Justin Parr, Duchene Collect Top Big Ten Honors
May 21, 2013
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Senior Justin Parr was named Big Ten Player of the Year and pitcher Kevin Duchene was tabbed Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday. Center fielder Justin Parr also was named first-team All-Big Ten, highlighting five Illini selected to All-Big Ten teams and two to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. Junior shortstop Thomas Lindauer and sophomore first baseman David Kerian joined Parr on the All-Big Ten first team, while Duchene and redshirt-junior left fielder Jordan Parr were second-team All-Big Ten selections. Duchene and catcher Jason Goldstein were named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team and senior Alex Lincoln was Illinois' sportsmanship honoree.
Justin Parr becomes the eighth Illini to earn Player of the Year honors and first since catcher Lars Davis in 2007. Duchene joins pitcher/first baseman Bubba Smith (1989) as the only other Illini to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Three first-team All-Big Ten selections is the most by an Illini squad since having five in 2005.
Justin Parr - who is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, which is given to college baseball's top player - turned in the second-longest hitting streak in the nation in 2013 with a school-record mark of 33 games. The Chillicothe, Ill., native finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in the NCAA in average at .415 and 10th in hits with 85, which both led the Big Ten. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week after hitting for the cycle against Purdue and has not made an error in center field. He also led the Big Ten in RBI (51), on-base percentage (.472) and total bases (125) along with ranking second in slugging (.610) and triples (4). He is attempting to become the 23rd Illinois player - and only the second since 1996 - to hit .400 for a season and would be the first since Davis landed at an even .400 in 2007.
Duchene is the first UI pitcher to be picked as high as the second team since Tanner Roark in 2007 and was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. The Joliet, Ill., native compiled an 8-1 record in his rookie season, tying for the most wins in the Big Ten and equaling the most victories ever by an Illini freshman. His 2.67 ERA ranked eighth overall in the Big Ten, while his 1.74 ERA in conference games was third-best in the Big Ten. He tossed a two-hit shutout with a career-high 11 strikeouts against Penn State, matching the most batters fanned by an Illini since 2002.
Lindauer gives Illinois a first-team All-Big Ten shortstop for the first time since Brandon Wikoff in 2009. The Moline, Ill., native, who shared the distinction with Ohio State's Kirby Pellant, was named to the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Watch List for the second year in a row. He tied for the second-most home runs in the Big Ten with all nine of his career homers coming this season. He tallied the most runs (41) and total bases (101) among shortstops, with his total bases standing sixth in the Big Ten, and had the highest slugging percentage (.505), which was seventh-best in the conference. Defensively, he tied for third in the Big Ten in assists (158) and sixth in double plays (39).
Kerian's first-team All-Big Ten selection at first base is the first by an Illini since Dusty Bensko in 2005. The Dakota Dunes, S.D., native led conference first baseman in on-base percentage (.409) and average (.331), which were tied for ninth and 11th overall in the Big Ten, respectively. He was the only first baseman with double-figure steals, tying for the sixth-most in the Big Ten with 20 stolen bases. He also boasted a .991 fielding percentage and tied for the fewest errors among first baseman with four during his breakout sophomore season.
Jordan Parr nabbed second-team All-Big Ten honors for the first time in his two-year career at Illinois. The Chillicothe, Ill., native notched the most runs (46) and walks (30) among outfielders, which tied for third and fourth in the Big Ten, respectively. He also tied for third in the Big Ten in stolen bases (22) and fourth in home runs (6) while hitting .321. His 40 RBI ranked seventh in the conference and his six outfield assists led the Illini.
Goldstein was the first true-freshman to start at catcher for Illinois since 1992. The Highland Park, Ill., native led the Big Ten in runners caught stealing (11) in conference games and handled the Illini pitching staff admirably in his debut season. He hit .246 with 11 RBI and 18 runs in his first season behind the dish.
Indiana, which took home the Big Ten regular-season title, saw Aaron Slegers win Pitcher of the Year and Tracy Smith capture Coach of the Year.
Illinois will open the Big Ten Tournament Wednesday at Target Field when it squares off against Minnesota at 12:05 p.m. The fifth-seeded Illini will battle the fourth-seeded Gophers live on the Big Ten Network.
ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM
ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM
ALL-BIG TEN THIRD TEAM
ALL-BIG TEN FRESHMAN TEAM
Unanimous honorees in ALL CAPS
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
COACH OF THE YEAR