Oakes, Halloran and Henkemeyer Earn All-Big Ten Honors

Go Gophers! TJ Oakes was named First Team All-Big Ten
Go Gophers!
TJ Oakes was named First Team All-Big Ten
Go Gophers!

May 22, 2012

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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
C - Kevin Plawecki, PUR
1B - Jordan Steranka, PSU
2B - Eric Charles, PUR
SS - Chad Christensen, NEB
3B - CAMERON PERKINS, PUR
OF - Willie Argo, ILL
OF - Jordan Keur, MSU
OF - Rich Sanguinetti, NEB
DH - Michael Pritchard, NEB
SP - TJ Oakes, MINN

SP - Jaron Long, OSU
SP - JOE HAASE, PUR
RP - Jonny Hoffman, IND

ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM
C - Kyle Schwarber, IND
1B - Sam Travis, IND
2B - Ryan Jones, MSU
SS - Justin Scanlon, MSU
3B - Josh Scheffert, NEB
OF - Phil Keppler, IOWA
OF - Patrick Biondi, MICH
OF - Barrett Serrato, PUR
DH - Dillon Dooney, IND
SP - Sasha Kuebel, IOWA
SP - Joe Kurrasch, PSU
SP - Lance Breedlove, PUR
RP - Blake Mascarello, PUR

ALL-BIG TEN THIRD TEAM
C - Matt Halloran, MINN

1B - Richard Stock, NEB
2B - Pat Kelly, NEB
SS - Thomas Lindauer, ILL
3B - Torsten Boss, MSU
OF - Justin Parr, ILL
OF - Andy Henkemeyer, MINN

OF - Sean Deegan, PSU
DH - Coley Crank, MICH
SP - Joey DeNato, IND
SP - Tony Bucciferro,MSU
SP - Kyle Kubat, NEB
RP - Nick Wittgren, PUR

 Unanimous honorees in ALL CAPS

 

ALL-BIG TEN FRESHMAN TEAM*
C - KYLE SCHWARBER, IND
1B - SAM TRAVIS, IND
2B - PAT KELLY, NEB
SS - Michael Handel, MINN

3B - CHAD CLARK, IND
OF - CHRIS SUJKA, IND
OF - Jimmy Pickens, MSU
OF - Austin Darby, NEB
DH - Blaise Salter, MSU
SP - Kyle Hart, IND
SP - SASHA KUEBEL, IOWA
SP - Kyle Kubat, NEB
RP - Taylor Kaufman, IOWA
RP - Ben Meyer, MINN

 *additional honoree due to tie

 

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Alex Lincoln, ILL
Drew Leininger, IND
Matt Dermody, IOWA
Kolby Wood, MICH
Tony Bucciferro, MSU
Kyle Geason, MINN

Cory  Burleson, NEB
Paul Snieder, NU
David Corna, OSU
Ryan Clark, PSU
Joe Haase, PUR

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kevin Plawecki, PUR

PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Joe Haase, PUR

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Sam Travis, IND

COACH OF THE YEAR
Doug Schreiber, PUR

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