May 21, 2013
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The University of Michigan baseball team had three players selected to the All-Big Ten teams and three Big Ten All-Freshman Team recipients, it was announced by the conference office Tuesday morning (May 21) in advance of the Big Ten Tournament.
Junior Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) was named to the All-Big Ten first team, freshman Jacob Cronenworth (St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair) was selected to the second team and junior Cole Martin (Bay City, Mich./John Glenn) earned third team honors. Cronenworth was joined by freshmen Evan Hill (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant) and Travis Maezes (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) on the freshman team, while senior Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child) was U-M's Sportsmanship recipient.
O'Neill, who made the first team as an outfielder, leads the Wolverines in batting average (.361), slugging percentage (.500), on-base percentage (.402), runs scored (45), hits (83), doubles (17), home runs (5) and stolen bases (23). O'Neill also leads the Big Ten in both doubles and stolen bases and is second in hits. O'Neill has had four of his five home runs in the team's last six games, including a grand slam at Nebraska on May 17. He has 29 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI performances. O'Neill is Michigan's first All-Big Ten first team selection since Ryan LaMarre in 2010.
Cronenworth, who made the second team and the freshman team as a third baseman, is hitting .318 with 11 doubles, a triple, two home runs and 41 RBI for the Wolverines. Cronenworth also is the team's closer, as he has seven saves and a 1.93 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 23.1 innings pitched. He is sixth in the Big Ten in RBI and tied for 10th in hits while his seven saves are tied for fifth in the league. Cronenworth had a 16-game hitting streak earlier this season and has 16 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI performances. He becomes Michigan's first freshman on an All-Big Ten team since Chris Fetter in 2006.
Martin, who made the third team as a catcher, started behind the plate in 52 of Michigan's 54 games, hitting .257 with seven doubles, a triple, a home run and 22 RBI. Martin leads the Big Ten, throwing out 22 would-be base stealers. He hit his first career home run, highlighting a 3-for-5 performance against Minnesota (March 30) and hit .545 (6-for-11) with a pair of doubles in the Michigan State series (April 5-7). Martin becomes Michigan's first catcher on an All-Big Ten team since Nate Recknagel (C/1B) in 2008.
Hill, who made the freshman team as a pitcher, is 7-3 with a 3.51 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 14 starts for the Maize and Blue. His seven wins are tied for fifth in the Big Ten while he leads the conference with nine pickoffs. Four of his wins were in Big Ten play, including an eight-inning, four-hit win against Michigan State (April 6). Hill was a three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week and has pitched seven or more innings in five of his starts.
Maezes, who made the freshman team as a shortstop, is hitting .316 with 10 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 42 RBI and 16 stolen bases for Michigan. His average increased to .406 in Big Ten games with a .522 slugging percentage. Maezes is tied for fourth in the Big Ten in RBI, eighth in hits, 11th in total bases and stolen bases and seventh in hit by pitch. In Big Ten games, he is third in batting average, third in RBI (23), fifth in runs scored (22) and third in total bases (53). Maezes has 19 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI performances.
Biondi is hitting .314 with eight doubles, a home run and 16 RBI in his senior season. Biondi, who missed a month with a thumb injury, broke U-M's all-time stolen base mark this season and now has 103 in his career. He also is just two runs scored (188) from the school record in that category. Biondi broke a Big Ten record with six stolen bases against Eastern Michigan (April 23) and has 15 on the season. The two-time All-Big Ten second team performer has a career .304 batting average with 37 doubles and 84 RBI.
In the specialty awards, Illinois' Justin Parr was named the Player of the Year, while the Fighting Illini's Kevin Duchene was named Freshman of the Year. Indiana's Aaron Slegers earned Pitcher of the Year honors and the Hoosiers' Tracy Smith was named Coach of the Year.
Michigan heads to Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, in Minneapolis, Minn., for the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan is the sixth seed and will face third-seeded Nebraska on Wednesday afternoon (May 22) at 3:35 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423