Matt Dittman was named Big Ten Player of the Week after hitting .545 with a .909 slugging percentage in Illinois' series win at Michigan over the weekend.
April 13, 2009
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Illinois sophomore first baseman Matt Dittman (Libertyville, Ill) was named Big Ten Player of the Week Monday after hitting .545 with a .909 slugging percentage in Illinois' series win over three-time defending Big Ten champion Michigan. It is Dittman's first career weekly honor and the third by an Illini position player this season after Josh Parr earned the laurel on March 2 and Aaron Johnson captured it on March 9.
Dittman hit his first career homer, a two-run dinger, in Saturday's 10-8 victory for the Illini, and he finished the series by going 3-for-4 with a walk and three runs in Illinois' 11-5 victory on Sunday. He also had a two-run double to account for the Orange and Blue's only scoring in Friday's 4-2 defeat by the Wolverines.
Prior to the weekend, Dittman had started only one Big Ten game in his career - the series finale against Indiana on April 4 - and was hitting .250 on the season. He raised his average 55 points with his performance against Michigan, where he was 3-for-3 with runners in scoring position and 2-for-2 with two outs. Dittman also was 1-for-3 in last Tuesday's 11-9 win over Bradley, where he walked twice, stole a base and scored a run.
Illinois returns home for a Tuesday evening contest with No. 29 Eastern Illinois at 6:05 p.m. EIU (24-6) has won 14 of its last 15, including a 30-3 drubbing of Tennessee-Martin on Saturday. The Illini then travel to Marion, Ill., on Wednesday to face Southern Illinois (13-20) at Rent One Park, home of the Frontier League's Southern Illinois Miners. That game also begins at 6:05 p.m.