Seven Spartans Earn All-Big Ten Baseball Honors

Michigan State


Shortstop Jonathan Roof garners first-team accolades; Ryan Jones named Freshman of the Year.  Photo Courtesy of Rey Del Rio.
Shortstop Jonathan Roof garners first-team accolades; Ryan Jones named Freshman of the Year. Photo Courtesy of Rey Del Rio.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Seven Michigan State baseball players have earned All-Big Ten honors, including shortstop Jonathan Roof, who garnered first-team accolades, and second baseman Ryan Jones, who was named the league’s Freshman of the Year. It marks the most Spartans on the All-Big Ten team since seven were honored in 1968 and ties for second most in school history.


In addition to Roof and Jones, senior outfielder Eli Boike and freshman third baseman Torsten Boss were named to the second team, while junior first baseman Jeff Holm, senior designated hitter Chris Roberts and junior starting pitcher Kurt Wunderlich made the third team. Junior outfielder Brandon Eckerle was also recognized by the conference as MSU’s recipient of the Sportsmanship Award.


“I’m excited for each one of our guys that were honored, they’re all very deserving,” said MSU head coach Jake Boss. “The fact that they were voted by the other Big Ten coaches shows they impressed a lot of people throughout the course of the year. You see a lot of balance in our guys that were honored, which is a testament to their abilities and how well they played for us this year.”


Roof is MSU’s first All-Big Ten first-team selection since Ryan Basham in 2006. A junior from Paducah, Ky., Roof ranked tied for fifth in the conference with 53 runs scored and hit .317 with four homers and 43 RBIs. Roof also collected 72 hits, 16 stolen bases, 13 doubles and owned a .372 on-base percentage. The slick fielding shortstop led the league in assists (173) and tied for fifth in fielding double plays (43); both of those marks represent school single-season records.


“I don’t think there’s any argument that Jonathan was the best defensive shortstop in the conference,” Boss said. “Offensively, he was certainly a big part in what we did as he hit in the middle of our lineup all year long.”


Jones is only the second player in program history to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, joining Ryan Sontag, who took home the honor in 2005. The Haslett, Mich., native was also named second-team All-Big Ten and to the All-Freshman Team after finishing the regular season second on the team and sixth in the conference with a .380 batting average. In the field, Jones ranked ninth in the league with 140 assists and teamed up with Roof to create one of the best middle infields in the Big Ten.


Joining Jones on the second team was freshman third baseman Torsten Boss and senior outfielder Eli Boike.

Boss, who was also named to the All-Freshman Team, ranked third on the team with six homers. The true freshman from Lowell, Mich., hit .341 with 10 doubles, 56 hits and 41 RBIs.


“Ryan is extremely deserving of the Freshman of the Year award, and Torsten was likely in that mix as well,” Boss said. “Both had outstanding seasons in their first year in the starting lineup.”


Boike led the team and tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a .384 batting average, and also ranked among the Big Ten leaders in slugging (fifth at .611), hits (fifth with 78), RBIs (seventh with 48), total bases (seventh with 124), on-base percentage (eighth at .453) and homers (tied for 10th with eight). He cracked the MSU single-season top-10 lists in hits (tied for eighth) and total bases (tied for 10th).


“We moved Eli around in the order – he led off for a majority of the year, and then when he was battling through an injury we moved him down in the order a little bit to let him try and drive in some runs,” said Boss. “He played through a lot of pain for the last half of the year and still put up some really, really good numbers that allowed him to be rewarded on the second team with an outstanding group of outfielders in the Big Ten this season.”


Junior first baseman Jeff Holm rounded out the honors for the Spartan infield. Holm earned third-team accolades after tying for first in the Big Ten during the regular season with 21 doubles, which also ranks tied for third most in an MSU season. Holm was ranked among the Big Ten leaders in putouts (second with 502), runs (fourth with 54), RBIs (sixth with 50), stolen bases (fifth with 23) and triples (tied for sixth with five). The 23 stolen bases tie for second in the school record books and his 502 putouts at first base rank first.


“When you see our entire infield getting honored, it gives you a feel for why we were one of the top fielding teams in the nation most of the year,” said Boss.


Senior designated hitter Chris Roberts tied for the team lead in home runs this season with eight and for his efforts was named to the third team. Roberts compiled a .313 batting average and produced career highs in runs (33), doubles (15), RBIs (46) and slugging percentage (.527) in 2010. He finished his Spartan career with 232 hits, ranking him fourth all-time in school history.


“Chris was probably the best pure hitter that we had in our lineup,” Boss said. “He was the hottest guy we had at the end of the year, which is the time you want your leaders to be at their best, and he certainly was.”


Junior starting pitcher Kurt Wunderlich led the team and tied for third in the Big Ten with eight wins on the mound. Wunderlich delivered an 8-3 record with a 4.28 ERA in 88.1 innings pitched, which ranked sixth most in the league. The Des Peres, Mo., product allowed just four hits in eight innings in his last outing of the season, a win at Northwestern.


“Kurt was one of our workhorses in the rotation this season,” said Boss. “He gave us a chance to win every time he took the mound.”


Brandon Eckerle, the team’s recipient of the Sportsmanship Award, led MSU in runs (57) and hits (81), which ranked third and fourth in the Big Ten, respectively. He also hit .362 at the plate and stole 22 bases. Eckerle finished the season ranked among MSU’s single-season leaders in stolen bases (fourth), hits (fifth) and runs (seventh).


The Michigan State baseball team finished the 2010 season with a 34-19 overall record and an 11-13 mark in Big Ten play. The 34 wins tie for the fifth most in program history.


All-Big Ten – Michigan State Honorees

First Team – Jonathan Roof, Jr., SS

Second Team – Ryan Jones, R-Fr., 2B; Torsten Boss, Fr., 3B; Eli Boike, Sr., OF

Third Team – Jeff Holm, Jr., 1B; Chris Roberts, Sr., DH; Kurt Wunderlich, Jr., SP

All-Freshman Team – Ryan Jones, 2B; Torsten Boss, 3B

Freshman of the Year – Ryan Jones, 2B


Most Spartans on All-Big Ten Teams:

1.      1954 (8)

2.      2010, 1968 (7)

3.      1958 (6)

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