Spartan Baseball's Brandon Eckerle, Kurt Wunderlich Earn Big Ten Baseball Honors

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Eckerle named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week, Wunderlich garners Big Ten Pitcher of the Week accolades.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Eckerle named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week, Wunderlich garners Big Ten Pitcher of the Week accolades. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

 

PARK RIDGE, Ill. – Senior center fielder Brandon Eckerle has been named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week, and senior right-hander Kurt Wunderlich has garnered Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors, the conference office announced Monday afternoon.

Eckerle and Wunderlich led MSU to a 2-1 record over the weekend at the First Pitch Invitational in Greenville, S.C., and have helped the Spartans to their best six-game start (5-1) in nine years. The Spartans shut out Charleston Southern on Friday, 3-0, defeated Furman on Saturday, 7-3, and fell to No. 6 Clemson on Sunday, 8-0.

 

Eckerle is off to a torrid start at the plate, as he leads the Big Ten with an impressive .696 batting average (16-for-23) and also has four stolen bases. In addition, he ranks first in the conference in on-base percentage (.731) and hits (16).

 

The Durand, Mich., native went 8-for-11 at the plate (.727) at the First Pitch Invitational, and was 4-for-4 for the second time this season against Charleston Southern. Eckerle has a hit in every game this season, including five multi-hit efforts. On the first weekend of the season, Eckerle went 8-for-12 (.667) and was named the Most Valuable Position Player of the Big East/Big Ten Challenge.

 

This marks the first time in his career Eckerle has earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors.

 

Wunderlich pitched six scoreless innings and gave up only two hits in picking up the victory against Charleston Southern. He also struck out four and walked just one. The win was Wunderlich’s 18th of his career, which moves him into a tie for sixth place all-time at MSU along with Tim Day.

 

Through two starts, Wunderlich has surrendered just one run in 13.0 innings of work. His 0.69 ERA currently ranks third in the Big Ten, and opponents are hitting just .186 against him, which ranks fourth best in the conference. On Opening Day Feb. 18, Wunderlich threw seven innings in the 2-1 win over Notre Dame.

 

This marks the second time in Wunderlich’s career he has been named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week. He also took home the honor last year after striking out six in seven scoreless innings against West Virginia.

 

The Michigan State baseball team returns to action this weekend (March 4-6) for the Bethune-Cookman Invitational in Daytona Beach, Fla. All of the games will be played at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, home of the Daytona Cubs, a Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.