Oakes, Halloran and Henkemeyer Earn All-Big Ten Honors
May 22, 2012Photo Gallery
The Big Ten Conference has announced that five University of Minnesota baseball players have garnered all-conference or all-freshman honors. Starting pitcher TJ Oakes (Jordan, Minn.) was named a First Team All-Big Ten selection, while catcher Matt Halloran (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and outfielder Andy Henkemeyer (Sauk Rapids, Minn.) received Third Team All-Big Ten accolades. Freshmen short-stop Michael Handel (Sun Prairie, Wis.) and right-handed relief pitcher Ben Meyer (New Brighton, Minn.) were named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. Senior third baseman Kyle Geason (Eden Prairie, Minn.) earned the Gophers' Sportsmanship Award for the second consecutive year.
The Gophers' Friday starter for the second-consecutive year, Oakes was a third-team selection his sophomore and freshman seasons. In 14 starts for the Golden Gophers this season, Oakes held a 7-3 record and a 2.31 earned run average. Holding a sub 2.00 ERA a majority of the season, Oakes lowered his ERA every year (3.62 as a freshman, 3.26 his sophomore year). He led the Big Ten Conference in strikeouts looking (27), third in overall strikeouts (78), fourth in ERA and innings pitched (97.1). Named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame Watch List, Oakes received Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors in a 1-0 win over UW-Milwaukee in just his second start of the season. Pitching two of the Gophers' three complete games this year, Minnesota was 9-5 when he was on the mound. Oakes is the first starting pitcher to receive First Team All-Big Ten honors since Glen Perkins accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004.
Matt Halloran finished the season with a .307 batting average and played in 48 games, including 37 starts. The sophomore made the most out of his 150 at bats when he had 61 total bases, 23 runs batted in and 19 runs scored. Over the course of the season, Halloran had 12 multiple-hit games and a season-long eight-game hit streak. He ranked third among catchers in both batting average and RBI. Of his 23 starts in conference play, Halloran held a .321 batting average. He is the first catcher to receive All-Big Ten honors since Kyle Knudson was named third-team in 2010. Matt is also the second Halloran family member to receive All-Big Ten honors as his father, Mike, was a Second Team All-Big Ten in 1987 his senior year.
Andy Henkemeyer, a junior left fielder held the team's second-best batting average at .314. Holding the Gopher leadoff spot in the second half of the season, Henkemeyer turned it up in the last month of the season when he hit .367. Leading the team with 86 total bases, Henkemeyer also held a team-best 65 hits and ranked second in RBI production (27). Hitting in the top two lineup spots the majority of the season, he led the team with 31 runs scored. The only Gopher to play in all 56 games this season, Henkemeyer started in 50 and held the most at bats (207). Posting a team-best 20 multiple-hit games, he also held the team's second-longest hit streak of the season (12). In Big Ten games alone, Henkemeyer hit .324, the fifth-best batting average in the conference among outfielders.
Michael Handel and Ben Meyer each received All-Big Ten Freshman Team honors. Handel started in 35 straight games at short before suffering an injury. On the year, he batted .265 after red-shirting the 2011 season. Playing in 49 games and starting in 45, he held two home runs on the season, had 12 RBI and 15 runs scored. An exceptional fielder, Handel held a fielding percentage of .970 when he committed just six errors in his rookie campaign, while posting 126 assists. Ben Meyer finished his rookie campaign with an ERA of 2.37 when he appeared in 15 games. Pitching 38.0 innings, Meyer struck out 32 batters. Pitching in four Big Ten games, Meyer held an impressive 0.60 ERA, pitching 15.0 innings and allowing just one earned run. His longest conference outing came against Nebraska where he held the Huskers scoreless in 4.2 innings (5/13).
ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM
ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM
ALL-BIG TEN THIRD TEAM
Unanimous honorees in ALL CAPS
ALL-BIG TEN FRESHMAN TEAM*
*additional honoree due to tie
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
COACH OF THE YEAR