A photo compilation of Purdue's 2012 Big Ten championship campaign
Jeff Duncan completed his third season on the coaching staff of the Purdue baseball program in 2012. He works with the hitters, outfielders, team defense and base running, as well as assists with recruiting.
Duncan was promoted to the level of associate head coach in September 2012.
The Boilermakers enjoyed a historic season in 2012, winning a program-record 45 games and claiming the program's first Big Ten title since 1909. As a team, Purdue led the Big Ten in team batting average (.316) and hits (665), both totals representing program records. The Boilers struck out the fewest number of times at the plate.
After winning the Big Ten Tournament for the first time, Purdue was selected as one of the 16 programs nationally to host an NCAA Regional. A few days later, headlined by Kevin Plawecki's selection 35th overall by the New York Mets, Purdue had a program-record seven players picked in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Juniors Plawecki, Cameron Perkins and Nick Wittgren were each selected in the first 10 rounds to give the Boilers three players drafted in the first 300 picks for the first time. After enjoying All-Big Ten seasons under Duncan's tutelage, position players Eric Charles and Barrett Serrato were also selected in the 2012 Draft.
Big innings were a big part of the successful season. Purdue scored four or more runs in an inning 24 times, including 16 times from the sixth through ninth innings. The Boilermakers were 39-0 when tied or leading after the sixth inning. They also rallied to win in six of the 20 games in which they trailed after six.
After being selected as the Big Ten Player of the Year, Plawecki hit a pair of go-ahead home runs at the Big Ten Tournament to also win Most Outstanding Player honors. The junior catcher became the fifth player since 1981 to sweep Big Ten Player/Pitcher of the Year and Tournament MOP in the same season. He was also baseball's first winner of Purdue Male Athlete of the Year honors.
Perkins led the Big Ten with 61 RBI was an unanimous First Team All-Big Ten honoree. The Boilermakers also featured league leaders in doubles and runs scored (Plawecki) and triples (Stephen Talbott). Charles broke the program record for runs scored as well.
Purdue's 37 overall wins in 2011 matched a single-season record and were the most in the Big Ten Conference. The Boilermakers finished third in the league with a 14-10 conference record and have now reached the Big Ten Tournament for five consecutive seasons (2008-12), the longest active streak in the league.
The new BBCOR bats introduced to college baseball in 2011 did little to slow down the Purdue offense. The Boilermakers led the Big Ten in numerous statistical categories -- highlighted by runs scored, doubles, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and sacrifice flies -- while also ranking among the league's top three in essentially every other offensive stat. Purdue drew the most walks at the plate and issued the fewest number of free passes on the mound.
Five Boiler position players were recognized as All-Big Ten performers. Plawecki and Serrato were named First Team, Tyler Spillner Second Team and Perkins and Stephen Talbott Third Team. With Serrato, Spillner and Talbott all honored as outfielders, it marked the first time 1991 that three Purdue outfielders were named all-conference in the same season. Spillner also represented Purdue on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
Charles finished the 2011 season as the team leader in batting average while proving to be a versatile performer in the lineup's No. 2 hole. Perkins topped the squad in home runs and RBIs and reached base safely in all 56 games in which he played. Despite being the only regular in the lineup to not bat above .300, shortstop David Miller managed to lead the Big Ten in walks and on-base percentage.
Duncan's impact on the program in his first year as an assistant in West Lafayette was immediate. The 2010 Boilermakers set single-season school records for at bats (2,038), hits (636), runs per game (7.2) and total bases (950), while finishing second in school history in runs (411) and RBIs (368), third in home runs (56) and stolen bases (90), fourth in doubles (112) all while posting the third-highest team batting average (.312).
Along with head coach Doug Schreiber, Duncan help mentor 2010 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-Americans Cameron Perkins and Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki also garnered second team Freshman All-America honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
He joined the Boilermaker staff in 2010 after spending the 2009 season as an assistant at Auburn University, where he worked with the hitters, outfielders and coached baserunning. He has additional coaching experience as the Illinois Sparks' head coach in 2008 and eight years as an instructor at the Diamond Sports Academy in Mokena, Ill., from 2001-08.
Duncan spent nine years as a player in professional baseball within the New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations. He played two seasons in the Major Leagues with the New York Mets, spent six years at the Triple-A level or higher and was named to three different all-star teams during his professional career.
Collegiately, Duncan started every game as a true freshman and was the runner up for the Big 12 Freshman of the Year at Iowa State in 1998. He transferred to Arizona State as a sophomore and was named the top newcomer and All-Pac-10 in a vote by league coaches in 1999. He batted .360 during his college career and helped ASU win the Pac-10 title in 2000. That same season he was selected as a national player of the week and represented the Sun Devils on the All-Regional Team at the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Duncan was a seventh-round selection by the Mets in the 2000 draft. He was also selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 1997 MLB Draft but opted to play college baseball. He earned completed his course work and earned his bachelor's degree from Arizona State in 2009.