Four Incoming Freshmen Earn All-State Honors
June 18, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Four incoming Illinois baseball freshmen earned All-State honors from the Chicago Tribune, the newspaper announced. Left-handed pitchers Kevin Duchene and Tyler Jay were named to the All-State first team, while right-handed pitcher Nick Blackburn and infielder Adam Walton earned All-State special mention honors.
Duchene was dominant against top-level competition this year, going 8-0 with a 0.13 ERA for Joliet Catholic. The southpaw struck out 96 in 52 innings while walking only 13 and leading the Hilltoppers to a 30-8-1 record and a regional championship. Jay excelled both on the mound and at the plate for Lemont, going 8-3 with a 1.14 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched while hitting .484 with 11 doubles and 35 RBIs. The left-hander piloted the Indians to a 23-10 finish on the diamond and also led Lemont to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the IHSA Class 6A state football semifinals as a receiver, punter and returner.
Blackburn led Neuqua Valley to a 30-8 record and an appearance in the sectional semifinal. He went 7-4 with a 1.59 ERA and 86 strikeouts, with three of his losses coming by a 2-1 score. He also hit .361 with 30 RBIs. Walton led Stevenson to a 23-14 record and an appearance in the sectional semifinal, where they fell to Highland Park and incoming Illini catcher Jason Goldstein. Walton hit .365 for the Patriots in 2012.