May 6, 2008
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Brandon Wikoff, Illinois
So., SS, Peoria, Ill./Limestone
Wikoff earns his first career weekly accolade after leading Illinois to a 3-1 series victory over Northwestern. The sophomore batted .588 (10-for-17) and reached base at a .611 clip while slugging at a .941 mark in the four-game series. The shortstop recorded three multi-hit games in the set, including a 5-for-5 performance in the opener on Saturday, where he also scored four runs and drove in six on the strength of two doubles and his first home run of the season. In Sunday's doubleheader, the Peoria, Ill., native went a combined 3-for-7 with one run and three RBI, also stealing a base and slugging his team-leading 11th double of the year. In the series finale on Monday, Wikoff registered two hits, including a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth that sparked Illinois' game-winning rally. He scored twice in the contest, including once on Aaron Johnson's walk-off home run. In the series, Wikoff produced a total of 16 runs by driving in nine and scoring seven. He is the third Illinois player to receive a weekly conference honor this year and the third consecutive as Casey McMurray earned the award last week, and Joe Bonadonna was recognized on April 21. Illinois becomes just the fourth team in Big Ten history and the first since 2003 to earn three consecutive Player of the Week awards in the same season (Penn State, 2003; Minnesota, 1999; Minnesota 1998).
Last Illinois Player OTW: Casey McMurray (4/28/08)
Andrew Means, Indiana
Jr., OF, Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake
Means takes home his second career conference honor after leading Indiana to its first conference series win of the season as the Hoosiers took three of four games from second-place Purdue. The junior hit .563 (9-for-16) with three doubles, a triple and a home run to account for a 1.063 slugging percentage, also reaching base at a .632 clip to combine for an OPS of 1.695. The outfielder scored at least one run in each of IU's four games, touching home a total of seven times, while also driving in five on the weekend. Means totaled three multi-hit games in the series, including a three-hit performance in the opener in which he drove in three runs and scored one with the help of a double and a triple. The Avon Lake, Ohio, native registered his team-leading ninth three-hit game of the season in Game 3 of the series, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and four runs scored with a stolen base. In Game 2 of the set, he blasted a two-run homer to tie the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh, helping the Hoosiers rally for a 5-4 win. Means is tied for second in the conference with 52 runs scored and is third with 27 steals, including two swipes in the four games against the Boilermakers.
Last Indiana Player OTW: Josh Phegley (4/15/08)
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Scott Matyas, Minnesota
Fr., RHP, North Prairie, Wis./Kettle Morraine
Matyas receives his second Pitcher of the Week award this season after picking up wins in both Minnesota's victories against Iowa over the weekend. The redshirt freshman came out of the bullpen in Game 1 of the series with one out in the seventh inning with the score tied 6-6 and the go-ahead run on second base. The right-hander responded with 2.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits while striking out five to pick up his first win of the conference season. The North Prairie, Wis., native got the call again in the series finale, entering the game with the score knotted at 14-14 with runners on first and second and one out in the eighth. Matyas retired the next two batters in order and pitched 3.2 shutout frames, giving up two hits while fanning four Hawkeyes. On the weekend, the Golden Gopher combined to toss 6.1 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing four hits, no walks and striking out nine. Matyas was also named Pitcher of the Week on March 24 for picking up a win, a save and a no-decision in three superb relief appearances.
Last Minnesota Pitcher OTW: Scott Matyas (3/24/08)