Duchene, Nagle Nab Big Ten Weekly Honors
March 3, 2014
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Following a 4-0 weekend in Gainesville, Fla., a pair of Illini earned conference honors on Monday. Sophomore Kevin Duchene was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, while sophomore Ryan Nagle was tabbed Big Ten Co-Player of the Week after helping Illinois to two wins each over No. 23 Florida and Florida Gulf Coast.
Duchene blanked the nationally ranked Gators 6-0 on Friday night with a three-hit shutout at McKethan Stadium The Joliet, Ill., native struck out six during his first win of the year and needed just 100 pitches to record his second career complete-game shutout. He also was the last Illini to collect the weekly conference honor, winning it for the first time on May 13, 2013, following his two-hit shutout of Penn State.
Duchene gave up three hits and two walks but faced just 31 batters thanks to a pair of double plays. He headlined a dominant weekend by Illinois' pitching staff, which posted a 1.00 ERA in the four-game sweep of FGCU and Florida. All four starters - Ryan Castellanos (7 IP, 2 ER), Kevin Duchene (9 IP, 0 ER), John Kravetz (7 IP, 1 ER) and Drasen Johnson (6.1 IP, 0 ER) - came away with a win.
Nagle, who leads the Illini with a .462 average through 10 games, recorded multiple hits in all four contests on the weekend while hitting .625 (10-for-16) during the sweep. He scored a team-high four runs with one in each game, helping the Illini outscore their opponents 23-4. He also had a pair of doubles and three RBI along with posting a .647 on-base percentage and a .750 slugging percentage. Nagle nabbed his first career Big Ten Player of the Week award and shared the honor with Indiana's Kyle Schwarber.
Up Next: Illinois (6-4) will head to Bowling Green, Ky., for a three-game series against Western Kentucky from March 7-9.