May 28, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State baseball head coach Jake Boss has announced the winners of the team's annual awards. Eight student-athletes were recognized by their teammates for their efforts this past season.
Pickens was named second-team All-Big Ten and ranked among conference leaders in five offensive categories. He finished the regular season tied for second in home runs (nine), fourth in RBIs (42), fifth in total bases (103), fifth in slugging percentage (.508) and eighth in doubles (13).
He started all 50 games in right field and was fourth on the team with a .303 average. Pickens led MSU with 20 multi-hit games and 10 game-winning RBIs. Two of his biggest hits of the season came in walk-off fashion against Indiana. Pickens beat the Hoosiers with an RBI single on April 12 and followed that with a solo home run on April 13.
In addition to sharing Offensive Player of the Year honors, Keur was also given the Lyman Frimodig Captain Award. Fellow captains Andrew Waszak and John Martinez were also recognized with the captain award.
Keur suffered a season-ending Achilles injury against Indiana on April 12. At that time, he led the Spartans in batting (.337), hits (35), RBIs (20), and doubles (7). Keur was a mainstay in the three-hole in the MSU lineup and had started all 30 games in left field up to that point.
He ends his career with 155 starts, 193 hits, 31 doubles, four home runs, 78 RBIs and a .315 average. He also had 26 steals, a .986 fielding percentage and a .386 slugging percentage in his career.
Senior Andrew Waszak was named the Robin Roberts Most Valuable Pitcher for the 2013 season. Waszak was third-team All-Big Ten and ranked among conference leaders in nine categories. He was fourth in innings pitched (91.2), fourth in strikeouts looking (22), fifth in ERA (2.36), seventh in opponent batting average (.234), eighth in walks allowed (18), ninth in wins (6), ninth in earned runs allowed (22), 11th in strikeouts (57) and 11th in runs allowed (32).
Out of 13 starts, 12 were quality appearances and he threw at least six innings in all 13 starts. He tossed two complete games this season and was named Big Ten Picher of the Week twice. He was recognized after allowing just one run and seven hits in eight innings against Indiana. Against Purdue, he allowed seven hits in his second complete game of the season and needed only 88 pitches to do so.
Waszak finished his career with a 18-11 record and a 3.82 ERA. His 2013 season was his finest, turning in career-bests in ERA, wins, earned runs, strikeouts, and opponent batting average.
Junior catcher Joel Fisher was honored as the Danny Litwhiler Defensive Player of the Year. Fisher finished tied for seventh in the Big Ten with five home runs and third in caught stealing with 17. He started 47 games: 37 at catcher, six at third base and four at DH. Among Big Ten catchers, he had the third-highest slugging percentage with a .393 mark.
He was named Big Ten Player of the week on May 7 following the Illinois series. He hit .455 (5-for-11) with a pair of home runs, one double and seven RBIs. He also had a 1.091 slugging percentage and a .538 on-base percentage and hit the go-ahead home run to clinch the series win on Sunday.
Fisher threw out 17 of 41 base stealers and was third on the team with 11 doubles.
Chase Rihtarchik was named the Steve Garvey Most Improved Player after going 6-1 with a 2.64 ERA. Rihtarchik did not see action in 2012 and had just one win in 2011. Rihtarchik held hitters to a .138 average and allowed just 22 hits in 47 2/3 innings.
He tossed MSU's first no-hitter since 2009 on March 23 against Oakland and was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week following his effort. Rihtarchik faced 31 batters, allowing just three walks with three strikeouts in a 3-2 win over the Golden Grizzlies. Both runs were unearned.
Senior pitcher Joe Zwierzynski earned the Jerry Sutton Student-Athlete Award. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Zwierzynski owns a 3.45 GPA in finance. Senior reliever Trey Popp was the recipient of the Craig Hendricks Spartan Spirit Award. Popp appeared in 72 career games and had a 4.75 ERA. He went 9-4 in his career and 2-0 this season. Popp also notched two saves in 2013; one against Eastern Michigan and one at Central Michigan.
The Spartans posted a program-best fourth straight 30-win season and had the winningest senior class in school history. Since 2010, the Spartans have won 140 games, the most among all Big Ten teams.
2013 Michigan State Baseball Awards
John Kobs Most Valuable Player: Jimmy Pickens
Robin Roberts Most Valuable Pitcher: Andrew Waszak
Kirk Gibson Offensive Player of the Year: Jimmy Pickens, Jordan Keur
Danny Litwhiler Defensive Player of the Year: Joel Fisher
Steve Garvey Most Improved Player:Chase Rihtarchik
Jerry Sutton Student Athlete Award: Joe Zwierzynski
Craig Hendricks Spartan Spirit Award: Trey Popp
Lyman Frimodig Captain Award: Jordan Keur, Andrew Waszak, John Martinez