Wikoff Named Big Ten Co-Player of Week
May 6, 2008
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Sophomore shortstop Brandon Wikoff (Peoria, Ill.) was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week along with Indiana's Andrew Means, the conference office announced Tuesday. Wikoff led the Illini with a .588 average and a .941 slugging percentage to lift Illinois to a series win against Northwestern.
It is the Orange and Blue's third-straight Player of the Week honor after Joe Bonadonna was named Co-Player of the Week on April 21 and Casey McMurray earned the honor outright on April 28. This marks the first time since 2005 that Illinois has had three or more conference Players of the Week in one season (2005 - Drew Davidson, Dusty Bensko, Mike Rohde, J.R. Kyes).
Wikoff started the series against Northwestern with a bang, going 5-for-5 with six RBIs, four runs, two doubles and his first home run of the season. He went 3-for-7 in the doubleheader then capped off the four-game set with a 2-for-5 night with two runs. He also started the Illini rally in the bottom of the ninth inning of Monday's finale with a two-out base hit before scoring the tying run on Aaron Johnson's walk-off home run. He recorded three multiple-hit games in the series and now leads the Illini in hits (72), doubles (11) and RBIs (54).
In the series, Wikoff produced 16 runs - nine RBIs and seven runs - reached base at a .611 clip and stole one base. He knocked three doubles and a home run to become the Illini's third-straight Player of the Week honoree. Illinois becomes just the fourth team in Big Ten history and first since 2003 to win three consecutive Player of the Week laurels in the same season (Penn State - 2003; Minnesota - 1999, 1995). Michigan State also won three consecutive honors across the 1994 and 1995 seasons.