Five Penn State Baseball Players Earn Big Ten Baseball Honors

GregGuersPSU
ROSEMONT, Ill. – A quintet of Nittany Lions earned Big Ten baseball honors, as Penn State seniors Greg Guers and Jack Anderson were named All-Big Ten, rookies Willie Burger and Justin Hagenman were named to the All-Big Ten Freshman team and Alex Malinsky (Apex, N.C.) was a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient. The selections, made by the league’s head coaches, were announced Tuesday afternoon by the conference office.

(Photo of Greg Guers. Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics)

The postseason awards were the first for all five. Guers, an outfielder, earned second-team recognition and Anderson, a relief pitcher, was named to the third team, becoming Penn State’s first All-Big Ten selections since 2012 and the first of head coach Rob Cooper’s three-season tenure. Burger and Hagenman are the Lions’ first all-freshman honorees since recent graduate James Coates (Girard, Ohio) was a unanimous pick in 2013, and their selections mark just the second time Penn State has had two named to the team since it was instituted in 2009.

The honorees all helped lead Penn State to its first winning season since 2012.

Guers set career highs for batting average (.313), runs (40), hits (62), walks (20), on-base percentage (.369) and stolen bases this season, while matching his career-high for RBIs with 38. His stolen base total ranked fourth in the league, and he was particularly strong in Big Ten play, ranking sixth overall and second amongst outfielders with a .354 batting average.

Guers had a slow start to the season, batting just .189 over the first 24 games, but he led the Nittany Lions over the final 30 games with a .387 average, 11 doubles, four home runs, 26 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. He broke out of the early slump with a seven-game hitting streak that featured six-multi-hit games. He was particularly hot from April 11-17, making just four outs in four games going 13-for-17 (.765) with eight RBIs, a home run, two doubles and five stolen bases to earn both All-Big Ten Player of the Week and NCBWA National Hitter of the Week honors.

Anderson was a mainstay at the back-end of games, setting Penn State’s single-season record for saves with 13 to tie for the league lead. He totaled a career-best 2.14 ERA in 54 2/3 innings pitched, just a third of an inning shy of being eligible to qualify amongst the league leaders for ERA. Of his 29 appearances on the year, which tied for the second most in program history second in the league this year, only five were for an inning or less.

Anderson also set new career standards at Penn State for saves with 25 and appearances with 98. In 165 2/3 career innings pitched, he never allowed a home run.

Burger was a unanimous selection to the all-freshman team at first base. He was named the Big Ten Player of the Week once and the Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice during his inaugural campaign. Despite only playing in 39 games, Burger was second on the team with 34 RBIs, and he batted .250 for the season. He led Penn State with 10 multiple RBI games. Burger claimed both the Big Ten Baseball Player and Freshman of the Week honors for the week of Mar. 14-20 going 7-for-11 with six RBIs to become the first conference player of the week for Penn State since 2012 (Jordan Steranka). Burger was injured the following week, but returned after 12 missed games to bat .467 (7-for-15) with a home run and five RBIs in his first week to earn the weekly freshman award again.

Hagenman is the first Penn State pitcher to reach six wins since 2011. He started the finales of all of Penn State’s weekend series, finishing with an ERA of 3.84 in 82 innings pitched. His best outing came at Illinois, as he pitched 8 1/3 innings, allowing only an unearned run early and then two earned runs in the ninth scored after he departed. He also matched his career high of six strikeouts and allowed just four hits and two walks.

One of Penn State’s most respected players, Malinsky did not lack for on-field accomplishments either. He most notably hit a walk-off double in a 12-inning victory over Purdue. Malinsky will carry a five-game reached base streak into the 2017 season.

The complete list of All-Big Ten teams and award winners can be found below.

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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