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IU baseball’s Devin Taylor wins Big Ten Freshman of the Year, six Hoosiers honored

The Big Ten Conference office announced on Tuesday the conference baseball awards for the 2023 season with Indiana well represented.

IU freshman outfielder Devin Taylor highlights the 2023 postseason awards with the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award and first-team All-Big Ten.

In total, six Hoosiers earned accolades from the conference coaches.

Taylor is the third Hoosier to earn the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award, joining future MLB players Alex Dickerson (2009) and Sam Travis (2012). He is just the second IU rookie to earn All-B1G first team honors and the first position player to do so in program history. Pitcher Joey DeNato also earned first team honors during his first season on the field in 2011, while Larry Blackwell earned a first-team nod in 1979 as a freshman.

Sophomore Ryan Kraft also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as the relief pitcher, while the trio of senior Phillip Glasser, sophomore Luke Sinnard and sophomore Brock Tibbitts each earned second-team honors. The Big Ten third team featured sophomore Josh Pyne, while the All-Big Ten Freshman Team saw Tyler Cerny join Taylor on the list.

For the year, Taylor led all Big Ten freshmen in batting average (.328), OPS (1.146), runs scored (58), home runs (16), RBIs (56), total bases (121), slugging percentage (.695), walks (34) and on-base percentage (.451). His 16 home runs rank third all-time by a Big Ten freshman and are No. 2 in Indiana freshman history behind Carter Mathison (22; 2022). His 56 RBIs on the season are No. 6 in program history by a freshman, with 32 of those coming in Big Ten play to rank No. 6 on the Big Ten only charts at IU.

Kraft led all Big Ten pitchers in ERA during the 2023 campaign with a 2.51 mark over 19 appearances – 18 in relief – and 57 1/3 innings of work. With 54 1/3 innings of relief work in 2023, Kraft ranked No. 9 nationally among relievers in innings pitched. He struck out 49 batters and posted a 6-1 record, with a perfect 4-0 mark in conference games. He added five saves coming during the non-conference slate.

Tibbitts paced the squad with a .387 batting average, .477 on-base percentage and 64 RBIs on the year. He ranked No. 2 on the squad in hits (82) and home runs (10), to go along with 31 walks and 12 hit-by-pitch to just 32 strikeouts.

Glasser reached base in each of the first 45 games of the season and has piled up a team-best 28 multi-hit games on the year in 56 starts at shortstop. The 45-game reached base streak tied the longest by a Hoosier since at least 2005 and he finished the year with a team-best 83 hits and 63 runs scored, while his .350 average was No. 2 on the team.

The only Big Ten pitcher with multiple double-digit strikeout games in 2023, Sinnard rose up the single season strikeouts charts at Indiana and enters the postseason ranked tied for No. 5 with 104 punchouts. Sinnard led the Big Ten in strikeouts, ranked third in innings pitched (78 1/3) and tied for No. 4 in victories (6). The right-hander needs just five more strikeouts to set the Indiana single-season record.

Pyne followed up his standout rookie season with his second straight 70-hit, 50-RBI campaign. The third baseman added 46 runs scored, 14 doubles and five home runs to his stat sheet. His 13 multi-RBI games are No. 3 on the team and he has 18 multi-RBI games to his credit in 2023.

Cerny joined Taylor with double-digit home runs this season to mark the first time in Indiana history a pair of freshmen reached the 10-home run mark in the same season. Among Big Ten freshmen, he led the group in triples (4) and hit-by-pitch (12) on the season, ranked second in runs scored (46) and third in hits (57), total bases (102) and home runs (10).

Senior Peter Serruto was named Indiana’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award after catching 95 percent of the innings over the last two months of the season. He finished the year with a .309 batting average in Big Ten play and threw out nearly 40 percent of the potential base stealers in conference play.

No. 2 seed Indiana opens Big Ten Tournament action on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern (BTN) in Omaha, Neb. against Illinois.

Indiana (40-16, 16-8) won the season series with Illinois (25-25, 12-12) in early April. The 2-1 series edge was one of three road series victories for IU.

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