One day after Maryland baseball managed to crack the top 10 in the national rankings for the first time this season, the recognition continued when the Big Ten announced its All-Big Ten Honors and individual award winners on Tuesday.
Fifth-year center fielder Chris “Bubba” Alleyne was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and received All-Big Ten First Team honors for his outstanding final season in College Park. Coming back to school for his extra year of eligibility, Alleyne put on quite a show, leading the conference in home runs (22) and RBIs (73).
Alleyne led the best team in the Big Ten in batting average (.354) and slugging percentage (.713), and he was second in on-base percentage (.444). He also became the first player in school history to have more than 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a single season.
Head coach Rob Vaughn was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, becoming the first coach in program history to earn the distinction. Maryland finished the regular season as Big Ten champions and a top-10 team in the country with a 44-10 record, the best in school history.
Vaughn’s squad had an incredible offensive season, with the Terps’ total batting average sitting at .308, which was behind only Rutgers in the Big Ten. But it was less about the hits, and more about the power for Maryland. The Terps hit an astounding 124 home runs during the regular season, and the next-closest team to them in the Big Ten was Rutgers, who hit only 94.
No. 10 Maryland baseball placed a total of six players on the All-Big Ten First Team, the most of any team. Alleyne, sophomore second baseman Kevin Keister, junior third baseman Nick Lorusso, junior left-handed pitcher Ryan Ramsey, sophomore right-handed pitcher Jason Savacool, and sophomore shortstop Matt Shaw all received those honors.
Ramsey and Savacool left their mark as two of the best pitchers in both the Big Ten and the nation. Ramsey gained national recognition for his perfect game against Northwestern on April 29, and his 2.98 ERA ranked fourth in the conference. Savacool was equally impressive as his 2.71 ERA paced the Big Ten. With 109 strikeouts, Savacool had at least 11 more than anyone else in the conference.
Keister broke through in his sophomore season after originally competing with junior Drew Grace for a starting spot at the beginning of the season. The second-year star recorded a .304 batting average and a .957 OPS. Lorusso starred in his first season as a Terp after transferring from Villanova, batting .333 and smashing 14 home runs. Shaw, an at-large selection to the first team, has mashed 21 homers, which is only one behind Alleyne for the Big Ten lead.
Sophomore catcher Luke Shliger earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors. Shliger had a batting average of .336 which was second best on the team, and he was walked 49 times, more than anyone else on the squad.
Maryland also received a few All-Big Ten third team selections. Senior first baseman Maxwell Costes earned a designated hitter spot after hitting 15 home runs. Junior outfielder Troy Schreffler Jr. was selected after getting 72 hits which tied for the tenth most in the conference.
Junior right-handed pitcher Nick Dean got third team honors after an up and down season as a starter. Being switched from Friday to Sunday starter towards the end of the year, Dean still had a 6-2 record, a 4.54 ERA and just five fewer strikeouts than Ramsey with 68.
Redshirt sophomore catcher James Heffley was a Sportsmanship Award honoree for the school, which was awarded to players who according to the Big Ten “distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior.”