Big Ten Baseball Season in Review

July 3, 2012

Big Ten Places Two Teams in NCAA Championship:
Michigan State and Purdue were selected to the 2012 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The Boilermakers earned the Big Ten's automatic bid after winning the conference tournament, and were given the No. 1 seed in the Gary Regional, while Michigan State earned an at-large selection and was the No. 3 seed in the Palo Alto Regional. FULL STORY

Boilermakers Selected as Regional Hosts:
Purdue was selected to host NCAA Regional action, becoming the first Big Ten team to do so since Michigan in 2008. The Boilermakers hosted Regional play at the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind. FULL STORY

Purdue Wins First Tournament Title:
Purdue won its first Big Ten Tournament with a 6-5 victory over Indiana. Boilermaker catcher Kevin Plawecki was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the All-Tournament squad by teammates Lance Breedlove, Cameron Perkins, David Miller and Barrett Serrato. Also on the team were Indiana's Jonny Hoffman, Micah Johnson and Will Nolden, Michigan State's Tony Bucciferro, Ryan Krill and Anthony Cheky, Nebraska's Richard Stock and Michael Pritchard and Ohio State's Kirby Pellant. FULL STORY

Boilermakers Claim First Conference Title in Over 100 Years:
Purdue clinched a share of its first Big Ten title since 1909 with a win over Michigan on May 12, and secured the outright title on May 17 with a victory over Iowa. FULL STORY

Purdue Makes History with Big Ten Awards:
Purdue's Kevin Plawecki, Joe Haase and Doug Schreiber became the first Boilermakers in history to be named the Big Ten's Player, Pitcher and Coach of the Year, respectively, while Indiana's Sam Travis was named the conference's Freshman of the Year. Plawecki and Haase were joined on the All-Big Ten first team by teammates Eric Charles and Cameron Perkins, as well as Illinois' Willie Argo, Indiana's Jonny Hoffman, Michigan State's Jordan Keur, Minnesota's TJ Oakes, Nebraska's Chad Christensen, Rich Sanguinetti and Michael Pritchard, Ohio State's Jaron Long and Penn State's Jordan Steranka. FULL STORY

Awards and Honors:
Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki was named a second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Baseball America and a third-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association. He was also a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award and a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award. In addition, Nebraska's Michael Pritchard earned third-team All-America honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), while Illinois' Reid Roper, Indiana's Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis, Iowa's Sasha Kuebel and Nebraska's Pat Kelly and Kyle Kubat earned Freshman All-America Accolades.

Baseball I.Q.:
Big Ten baseball players also earned honors off the field, as Minnesota's Troy Larson was named an Academic All-American, and Northwestern's Francis Brooke was a Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient. Awarded since 1915, the Big Ten Medal of Honor is given to one male and one female student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who has "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work."

In the Polls:
Purdue was ranked in all four national polls for the majority of the season, finishing the year ranked among the top 25 by all four major outlets. The Boilermakers ended the year ranked 21st in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll and were 23rd in the Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and NCBWA polls. FULL STORY

Thirty Big Ten Players Taken in MLB Draft:
Thirty Big Ten players were selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, marking the conference's highest total since 2009, also tying for the conference's highest total in at least the last decade. Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki was the first Big Ten player taken, drafted 35th overall by the New York Mets in the Compensation A Round. Ten Big Ten schools had at least one player selected, led by Purdue's seven. FULL STORY