COLUMBUS, Ohio The Big Ten Conference champion Ohio State Buckeyes dominated the 2009 all-conference awards, presented Tuesday at Huntington Park. Eight players were named first- or second-team all-Big Ten with Alex Wimmers selected as the co-Pitcher of the Year and Dan Burkhart named the Player of the Year.
In addition, head coach Bob Todd, who guided a team that was picked in the preseason publications to finish anywhere from third to fifth, was a unanimous choice as the league’s coach of the year. The honor represents the fifth time Todd has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Wimmers, a contender for the National Pitcher of the Year Award with a 9-1 record and Big Ten leading ERA, opposing batting average and strikeouts, was a unanimous first-team choice and he joined Indiana’s Eric Arnett as the conference’s co-pitchers of the year.
Burkhart, who hits .362 with nine home runs and 57 RBI and who has thrown out 18 potential base stealers, shared first-team all-conference honors at catcher with Indiana’s Josh Phegley. He did receive the most votes by the league coaches, though, as the league’s Player of the Year.
Wimmers and Burkhart, both sophomores, were joined on the all-Big Ten first team by junior designated hitter Ryan Dew and senior closer Jake Hale. Dew ranks third in the Big Ten with a .395 average. Hale has Big Ten-leading figures in saves (15), appearances, and games finished. In Big Ten games only, his 1.09 ERA and .165 opponents’ batting average lead the conference.
Named to the all-Big Ten second team were senior captain and third baseman Justin Miller, who has hit .680 the last two weeks of the season and has raised his Big Ten average to .350; junior second baseman Cory Kovanda, who has hits in 19 of his last 21 games; junior center fielder Michael Stephens, who leads the Buckeyes with 12 home runs and 25 extra base hits, in addition to driving in 54 runs; and sophomore starting pitcher Dean Wolosiansky, who is 11-1 this season and is the first Buckeye 11-game winner in 10 years.
Kovanda was also named as the sportsmanship award winner from Ohio State.
Todd’s coach of the year honor is his first since the 2001 season, the last time Ohio State was Big Ten champion. He has also been honored as the league’s top coach in 1989, 1994 and 1999.
Wimmers is the fifth Buckeye pitcher to be named pitcher of the year. The five hurlers have won the award a total of six times. Burkhart is also the fifth Buckeye to win player of the year.
To view the 2009 all-Big Ten Conference teams, click on the attached PDF.