(Photo Credit: IU Athletics)
Indiana baseball’s Jeff Mercer was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year today. In his first year with Indiana and in the Big Ten, Mercer joins Tracy Smith and Bob Morgan as the only Indiana coaches to have won the award. Bob Morgan won the award during the 1994 season. Tracy Smith, who now coaches at Arizona State, won the award back in 2013 and 2014. Selections for the winners are done by the Big Ten conference coaches.
This is not Jeff Mercer’s first coach of the year award. In fact, Jeff Mercer comes fresh off of a 2018 Coach of the Year award in the Horizon League. His Wright State team finished first place in the Horizon League with a 39-15 record, but lost to Louisville to advance out of Regionals.
The season is far from finished for Jeff Mercer. He has a chance to further collect hardware and accolades as the Hoosiers prepare for the 2019 Big Ten Baseball tournament. Mercer will be looking to get redemption in the 2019 NCAA baseball tournament immediately following.
Andrew Saalfrank wins Big Ten Pitcher of the Year
The Hoosiers also won a significant player award with Andrew Saalfrank earning the top number of votes among Big Ten pitchers. The left-handed pitcher from Hoagland, Indiana currently has a 2.58 ERA and a conference-best 8-1 record on the season. The junior pitcher has 96 strikeouts this year.
Indiana Baseball All-Big Ten Selections
Setting a program-record in home run hits certainly created buzz for the Hoosiers around the league. Although Michigan’s Jordan Brewer won the highest player honor, the Hoosiers did not fall short in the player award department. The following is the full list of Indiana player awards, which was also published today by the Big Ten conference.
All-Big Ten First Team
SP – Andrew Saalfrank
At-Large – Matt Lloyd
All-Big Ten Second Team
1B – Scotty Bradley
3B – Cole Barr
OF – Matt Gorski
All-Big Ten Third Team
OF – Elijah Dunham
All-Big Ten Freshman Team
OF – Grant Richardson, Indiana
Sportsmanship Award Honorees