Anderson, Fiedler Highlight B1G Awards
May 24, 2016

Head coach John Anderson and junior Matt Fiedler received top recognition from the Big Ten Conference, the league announced on Wednesday. Anderson was tabbed the Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Fiedler was named the Big Ten Player of the Year.

Austin Athmann, Connor Schaefbauer and Fiedler were selected as All-Big Ten First Team performers. Micah Coffey, Dan Motl and Dalton Sawyer also received recognition and were chosen as All-Big Ten Second Team honorees.

Rookie Riley Smith was tabbed to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team and Schaefbauer was Minnesota’s nominee for the sportsmanship award.

In total, the Gophers tallied 10 awards after clinching the Big Ten regular season title last weekend.

After being picked to finish outside the top eight and expected to miss the league’s annual postseason tournament, Anderson guided Minnesota to a league best 16-7 record in conference play en route to its 23rd Big Ten title. Anderson, already the all-time winningest coach in Big Ten history, has amassed 544 victories against league foes. He picked up his 1,200th career win earlier in May with a 19-7 victory against Kansas, becoming only the ninth coach in NCAA history to win 1,200 or more at one institution. Minnesota paced the Big Ten in batting average (.328) and fielding percentage (.980) under Anderson’s tutelage. Anderson has received the league’s top coach award for the seventh time in his career and was a unanimous choice.

Fiedler, one of the top two-way players in the country, showed out in his third season with the Maroon and Gold. Fiedler capped the regular season in the top five among conference competition in batting average (.383), hits (82), total bases (116) and victories on the mound (seven). Working as the No. 3 hitter in the nation’s No. 3 offense, Fiedler had at least one hit in 46 of 52 games played, including a team-high 27 multiple-hit contests. On the mound, the Friday night starter tossed a complete-game shutout at Georgia State and set a career-high with eight strikeouts at Campbell. In league play, Fiedler held a 4-0 record with 35 strikeouts in eight starts. He is the eighth player in program history to be named the Big Ten’s top player and the first since Luke Appert in 2003.

Joining Fiedler on the Big Ten’s top squad were Athmann and Schaefbauer. Athmann, a unanimous choice as the conference’s top catcher, led the league with a .642 slugging clip and was fourth in both batting average (.376) and home runs (11) during the regular season. The junior netted 21 multiple-hit performances and have at least two RBI in nine games this season. Athmann set a team-high by reaching base safely in 26 consecutive games from Feb. 28-April 29.

Schaefbauer was selected as the league’s top second baseman after boasting career-best totals in batting average (.318), hits (64), RBI (38) and home runs (four). The senior committed just one error and boasted a team-best .996 fielding percentage during the 2016 regular season. Schaefbauer netted 14 sacrifices, including nation’s fifth-highest mark of eight sacrifice flies. He brings an eight-game on-base streak into the postseason after leading the team to its first conference championship since 2010.

Coffey, who garnered second-team honors at third baseman, manned the hot corner in 49 games during regular season play. Despite being in a multitude of spots in the batting order, Coffey produced at a high rate. The sophomore racked up 62 hits, including the third-highest total of extra-base hits with 20. Coffey is currently tied for the team lead with seven roundtrippers and paces the club with 39 RBI. The Batavia, Ill. native touts an on-base percentage of .413 and has reached base safely in his last 17 games, heading into postseason play.

Motl, who leads the league with 18 doubles, picked up a nod on the All-Big Ten Second Team. As the primary leadoff man for the Gophers, the senior tallied 71 hits, including three doubles and three home runs. He slugged at a .491 clip and maintained a .401 on-base percentage throughout the regular season. More impressively, Motl gunned down eight runners trying to advance a base on the center fielder, which paced the outfielders and sits in the top 10 nationally.

Joining his sluggers as members of the second team, Sawyer featured as the No. 2 starter for Minnesota. In 81.2 innings pitched, the southpaw tallied 101 strikeouts, becoming just the fourth player in program history to accomplish the feat. Sawyer netted at least five strikeouts in 13 starts, including seven with eight-plus. The Waconia, Minn. native set a career-high with 12 send-downs in a dominating series win at Northwestern back in late April. Sawyer held opposing hitters to bat just .233 this season.

Smith, a Broken Arrow, Okla. native, saw action at shortstop, second base and third base this season. He hit .299 with 26 hits, including seven doubles, one triple and a homer in his first regular season with the Gophers. His top moment of the season came in a pinch-hit spot at No. 23 Missouri State when he blasted a grand slam that guided Minnesota to back-to-back wins over a ranked win since 2004. Smith added a career-high five RBI en route to a 19-7 throbbing of Kansas in early May.

The No. 1 seed Minnesota opens up Big Ten Tournament play tomorrow night against No. 8 Iowa at 5 p.m.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Matt Fiedler, Minnesota

PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Cody Sedlock, Illinois

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Chad Luensmann, Nebraska

COACH OF THE YEAR
John Anderson, Minnesota

ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM*
C – Austin Athmann, Minnesota
1B – Scott Schreiber, Nebraska
2B – Dan Durkin, Michigan State
2B – Connor Schaefbauer, Minnesota
SS – Nick Roscetti, Iowa
3B – Nick Sergakis, Ohio State
OF – Joel Booker, Iowa
OF – CODY BRUDER, Michigan
OF – Ronnie Dawson, Ohio State
DH – Matt Fiedler, Minnesota
SP – CODY SEDLOCK, Illinois
SP – Kyle Hart, Indiana
SP – Tanner Tully, Ohio State
RP – Dakota Mekkes, Michigan State

ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM**
C – RJ Devish, Rutgers
1B – Jordan Zimmerman, Michigan State
SS – Steven Reveles, Nebraska
3B – Micah Coffey, Minnesota
OF – Dan Motl, Minnesota
OF – Ryan Boldt, Nebraska
OF – Greg Guers, Penn State
DH – Carmen Benedetti, Michigan
SP – Brett Adcock, Michigan
SP – Cam Vieaux, Michigan State
SP – Dalton Sawyer, Minnesota
RP – Chad Luensmann, Nebraska

ALL-BIG TEN THIRD TEAM*
C – Harrison Wenson, Michigan
C – Jason Goldstein, Illinois
1B – Kyle Wood, Purdue
2B – Nick Dunn, Maryland
SS – Brian Wilhite, Indiana
3B – Jake Bivens, Michigan
OF – Craig Dedelow, Indiana
OF – Brandon Hughes, Michigan State
OF – Jake Meyers, Nebraska
DH – Ben Miller, Nebraska
SP – Taylor Bloom, Maryland
SP – Brian Shaffer, Maryland
SP – Howie Brey, Rutgers
RP – Jack Anderson, Penn State

ALL-BIG TEN FRESHMAN TEAM
C – Ryan Fineman, Indiana
1B – WILLIE BURGER, Penn State
2B – Nick Dunn, Maryland
SS – Riley Smith, Minnesota
3B – LUKE MILLER, Indiana
OF – Marty Costes, Maryland
OF – Marty Bechina, Michigan State
OF – Jawuan Harris, Rutgers
DH – Scotty Bradley, Indiana
SP – Cole Bellair, Illinois
SP – MATT WALDRON, Nebraska
SP – Justin Hagenman, Penn State
RP – CHAD LUENSMANN, Nebraska

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD NOMINEES
J.D. Nielsen, Illinois
Austin Cangelosi, Indiana
Jimmy Frankos, Iowa
Anthony Papio, Maryland
Cody Bruder, Michigan
Justin Hovis, Michigan State
Conner Schaefbauer, Minnesota
Taylor Fish, Nebraska
Jake Stolley, Northwestern
Nick Sergakis, Ohio State
Alex Malinsky, Penn State
Kyle Johnson, Purdue
RJ Devish, Rutgers

Unanimous selections in ALL CAPS

*Additional honorees due to tie

** Fewer honorees due to tie on first team
 

 

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