Program-Record Eight Players Honored as Purdue Dominates All-Big Ten Awards

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Kevin Plawecki leads the Big Ten with 20 doubles and has an OPS over 1.000.

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Kevin Plawecki leads the Big Ten with 20 doubles and has an OPS over 1.000.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

May 22, 2012


Complete 2012 All-Big Ten Teams

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Purdue baseball was rewarded for its regular-season conference title and 40-win campaign with a bevy of postseason All-Big Ten honors, highlighted by Big Ten Player and Pitcher of the Year awards for team leaders Kevin Plawecki and Joe Haase, respectively.

A program-record eight players and head coach Doug Schreiber were recognized for leading the Boilers to the best overall record in the conference for the second year in a row. Schreiber was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Plawecki, Haase and Schreiber represent Purdue's first winners of the Big Ten Player, Pitcher and Coach of the Year awards. The Player of the Year dates back to 1982, Coach of the Year 1988 and Pitcher of the Year 1994.

This marks the second year in a row and seventh time since 1994 that one team has swept the Big Ten Player, Pitcher and Coach of the Year awards.

Meanwhile, Cameron Perkins (third base) and Haase (starting pitcher) were the only unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten First Team. Perkins, Plawecki (catcher), Barrett Serrato (Second Team outfielder) and Nick Wittgren (Third Team relief pitcher) were named All-Big Ten for the second year in a row. Senior Eric Charles (First Team second base) was recognized for the second time in his career (also in 2009).

Lance Breedlove (Second Team starting pitcher) and Blake Mascarello (Second Team relief pitcher) were also recognized among this year's honorees. The previous program record for All-Big Ten honorees was seven (1997). Six Boilers were honored last season.

Entering the year, there had been eight Purdue players to be multiple-time All-Big Ten performers during Schreiber's 14-year tenure. Five more Boilers added their names to that list with their performances this season.

Meanwhile, Plawecki joined an even more exclusive club. After becoming the first Purdue catcher since 1960 to be First Team All-Big last year, the Carmel, Ind., native is now just the third Purdue player to garner First Team recognition in back-to-back seasons. He joins Mitch Hilligoss (shortstop, 2005-06) and Jermaine Allensworth (outfielder, 1992-93) in that group.

Plawecki has started every game as Purdue's cleanup hitter. He enters the Big Ten Tournament leading the league with 20 doubles while ranking second with a .554 slugging percentage. He again ranks as the toughest batter to strikeout in the league, fanning only eight times in 202 at-bats (240 plate appearances). He was fourth nationally entering the weekend. Additionally, his .361 batting average coupled with high totals of extra-base hits (27) and walks (24) gives him one of the best weighted on-base percentages (.470) in the country and an OPS over 1.000.

Defensively, Plawecki started 43 of the 53 regular-season games behind the plate, including 23 of the 24 Big Ten contests. He calls his own game and has committed only error while throwing out 16 of 38 would-be basestealers (42 percent). He has worked with a pitching staff that the best WHIP (1.20) in the Big Ten and second-best team ERA (3.17).

Haase has been a constant in the Purdue rotation the last two years, starting a game in every Big Ten weekend series. He leads the Big Ten with nine victories this season, but more importantly the Boilers are 13-1 in his 14 starts. He helped guide Purdue to a series-opening victory in every Big Ten weekend series, earning the win in every start except April 20 at Nebraska. After not pitching past the fifth inning in any of his first four starts this year, he put together eight quality outings over a stretch of nine starts from mid-March through mid-May.

Haase was a two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Week this year, earning the award after complete-game shutouts against Northwestern and Michigan. He also led Purdue to a shutout win against Illinois (7 IP, 5 H, 0 BB). He was dynamite in his four starts at Lambert Field this year, winning all four while issuing just one walk and compiling a 0.88 ERA.

Schreiber led Purdue to a program-record 41 wins and its first conference title since 1909. The Boilermakers clinched the Big Ten title after the 20th game of the 24-game conference schedule, the earliest a team has clinched since the league went to three-game weekend series in 2009. Purdue's 41 wins are the most by a Big Ten since 2009 as well. The Boilers have been nationally ranked for much of the season and are a candidate to host an NCAA Regional.

Schreiber won his 400th career game March 30 and broke the program wins record April 15 in the nightcap of a doubleheader sweep of Illinois. Purdue also clinched the Big Ten title at Lambert Field, a stadium that Schreiber called home for 18 years as a player (1983-86) and coach (1999-present). The Boilermakers closed out their home ballpark since 1965 with a walk-off win against Indiana State on May 15.

Perkins was also a candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year honors, best demonstrated by his unanimous selection as the third baseman on the All-Big Ten First Team. The junior leads the Big Ten in RBI (56) and runs scored (50). He played in all but one game this year, batting third in the lineup every time. Even though he's one of the top sluggers in the league and a free swinger, he also puts the ball in play consistently, striking out 16 times in 217 at-bats (247 plate appearances).

Highlighted by two-homer games in series-opening wins at Nebraska and Iowa, Perkins hit five of his nine home runs in Big Ten play. He did more than just hit home runs though. The Indianapolis native also batted .392 with runners in scoring position and reached base safely 57 percent of the time when leading off an inning. Perkins delivered the walk-off RBI in extra-inning wins against Michigan State and Indiana State.

Charles, a four-year starter at second base, enters the Big Ten Tournament leading the team in batting average for the second year in a row, ranking second in the Big Ten. He reached base safely in 36 consecutive Big Ten games from April 2011 through May 2012. The consistent performer recorded a hit in 41 of the 52 games he has played this season. He delivered the game-tying two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning of the April 28 14-inning win against Michigan State and broke the Purdue all-time record for runs scored May 9 in a win against Illinois-Chicago.

Breedlove is a three-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Week winner, the first Boiler to accomplish the feat and the first pitcher in the league to do so since 2009. He did not surrender a run while he was physically on the mound in his four starts at Lambert Field this year. He went the distance in his first two Big Ten starts of the year, posting wins against Ohio State and Penn State while becoming the first Boiler to work consecutive complete games since 2009. He struck out a career-high 11 in his season-opening start.

Mascarello has recorded eight wins and two saves in his 25 relief appearances. He pitched four or more innings in seven of his outings, highlighted by retiring all 13 batters he faced in the series-opening win at Nebraska. That outing was during a stretch of eight consecutive appearances in which he did not allow an earned run. The senior enters the Big Ten Tournament leading the league in ERA (1.69) and batting average against (.199).

Serrato has been a constant in the middle of the lineup, batting fifth in every game. He has recorded 24 of his 45 RBI with two outs in inning. His six home runs including a go-ahead three-run shot in the comeback win against Southern Miss and the first grand slam at Lambert Field since April 2010 in the series-opening win against Michigan State. The senior homered in four consecutive weekends and had a streak of five consecutive multi-hit games in May.

Wittgren leads the Big Ten in saves (nine) for the second year in a row. He was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week in early March after closing out two of the three wins at the Auburn Tournament, becoming the first Purdue reliever since 2000 to win the award. He broke the program's all-time saves record March 13 at Missouri State and has finished off Big Ten wins against Northwestern, Illinois and Nebraska. His victories came against UCLA and Indiana State, both likely NCAA Tournament qualifiers.

2012 Purdue All-Big Ten Honorees
Big Ten Player of the Year -- Kevin Plawecki
Big Ten Pitcher of the Year -- Joe Haase
Big Ten Coach of the Year -- Doug Schreiber

First Team All-Big Ten
Cameron Perkins, Third Base (Unanimous)
Joe Haase, Starting Pitcher (Unanimous)
Kevin Plawecki, Catcher
Eric Charles, Second Base
Second Team All-Big Ten
Barrett Serrato, Outfielder
Lance Breedlove, Starting Pitcher
Blake Mascarello, Relief Pitcher
Third Team All-Big Ten
Nick Wittgren, Relief Pitcher

Teams that swept Player, Pitcher & Coach of the Year (Since 1994)
Purdue, 2012
Michigan State, 2011
Ohio State, 2009*
Michigan, 2008
Minnesota, 2002^
Illinois, 1998
Ohio State, 1994
*OSU's Alex Wimmers shared Pitcher of the Year honors with Indiana's Eric Arnett
^Minnesota's Luke Appert shared Player of the Year honors with two others

Boilers to be multiple time All-Big Ten honorees under Coach Schreiber (1999-Present)
Kevin Plawecki -- 2011 (First) & 2012 (First)
Cameron Perkins -- 2011 (Third) & 2012 (First)
Barrett Serrato -- 2011 (First) & 2012 (Second)
Nick Wittgren -- 2011 (Second) & 2012 (Third)
Eric Charles -- 2009 (Third) & 2012 (First)
Matt Bischoff -- 2007 (Second), 2008 (First), 2009 (Third) & 2010 (First)
Brandon Haveman -- 2008 (Second), & 2009 (First)
Ryne White -- 2006 (Second), 2007 (First), 2008 (Third)
Mitch Hilligoss -- 2005 (First) & 2006 (First)
John Hunter -- 2004 (Third) & 2005 (Second)
Simon Klink - 2003 (Third) & 2004 (Second)
Ben Quick - 2000 (Second) & 2001 (Second)
Nate Sickler - 2000 (Second) & 2001 (First)

Boilers to be First Team All-Big Ten in back-to-back seasons
Kevin Plawecki -- 2011 & 2012
Mitch Hilligoss -- 2005 & 2006
Jermaine Allensworth - 1992 & 1993