Steven Hill Named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week
May 16, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Sophomore ace Steven Hill has been named the Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week after an incredible performance during a crucial battle against Minnesota on Friday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
During the contest, Hill fired a four-hitter while twirling the second shutout of his career. Needing just 95 pitches to mow down the Minnesota lineup, he struck out six and did not surrender a walk during his complete game masterpiece.
Throughout the game, the Colleyville, Texas native was in complete command and never let a runner advance past second base. Between the second and the sixth, he was even better, retiring 14 straight batters. During that stretch, he struck out four and allowed only two balls to leave the infield.
Needing little run support, he was backed by a seven-run outburst, highlighted by a three-run triple from Ryan Clark. With a comfortable lead, he pounded the strike zone, firing 64 strikes against only 31 balls during the gem.
Friday's performance marked his second shutout of the season after blanking Northwestern, 12-0, during the first game of a doubleheader on April 9. Overall, he has completed four starts this season, which leads the conference and equals the total thrown by every other pitcher at Penn State since the beginning of the 2009 season.
Serving as the ace of the staff, Hill has anchored the weekend rotation all year. He leads the Big Ten with a 2.36 ERA and has thrown a league-high 92.1 innings. While posting a 5-4 record, he has held the opposition to a .263 batting average, which stands eighth in the league. His 53 strikeouts also rank seventh overall.
Guided by his efforts, Penn State's rotation has been one of the best in the Big Ten this season. The Nittany Lions currently lead the conference with a 3.31 ERA and a .256 opponent batting average. Hill is now the second member of the staff to earn Big Ten honors in 2011 after Dave Walkling was named the Pitcher of the Week on March 14.
In addition to Hill, the Big Ten named Northwestern's Paul Snieder the Player of the Week, while Iowa's Jarred Hippen shared the top pitching honor. Indiana's Dustin DeMuth was named the Freshman of the Week as well.
Hill and the rest of the Nittany Lions will remain at home tomorrow for a 3:35 p.m. match-up with Villanova before heading west on Thursday for a crucial three-game series at Michigan, which will cap off the regular season.