Northwestern and Ohio State Share Major Postseason Baseball Honors
May 23, 2006
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The Big Ten office announced the 2006 All-Big Ten Baseball Teams and individual honors today on the eve of conference tournament play, as Northwestern and Ohio State split the individual postseason awards. The Buckeyes picked up both Player and Freshman of the Year honors, with third baseman Ronnie Bourquin and J.B. Shuck earning the awards, respectively. Northwestern's Dan Brauer was selected the Pitcher of the Year by the league coaches, while Wildcat mentor Paul Stevens was named Coach of the Year.
Bourquin, a three-time Big Ten Player of the Week selection this season, becomes the fourth Buckeye to ever be voted as the conference's top player. He joins Jonathan Sweet (1994), Dan Seimetz (1997) and Steve Caravati (2004) as OSU standouts who have been honored with the annual award since 1982. In all games this season, Bourquin led the conference in hitting (.426), slugging percentage (.629), on-base percentage (.502), hits (86), runs batted in (66) and total bases (127), while ranking second in walks (31) and tied for third in home runs (8).
Brauer is just the second Wildcat hurler to be honored as the league's top pitcher, as Chad Schroeder became the first NU standout selected in 1995. A three-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honoree, Brauer led the league in conference-games only in wins (7) and strikeouts (56), including strikeouts looking (23), and was fifth in the Big Ten with a 2.22 earned run average and an opposing batting average of .224. Brauer, who also led the league with 90 strikeouts for all games played, posted the Wildcats' first no-hitter since 1999 against Michigan State two weeks ago.
Shuck continued the streak of impressive Buckeye rookies as the newcomer became the ninth Ohio State player to be named the conference's Freshman of the Year, since the award's inception 19 years ago in 1988. A utility player for the majority of the season, Shuck shined on the mound, recording an overall ERA of 2.18 and seven total wins, which were both the second-best marks in the league. He also hit .336 on the season and totaled 19 RBIs.
Northwestern's Stevens, who was voted the top skipper in 1991 and 1995, coached his Wildcat ballclub to an impressive 21-11 (.656) mark in league play and came within two wins of NU's first conference championship since 1957.
As for the All-Big Ten Teams, three league standouts were able to repeat their first team selections from a year ago in Iowa's relief pitcher Tim Gudex, Northwestern first baseman Pat McMahon (DH in 2005) and Purdue shortstop Mitch Hilligoss. The first team includes players from six different schools, led by Michigan and Ohio State with four apiece and Northwestern (3) with multiple selections. Michigan's Paul Hammond (SP), Northwestern's Brauer (SP) and Ohio State's Bourquin (3B) and Matt Angle (OF) were all unanimous selections to the first team.
The conference office also announced today honorees from each of the league's 10 baseball squads for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
The complete 2006 All-Big Ten Baseball Teams are listed below.