2000: Collected the game-winning RBI in Big Ten Tournament championship game with a double down the leftfield line against Penn State ? Had a team-high seven game-winning RBI, including three in Big Ten play and one at the Big Ten Tournament ? Collected 11 RBI over three games at UTPA to open the season ? Threw out 13-of-26 potential base stealers (50%) during the month of March ? Laid down a perfect suicide squeeze to win game game two at Northwestern in extra innings ? Hit .500 (7-14) with three doubles and two RBI against Indiana ? Was 3-for-4 with a season-high five RBI in game two at Michigan State ? Appeared in 61 games and started 60 ? Started every Big Ten and postseason game behind the plate ? Hit a career-high two doubles against both UTPA and at Southern Illinois ? Also collected a season-high four hits and three runs at SIU ? Threw out 23 of 49 runners on the season (47%) ? Knocked in a career-high five in game two against MSU ? Had 14 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games ? Played for the Virginia Valley League champion Harrisonburg Turks over the summer.
1999: Starting catcher hit .284 with seven doubles and four home runs ? Came on at the end of the season, hitting .471 (8-17) in the final two weeks of the season ? Hits included home runs in final game against Purdue and against Minnesota at Big Ten Tournament ? Went 6-6 with five runs and two RBI in first two games at Big Ten Tournament ? Back-to-back three-hit games at the tournament were hit first three-hit efforts at Illinois ? Threw out 48 percent (25-54) of potential base stealers ? Hit .247 in conference play and .600 at the Big Ten Tournament ? Collected four game-winning RBI in 1999 to go along with 13 multi-hit and nine multi-RBI games ? Started all but five games at catcher ? Started every Big Ten game behind the plate ? Played for the Harrisonburg, Va., Turks over the summer, earning all-star and team MVP honors after hitting .320 and leading the league in doubles (16) ? Transferred to Illinois from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered eight times at Wauconda: three times each in baseball and basketball and twice in football ? Shares the school record for single season home runs (11) ? Conference MVP in baseball his senior year ? A three-time all-conference pick and two-time all-area pick in baseball ? Also all-conference twice in basketball and once in football ? Baseball team was conference and regional champion as a senior ? Played in the National Amateur All-Star Baseball Tournament against current UI teammate Luke Simmons.
PERSONAL: Parents are Timothy and Mary Jo Gertz ? Majoring in speech communications ? Uncle Mike Gertz played at the Triple-A level for the Cleveland Indians ? Plans for after graduation include getting a well-paying job that he enjoys and living a long, happy life ? Lists his parents as the people who most influenced his athletic career.