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Four MLB players with ties to current Big Ten programs were selected to the 2014 All-Star Game, it was announced on Sunday, with two each appearing in the American and National Leagues. Minnesota reliever Glen Perkins (Minnesota), Kansas City outfielder Alex Gordon (Nebraska), Pittsburgh reliever Tony Watson (Nebraska) and Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier (Rutgers) were each tabbed for the 2014 Midsummer Classic, which be televised by FOX on July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis, home of the 2015 Big Ten Baseball Tournament. It will be Perkins and Gordon's second All-Star Game nomination, while Frazier and Watson garnered their first All-Star Game nod.
Indiana University Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass announced the hiring of Louisville assistant coach Chris Lemonis as the 24th head coach of the Hoosier baseball program Wednesday. The 2013 ABCA/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year will be introduced at a press conference on a date to be determined.
"We are extremely pleased with the extensive interest in this position, from head coaches to assistant coaches and others associated with collegiate and professional baseball," Glass said. "From those outstanding candidates, we are confident we have selected the right one to lead Indiana Baseball."
Lemonis' imprint in elevating the Louisville program to new heights has been evident. The former Cardinals' recruiting coordinator aided Louisville to three College World Series appearances (2008, 2013, 2014) and a 359-159 (.693) record during the past eight seasons, including back-to-back 50-win seasons in 2013 and 2014. Working under Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, Lemonis has helped the Cardinals produce 15 All-Americans, 54 all-conference selections and a pair of conference Player of the Year winners.
"I am really excited for the opportunity to join one of college baseball's hottest programs at Indiana," Lemonis said. "I am thankful Fred Glass and the administration have faith in me to keep the momentum rolling and keep the Hoosiers at the top of the Big Ten. Our staff will do everything we can to recruit the state of Indiana and the entire Midwest to bring the best baseball players to Bloomington. We will play an exciting brand of baseball and are confident we can continue the championship tradition that has been established at IU."
Hoosier Repeat: Indiana won its second straight Big Ten Championship, finishing the year with a 21-3 conference mark. The team's .874 conference winning percentage was the highest since Ohio State's .893 winning percentage (25-3) in 1999. The Hoosiers clinched their sixth conference title in program history and became the first Big Ten team to secure back-to-back championships since Michigan did so in 2007 and 2008.
Double Champions: For the second straight year, Indiana met Nebraska for the Big Ten Tournament title with the Hoosiers claiming their second straight championship. The Hoosiers earned an 8-4 victory over the Huskers, giving Indiana its fourth tournament title and becoming the first conference team to win consecutive tournament titles since Ohio State in 2002 and 2003. Indiana's Kyle Schwarber was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after hitting two home runs and driving in five. The complete All-Tournament Team can be found below, while a complete game by game recap of the Big Ten Tournament can be found HERE.
2014 Big Ten All-Tournament Team
Tournament Attendance Records: The Big Ten established new attendance records during the 2014 tournament, held May 21-25 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. Sunday's attendance of 19,965 ranks as the largest single-game conference tournament attendance in NCAA history, breaking the previous mark set by Florida State and North Carolina in 2005 with a crowd of 17,860. Including Sunday's championship final, the five-day total tournament attendance of 62,020 shattered the previous Big Ten tournament mark of 12,219 set in 2009. Four days of the tournament featured attendance of more than 10,000, including Wednesday (10,400) Thursday (11,756) and Saturday (12,319). The previous NCAA record for conference tournament attendance was established by Florida State and North Carolina in 2005 with a crowd of 17,860.
All-Big Ten Honors: The Big Ten announced the 2014 baseball All-Big Ten Teams and individual award winners, as voted by the conference's coaches. Indiana's Sam Travis was the unanimous choice for Player of the Year, teammate Joey DeNato garnered Pitcher of the Year accolades and Tracy Smith was tabbed Coach of the Year, while Ohio State's Tanner Tully took home Freshman of the Year honors. Travis is the second Indiana player to win the honor in the last five seasons, following Alex Dickerson in 2010. Overall, he is just the fourth Hoosier to win the award. DeNato gives Indiana its second straight Big Ten Pitcher of the Year accolade, following Aaron Slegers from a season ago, and its third in program history. Smith wins his second straight Coach of the Year award, claiming the third such honor in Indiana history. Indiana finished the season 21-3 in conference play, making their .875 Big Ten winning percentage the highest since Ohio State's .893 percentage (25-3) in 1999. Tully is the second Buckeye in four seasons to be named Freshman of the Year, following teammate Josh Dezse in 2011. Overall, he is the 11th player in Ohio State annals to win the award. For the complete All-Big Ten release, click HERE.
All-Americans: Six Big Ten standouts earned All-America honors from various accolades this season. Indiana's Dustin DeMuth and Kyle Schwarber each garnered first team honors from Baseball America and Perfect Game, while also being named All-Americans by the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball Magazine. Indiana's Sam Travis was named a second-team honoree from Perfect Game, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Magazine, while Joey DeNato was named a second-team pick from NCBWA and a third-team selection from Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball Magazine. Michigan State's Blaise Salter was named a third-team selection by the NCBWA, while Nebraska's Chance Sinclair garnered third-team accolades by Collegiate Baseball Magazine. Meanwhile, six conference newcomers garnered Freshman All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball Magazine, including Illinois' Adam Walton, Michigan's Brett Adcock and Carmen Benedetti, Nebraska's Ryan Boldt and Ohio State's Ronnie Dawson and Tanner Tully.
All-Region: Ten conference standouts were named ABCA All-Region honorees, including eight All-Mideast Region performers and two Nebraska standouts who appeared on the All-Midwest Region squad. Indiana's Joey DeNato, Dustin DeMuth, Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis and Iowa's Jake Mangler and Jake Yacinich were each first-team All-Mideast Region selections, while Illinois Tyler Jay and Michigan State's Blaise Salter were second-team selections. Nebraska's Pat Kelly was selected to the All-Midwest Region first team, while teammate Chance Sinclair was a second-team honoree.
Showing Their Smarts: The Big Ten recognized 1,216 spring and at-large sports student-athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference team, a list that includes 96 baseball players. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. For more information on the 2014 spring and at-large Academic All-Big Ten honorees, click HERE.
Academic All-District: Three Big Ten baseball student-athletes were named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District teams, it was announced on Thursday. Penn State's Steve Snyder was named to the District 2 All-Academic Team, Northwestern's Jack Quigley garnered All-District 5 honors and Minnesota's Ben Meyer was picked the District 6 All-Academic squad. The trio is now eligible for Academic All-America accolades, which will be announced later this month. To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 on a scale of 4.0 and must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her current institution.Two to the Postseason: Indiana, which earned the No. 4 national seed, and Nebraska were selected to the 2014 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, marking the third straight year multiple Big Ten teams appeared in the postseason. The Hoosiers became the first Big Ten team to earn a national seed since the NCAA began seeding the top eight in 1999. Indiana made its fourth appearance in the NCAA field and second consecutive, while Nebraska advanced to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2008 and made its 13th overall appearance. Both the Hoosiers and Huskers were eliminated in the regional round. For a complete recap of Indiana and Nebraska in the postseason, click HERE.
Final Rankings: Indiana and Nebraska each appeared in the final polls released the NCBWA, Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America, with the Hoosiers garnering top-20 rankings in each. Indiana appeared at No. 16 in Perfect Game's listing, No. 19 in the Collegiate Baseball standings, No. 20 in the NCBWA poll and No. 21 in the Baseball America ranking, while Nebraska appeared at No. 30 by the NCBWA.
Twenty-One Players Selected in Annual MLB Draft: Twenty-one Big Ten players were selected during the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, held Thursday through Saturday. Indiana led all programs with five players selected, while Iowa and Nebraska each had three standouts chosen. Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue each had two players selected, while Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State each had one player chosen in the annual draft. A full list of the drafted Big Ten standouts can be found below.
The Hoosier quartet of Dustin DeMuth, Joey DeNato, Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis added to their list of All-America accolades after garnering honors from Perfect Game on Tuesday. DeMuth was named the first team's third baseman, while Schwarber occupies the DH position on the first team. Travis is the first baseman on the second team, while DeNato is one of four starting pitchers to garner third-team honors. All four have been named All-Americans by other outlets recently, namely Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Minnesota's Matt Nohelty (2009, baseball)
Matt Nohelty was an All-Big Ten pick all four years of his college baseball career, including first-team honors in 2007 and 2008. His career .366 batting average is ranked eighth in Gopher history, and he led the Big Ten in runs scored (69) and was second in stolen bases (26) as a senior. In the classroom, Nohelty was a first-team Academic All-American twice and a third-team selection as a sophomore. He was a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominee and a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Nohelty was twice selected in the Major League Baseball Draft and is now lead Software Engineer at Thomson Reuters and just finished a Master's Degree in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota. To read more about Nohelty's college experience and what winning the Big Ten Medal of Honor meant to him, read this Q&A.
Three Indiana Hoosiers were named All-Americans by Baseball America on Wednesday, including two first-team honorees. Dustin DeMuth and Kyle Schwarber each garnered first-team honors, while Sam Travis was named to the second team. It is a repeat honor for Schwarber and DeMuth, who garnered second- and third-team honors, respectively, in 2013. It is the second All-America accolade for the trio this season, as each earned Louisville Slugger All-America status by Collegiate Baseball Magazine.
Also announced on Wednesday, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association revealed its All-America teams, which included four Big Ten standouts. Indiana's DeMuth, Joey DeNato and Schwartber each earned second-team honors, while Michigan State designated hitter Bliase Salter was named to the third team.
Twenty-one Big Ten players were selected during the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, held Thursday through Saturday. Indiana led all programs with five players selected, while Iowa and Nebraska each had three standouts chosen. Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue each had two players selected, while Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State each had one player chosen in the annual draft. A full list of the drafted Big Ten standouts can be found below.
Indiana third baseman Dustin DeMuth and Iowa shortstop Jake Yacinich were both selected on the second day of the 2014 MLB Draft on Friday. DeMuth was picked by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 11th pick in the fifth round, becoming the third Hoosier player selected following teammates Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis on Thursday. With the 14th pick in the eighth round, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Yacinich. Both DeMuth and Yacinich were first-team All-Big Ten selections last season and are the third and fourth conference players selected in this year's draft.
After being selected fourth overall in the MLB Draft on Thursday, Indiana's Kyle Schwarber was named the District V Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Friday. He earns the accolade for the second straight year after garnering second-team Louisville Slugger All-America honors. Schwarber ended the year with 14 home runs, 66 runs and 153 total bases, ranking seventh, fourth and fifth in the nation, respectively. He is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, garnered unanimous All-Big Ten status and Most Outstanding Player status at the Big Ten Tournament.
Two Indiana standouts were taken on the first night of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft on Thursday. Catcher Kyle Schwarber was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the fourth overall pick, becoming the highest Big Ten player selected in the draft since Michigan State pitcher Mark Mulder was the second selection in the 1998 draft. Schwarber was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection, the Big Ten Tournament's Most Outstanding Player and a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the nation's top catcher. First baseman Sam Travis was selected in the second round, 67th overall, to the Boston Red Sox. The Big Ten Player of the Year and unanimous All-Big Ten choice, Travis led the conference with 85 hits and 58 RBI in 2014. He was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.
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