Senior Justin Parr was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the first time in his career after hitting for the cycle against Purdue.
April 15, 2013
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Senior Justin Parr was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the first time in his career, the conference office announced Monday. Parr hit for the cycle in the series finale against Purdue, going 4-for-5 with four runs scored and four RBI in a 17-6 victory that sealed the weekend sweep of the Boilermakers. He extended his hitting streak to 20 games, which ranks as the second-longest active streak in the country, tied for the third-longest in school history and tied for the eighth-longest in the nation this season.
Parr became the first Illini to hit for the cycle in over four years since Brandon Wikoff did so against Bradley on April 7, 2009. He had an RBI double in the first, led off the third with a home run to right field, singled up the middle in the fifth and coasted into third for a stand-up triple on a hit to the gap in right center in the eighth inning against Purdue on Sunday.
Parr's career-high 20-game hit streak is five games shy of Ryan Snowden's school-record streak of 25 games from 2007. He is tied with Andy Schutzenhofer (20 games, 2000) for the third-longest streak by an Illini and three games behind Tom Sinak (23 games, 1994-95) for the second-longest mark. The only player in the nation with a longer active streak is Stetson's Patrick Mazeika at 21 games. Oklahoma's Matt Oberste turned in the longest streak of 30 games earlier this year.
In Illinois' four games last week, Parr hit .471 (8-for-17), slugged 1.000, had an OBP of .526, scored seven runs, hit two home runs and had six RBI. During the sweep of Purdue, he hit .462 (6-for-13) with five RBI and five runs scored while slugging .923 and reaching base at a .533 clip.
Parr boosted his season average to .438, which leads the Big Ten and ranks in the top 10 in the NCAA. He became the first Big Ten player to reach 60 hits, which leads the conference and ranks in the top 10 in the nation. For the season, he has the most total bases in the Big Ten with 88, is tied for the most triples with three and is second in the conference in slugging (.642), OBP (.480), RBI (36) and doubles (10). After hitting two home runs last week, he is tied for fourth in the conference in homers and moved up to third with 29 runs scored.
Illinois' last Player of the Week honoree was Matt Dittman on May 23, 2011. The Illini will travel to Normal, Ill., for a 6 p.m. game against in-state foe Illinois State on Tuesday, April 16, before heading to Columbus, Ohio, for a weekend Big Ten series with Ohio State.