Kevin Johnson was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after tossing a four-hitter in Illinois' 2-1 win over No. 18 Oregon on Friday.
March 12, 2012
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - University of Illinois junior pitcher Kevin Johnson (Midlothian, Ill./Mount Carmel HS) was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week and rookie hurler John Kravetz (Lansing, Ill./Mount Carmel) was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for their performances at the Nike College Showcase over the weekend, the conference office announced Monday. Johnson lifted the Illini to a 2-1 win over No. 18 Oregon on Friday, while Kravetz pitched Illinois to a 5-1 victory over Connecticut on Saturday.
It is Johnson's first career weekly honor and the first Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award for an Illini hurler since Will Strack earned the laurel on March 30, 2009. The Freshman of the Week honor is Kravetz' second in four weeks this season.
Against the Ducks, Johnson tossed a complete-game four-hitter, striking out a season-high five and walking only one to give Illinois its second win over a ranked opponent this season. He allowed only one hit after the third inning and permitted only one runner past second base in the entire game, Oregon's lone tally. It was Johnson's third career complete game and first since April 15, 2011. He threw 75 strikes out of 109 pitches (68.8 percent) and fired first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 32 hitters he faced (62.5 percent). He didn't allow a hit with two outs (0-for-10) or by a left-handed batter (0-for-6) in the game, and limited Oregon to a .133 average on the night.
Kravetz was impressive against the Huskies, limiting Connecticut to one run on seven hits over 7 2/3 innings while striking out six and walking one. He limited the Huskies to a .233 average and didn't allow a hit with two outs (0-for-7). He permitted only two runners past second base after the third inning and surrendered only two hits after the third. Kravetz currently ranks sixth in the Big Ten in ERA (1.90) opponent batting average (.224), seventh in earned runs allowed (five) and eighth in hits allowed (19).
The Illini return to action on Friday, when they travel to Southern Illinois to face the Salukis at 2:30 p.m. at Abe Martin Field. Illinois also will be holding a food and fund drive on Wednesday, March 14, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Illinois Field for the people of Harrisburg, Ill., who were affected by the recent tornado. Full details on the fundraiser are here.