of 2009 honoree Alex Dickerson. The first baseman enters postseason play ranked highly in multiple Big Ten statistical rankings: 49 RBI (2nd), nine homeruns (4th), 112 total bases (t-5th), 15 doubles (t-5th), .519 slugging percentage (8th) and 70 hits (t-8th).
With the addition of Hoffman, Head Coach Tracy Smith has now mentored nine different First Team All-Big Ten-ers in the last five years. The submarine-thrower posted a 1.08 earned run average in Big Ten games and a 2.36 ERA overall. He is 7-1 on the year in 25 appearances with five saves. Hoffman is holding the opposition to a .223 batting average.
Schwarber and Dooney have been mainstays in the heart of the IU line-up all season, each heating up during Indiana's crucial 10-2 second-half of the conference season. Scwharber's overall numbers are amongst the best in the Big Ten: 49 runs scored (2nd), five triples (2nd), 47 RBI (3rd), 116 total bases (4th), .542 slugging percentage (5th) and 15 doubles (t-5th). He stepped up to the next level in conference games, hitting .376 with four homeruns, nine doubles and an OPS of over 1.000.
Dooney is arguably the hottest hitter entering the Big Ten Tournament. His recent hot streak, which includes a .485 batting clip in the last 10 games, has raised his season batting average over 50 percentage points in the last three weeks. His .440 on-base percentage for the year is tied for fourth-best in the Big Ten.
DeNato was the only freshman in the Big Ten to snare First Team laurels last season, making another appearance on the all-conference squads in 2012. He has racked up a team-high 84.2 innings through 14 starts, posting a 3.08 ERA with 72 strikeouts.
Only five schools were represented in the 14-player All-Freshman team; due in large part to Indiana filling five of the available slots. Nebraska was the next highest with three Huskers tabbed as All-Freshman. Schwarber, Travis, Clark and Sujka were all voted unanimously. The IU Five has combined to make 212 starts thus far.
Hart manned the Saturday starter role for much of the season, recorded a 3.16 ERA and five wins in 14 starts on the mound.
In addition to the eight aforementioned Hoosiers, Drew Leininger was recognized by the conference as well. The senior southpaw from California is one of 11 Big Ten Sportsmanship award winners.
The Cream and Crimson has earned the No. 2 seed for the Big Ten Tournament and will play their opening game on Thursday at approximately 3:35 pm.
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