UConn Earns Three BIG EAST Major Awards

Jim Penders earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career.

May 24, 2011

BIG EAST Release

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Head coach Jim Penders was named the 2011 BIG EAST Coach of the Year as announced by the conference on Tuesday night as part of the 2011 BIG EAST Baseball Championship Opening Ceremonies. Matt Barnes was named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, while George Springer was tagged with BIG EAST Player of the Year honors. In addition to the major awards, 11 Huskies were named to the All-BIG EAST Teams.

For the second straight year, Penders was named the league's Coach of the Year as he led the Huskies to 39 overall wins and a league-record 22 victories during regular season play. The Huskies also won the 2011 Regular Season title. Currently in his eighth year at the helm of the Huskies, he is now a three-time recipient of the award, winning the honor in 2006 and in 2010, respectively.

Matt Barnes, who was tagged as the 2011 Preseason Pitcher of the Year, went on to register an 11-3 record during regular-season play, while earning an ERA of 1.11, a team-best. In 14 starts, Barnes threw three complete games, struck out 97 batters and pitched 105 innings. The junior earned eight wins in BIG EAST Conference play, tying the all-time single-season mark in league history. He is just one of three all-time UConn pitchers to register 10 or more wins in a single season and ranks tied for second with current teammate Greg Nappo with 24 career wins.

George Springer, who also earned a major award in the preseason as he was named BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year, led the Huskies during the regular season batting .379 in 55 games en route to being the unanimous selection for Player of the Year. The junior led the Huskies with 77 hits, 12 home runs, 51 runs scored and 72 RBI. He has stolen a team-high 29 bags and is slugging .685. This is the second major conference honor for the New Britain, Conn. native as he was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 2009.


 

 

Barnes is just the second UConn pitcher to earn the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year honor as Charles Nagy was given the award in both the 1987 and 1988 seasons.

Springer becomes the fifth Husky to be tagged with Player of the Year honors and the first since Mike Scott was named Co-Player of the Year in 2001. Prior to 2001, Jason Grabowski earned the honor in 1996, while Sal Tinnerello earned the award in 1992. Dave Ford was the first-ever BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year in 1985 when the Huskies finished in first place in the league's North Division during that season.

Barnes and Springer were unanimous picks for the All-BIG EAST First Team, while Greg Nappo, Doug Elliot, Mike Nemeth, LJ Mazzilli, Ryan Fuller and Nick Ahmed made the All-BIG EAST Second Team.

Juniors Kevin Vance, John Andreoli and Tim Martin earned spots on the All-BIG EAST Third Team, respectively.

The Huskies will begin postseason play on Wednesday, May 25 as they are scheduled to take on Notre Dame at 8:00 p.m. at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.

2011 BIG EAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL AWARDS
BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
George Springer, OF, Connecticut (Jr., New Britain, Conn.) *

BIG EAST PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut (Jr., Bethel, Conn.)

BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Trey Mancini, 1B, Notre Dame (Fr., Winter Haven, Fla.)

BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Penders, Connecticut

ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
Pos.
Player
School
Cl
Hometown
P
Connecticut
Jr.
Bethel, Conn.
P
Justin Amlung
Louisville
So.
Louisville, Ky.
P
Kyle Hansen
St. John's
So.
Glen Gove, N.Y.
P
Joe DiRocco
Seton Hall
Sr.
East Hanover, N.J.
C
Kevan Smith *
Pittsburgh
Sr.
Cranberry Township, Pa.
1B
David Chester
Pittsburgh
Sr.
Collinsville, Okla.
2B
Ryan Wright
Louisville
Jr.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
3B
Jonathan Koscso
USF
Sr.
Tampa, Fla.
SS
Joe Panik
St. John's
Jr.
Hopewell Junction, N.Y.
OF
Justin Riddell
Cincinnati
Sr.
Lexington, Ky.
OF
Connecticut
Jr.
New Britain, Conn.
OF
Rand Ravnaas
Georgetown
Jr.
Fort Worth, Texas
OF
Jeremy Baltz
St. John's
So.
Vestal, N.Y.
DH
Jeremy Gum
West Virginia
Sr.
Bridgeport, W.Va.
 
 
* unanimous selection
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM
Pos.
Player
School
Cl
Hometown
P
Connecticut
Sr.
Madison, Conn.
P
Matt Iannazzo
Pittsburgh
Jr.
Norwalk, Conn.
P
Randy Fontanez
USF
Sr.
Oviedo, Fla.
P
Kevin Quackenbush
USF
Sr.
Tampa, Fla.
C
Connecticut
Sr.
Rocky Hill, Conn.
1B
Connecticut
Sr.
Washington, N.J.
2B
Connecticut
So.
Greenwich, Conn.
3B
Connecticut
Jr.
Old Lyme, Conn.
SS
Connecticut
Jr.
East Longmeadow, Mass.
OF
Stewart Ijames
Louisville
Jr.
Louisville, Ky.
OF
John Schultz
Pittsburgh
Sr.
West Lawn, Pa.
OF
Michael Lang
Rutgers
Sr.
Dumont, N.J.
DH
Justin Glass
Cincinnati
Fr.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
 
 
 
 
 
ALL-BIG EAST THIRD TEAM
Pos.
Player
School
Cl
Hometown
P
Connecticut
Jr.
Solana Beach, Calif.
P
Tony Zych
Louisville
Jr.
Monee, Ill.
P
Brian Dupra
Notre Dame
Sr.
Rochester, N.Y.
C
Erick Fernandez
Georgetown
Sr.
Hialeah, Fla.
1B
Trey Mancini
Notre Dame
Fr.
Winter Haven, Fla.
1B
Paul Karmas
St. John's
Sr.
Douglaston, N.Y.
3B
Sean Lamont
Georgetown
Sr.
Houston, Texas
SS
Grant Buckner
West Virginia
Sr.
Elkview W.Va.
OF
Braden Kline
Cincinnati
Fr.
Warsaw, Ind.
OF
Connecticut
Jr.
Shrewsbury, Mass.
OF
Casey Roche
Pittsburgh
Fr.
Downingtown, Pa.
DH
Connecticut
Jr.
Stratford, Conn.
DH
Anthony Defabio
Pittsburgh
Jr.
Pittsburgh, Pa.