Freshman Will Strack was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week Monday after tossing a four-hit shutout against Michigan State on Sunday.
March 30, 2009
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Freshman pitcher Will Strack was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week Monday, one day after tossing a four-hit shutout against Michigan State to finish the series sweep of the Spartans. Strack also tossed six quality innings earlier in the week in a start against Central Connecticut State. It is his first career weekly honor and the second this season by an Illinois pitcher after Ben Reeser earned the award on March 9. In addition, the Fighting Illini move to No. 26 this week in Collegiate Baseball's ranking of the Top 30 teams in the nation.
Strack was marvelous against Michigan State in only his third career start, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out three. He needed only 101 pitches in his complete game and faced just three batters more than the minimum. He used fewer than 10 pitches in four different innings against MSU and reached a three-ball count only twice.
Strack allowed only one hit with runners on base, one with two outs and one leadoff hitter to reach base against the Spartans and induced a pair of clutch inning-ending double plays in the second and fifth innings. For the week, he compiled a 0.60 ERA after allowing one earned run on six hits in six innings against CCSU on March 23.
The Fighting Illini (16-5) return to action Tuesday when they travel to Normal, Ill., for a 4:30 p.m. tilt with Illinois State. The Redbirds (11-7) were able to play only one game this past weekend because of poor weather conditions, defeating Indiana State, 11-6, on Friday. Illinois then returns home to face SIU-Edwardsville Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Both games can be heard live on WDWS AM-1400 and on FightingIllini.com.