Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wimmers Racks Up the Awards

Alex Wimmers’ 15-strikeout, complete game win over Pittsburgh Friday has earned the sophomore from Cincinnati recognition as a “Louisville Slugger” National Player of the Week. The Archbishop Moeller graduate was also honored by the Big Ten Conference this week as its co-pitcher of the week.

Collegiate Baseball, which selects the “Louisville Slugger” honorees each week, released its Top 30 poll and the Buckeyes, winners of five consecutive games and now 13-2 on the season, have climbed to No. 22 in the nation.

Wimmers, 3-0 with a team-low 2.52 earned run average in 25.0 innings pitched, logged 9.0 innings in the 20-3 win over Pitt. He scattered six hits and allowed three earned runs while walking only two. He gave up a first inning, two-run home run and then was overpowering the rest of the way in registering the most strikeouts in a game by a Buckeye since Major Leaguer Scott Lewis struck out 16 Indiana Hoosiers on April 18, 2003.

Referring to his performance, Wimmers said after the game that “everything was working. My curveball was working. My change was working with the lefties. I felt good the whole game. I just went out there and competed the best I could. Dan [Burkhart] called a great game. He and I just kept talking in between innings about what we wanted to do out there and it paid off. A couple guys hit me hard but thank goodness our offense picked me up today.”

Burkhart who has played baseball with Wimmers since they were nine-years-old and has caught him hundreds of times, including as teammates at Cincinnati’s Archbishop Moeller H.S., was impressed with what he saw and caught during the game.

“I don’t think I’ve every seen his curveball better and his off-speed pitch was on the whole day,” Burkhart said after the game.

Wimmers struck out the side in the first inning. He added two more strikeouts in each of the second and third innings to tie his career high of seven in one game. When he got Danny Lopez swinging to start the fourth inning, Wimmers had set a new career best with his eighth of the game. And he wasn’t done...strikeout-wise or inning-wise.

“I liked the fact that Alex wanted to go out there in the eighth and ninth innings and finish the game,” Ohio State coach Bob Todd said afterward. “He competed for us and that was good to see.”

Wimmers leads the Big Ten in strikeouts (33) and ranks among the conference’s top 10 in ERA (2.52) and opponents’ batting average (.237).

Ohio State Release

Louisville Slugger Player of the Week Release & Collegiate Baseball Rankings

Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week

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