May 26, 2004
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Ohio State outfielder Steve Caravati was named the Big Ten Player of the Year while his teammate and fellow outfielder Jacob Howell was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the conference office announced Wednesday during the opening day of the Big Ten Tournament at Siebert Field. A total of six Buckeyes garnered All-Big Ten honors as selected by the 10 head coaches in the league.
Caravati, a junior from Dover, Ohio (Dover), led all Big Ten batters in the regular season with a .388 batting average and finished second in the conference with a .407 batting average. One of three Buckeyes to start all 55 games for the Buckeyes, Caravati had 81 hits, 16 doubles, nine home runs and batted in 47 RBI. He had a .603 slugging percentage and a .443 on-base percentage. He scored 42 runs and was 7-for-9 in stolen bases. In the Big Ten, he had 46 hits with 10 doubles, one triple and four home runs, while batting in 30 runs. The leftfielder had a slugging percentage of .619 and an on-base percentage of .481 in conference games.
Howell, a freshman from Ashland, Ohio (Ashland) had the second highest batting average for Ohio State during the regular season at .324, though it was his batting average in Big Ten games that caught the attention of league coaches. In the 31 conference games, Howell batted .380, the sixth-best average in the league. In his 54 games, that included 52 starts, he had 69 hits with five doubles, four triples and two home runs while knocking in 24 runs and scoring another 38. The Buckeye rightfielder was 10-for-13 in stolen bases and led the team with six sacrifice hits with another two sac flies.
Howell is the eighth Ohio State athlete to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors and the fifth in the last six years. He joins previous winners Scott Lewis (2002), Doug Deeds (2001), Nick Swisher (2000), E.J. Laratta (1999), Dan Seimetz (1995), Matt Beaumont (1992) and Scott Klingenbeck (1990). Caravati is the third Buckeye to be named the Big Ten Player of the Year, joining Seimetz in 1997 and Jonathan Sweet, who shared the award in 1994. The Big Ten also announced the All-Big Ten teams and six Buckeyes earned mention on the three teams.
Joining Caravati as a First Team All-Big Ten selection was left-handed pitcher Josh Newman (Sr., Wheelersburg, Ohio/Wheelersburg). Newman finished with a 7-6 record and led the Buckeyes with 95 strikeouts, the 13th highest season total in school history. He had a 4.10 ERA and pitched 94.1 innings in 14 starts. Newman has 31 career wins and has 286 career strikeouts in 360.0 career innings. All three figures rank third in Buckeye history. Caravati went from a third-team selection in 2003 to a unanimous selection in 2004, while Newman improved his second-team honor from a season ago.
Howell was joined on the second team by Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg). Anderson was second on the team with a .324 batting average and started all 55 games at second base. He had 73 hits, leading the Buckeyes with 17 doubles and four triples and had four home runs while plating 26 runs, while scoring 47 times himself. Anderson was a perfect 19-for-19 on the base paths and has 56 for his career, the third highest total in school history. It was the second straight year for Anderson to earn second-team honors, repeating from a season ago.
Mike Madsen (Jr., Canfield, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) and Trey Fausnaugh (Fr., Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) earned third-team honors. Madsen led the league with eight wins and went 5-1 against the Big Ten. Madsen had 53 strikeouts and a 4.12 ERA in 78.2 innings to go with his 8-3 record. Fausnaugh led the team with seven saves in 29 relief appearances. His seven saves lead the Big Ten and equal the eighth most in school history, while his 29 appearances are tied for fourth.
After a first-round bye, Ohio State opens the Big Ten Tournament at 4:35 p.m. (EDT) Thursday as the No. 2 seed against No. 3 seed Michigan, a 7-2 winner over Penn State Wednesday. Top-seeded Minnesota will play No. 5 seed Purdue, a 6-5 winner over No. 4 Michigan State, at 8:05 p.m. Thursday. The Spartans will meet the loser of the Nittany Lions in an elimination battle at 1:05 p.m. Thursday.
For a complete list of the three All-Big Ten teams, please go to the Big Ten web site.