HONOR ROLL: Third-Team All-Big Ten 2000 ? Academic All-Big Ten 2000
2000: Had two game-winning home runs in Big Ten play: one in the bottom of the sixth in a seven inning game against Iowa and one in extra innings against Northwestern ? Hit a team-high three doubles at the Big Ten Tournament ? Went 2-for-4 with a season-high two doubles in elimination game against Ohio State at Big Ten Tournament ? Was 1-for-4 with a run scored in championship game ? Twice collected five hits in a single game, against both North Florida and Michigan State ? Added an inside the park, two-run home run in game one against Indiana ? Started all but two games at four different positions: right field, center field, left field and first base ? Hit .643 (9-14) against Ohio State ? Had five game-winning RBI, including a game-winning single for an 11-9 win over No. 3 Houston ? Stole a season-high two bases and knocked in a season-high five runs in Illinois' 16-6 win over North Florida ? Was 5-for-6 against North Florida ? Enjoyed a career-high eight-game hitting streak March 15th - March 25th ? Had 18 multi-hit and 11 multi-RBI games ? Led the team with 17 doubles and was second on the team with three triples and 11 stolen bases ? Led the team with 24 runs in Big Ten games ? Finished the season 11-14 on the basepaths ? Transferred to Illinois from Southeastern Illinois Junior College.
PRIOR TO ILLINOIS: Earned two baseball letters at SE Illinois ? Hit over .400 with 19 home runs and 100+ RBI and runs scored in two seasons ? An all-conference selection as a freshman and sophomore and a coaches all-region pick as a sophomore ? Hit .270 with three home runs and three triples for the Torrington Twisters of the New England Collegiate Baseball League over the summer.
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned seven varsity letters at Marion: four in baseball and three in basketball ? Four-year starter in baseball ? Posted a .500 average as a senior ? A first-team all-state selection at first base as a senior ? South Seven Conference MVP in 1997 ? Named all-conference as a sophomore, junior and senior ? Member of the National Honor Society.
PERSONAL: Parents are Rocky and Sandy Ballard ? Majoring in economics ? Parents most influenced his baseball career because they "led me when I needed direction and followed me when I found my way" ? Favorite athlete is Bo Jackson because he played two sports effortlessely and with incredible ability ? Graduated from Southeastern Illinois with honors.