May 21, 2013
PITTSBURGH – University of Pittsburgh head baseball coach Joe Jordano has been named Big East Coach of the Year while a program-best eight Panthers took home All-Conference honors, the Conference announced this evening.
“I’m very pleased that so many of our individual players were acknowledged by my peers for their accomplishments,” said Jordano. “Obviously, it’s great but I can assure you that everybody on this team is completely focused on our game tomorrow at 10 a.m. Again these awards are great but conversely once that umpire says ‘play ball’ tomorrow they don’t mean too much.”
Jordano takes home his second Coach of the Year award after leading Pitt to its best regular season in school history. The Panthers won 40 games for the first time ever, including six conference series sweeps, and ended the season tied for second in the league after being projected to finish seventh.
“Anytime you’re acknowledged by your peers, especially by coaches that I respect very much, as Coach of the Year it’s very special,” Jordano said. “I’m very grateful not only for their acknowledgement but for my staff, my support staff and all of our players for committing to something bigger than them as an individual and that means a lot.”
Ethan Mildren (JR/Hopwood, Pa.), Elvin Soto (SO/New York, N.Y.) and Casey Roche (JR/Downingtown, Pa.) earned first team accolades, while Matt Wotherspoon (JR/Mountain Top, Pa.), Rhys Aldenhoven (JR/Victoria, Australia), Steven Shelinsky Jr. (JR/Yardley, Pa.), Stephen Vranka (JR/Monroeville, Pa.) and Boo Vazquez (SO/Youngstown, Ohio) garnered second team honors.
The eight players named to earned All-Big East is the most for Pitt in school history surpassing the previous best of seven during the 2010 season. In their history the Panthers have had 68 total honorees, including an impressive 53 under Jordano.
Mildren earned his first-team honors after a solid season where he went 9-3 with a 2.45 ERA. The junior tossed a team-best four complete games and ranked second on the squad with 71 strikeouts.
Soto took home first team accolades after batting .325 with six homers and 41 RBIs. The sophomore catcher was also impressive behind the plate gunning out 19 runners, good for second in the conference.
Roche takes home his second career All-Big East honor after batting .345 with a league best 63 RBI. The junior, who was a third-team selection as a freshman in 2011, also belted nine homeruns good for second in the conference.
Wotherspoon earned second-team honors. The righty tallied a 9-2 record with a 3.82 ERA and a team-best 77 strikeouts in 99.0 innings of work. Fellow weekender, Aldenhoven also took home second team honors. The newcomer had an 8-1 record with a rotation-leading 2.42 ERA.
Shelinsky Jr. garnered his honors after hitting a league-best 12 home runs. In addition to showing elite power at the dish, Shelinsky also showed patience by setting a school record for walks drawn in a season with 47.
Vranka hit .316 with seven homers and 46 RBI to earn honors. The junior was effective on the basepaths with 63 runs scored and a team-leading 16 steals while Vazquez rounded out the Panther award winners after a season where he hit a team-best .346 en route to his first All-Conference honor as the second team DH.
Pitt (40-15, 18-6 Big East), who has had an All-Conference selection in each of the past 15 seasons, will open play at the Big East Championship tomorrow, Wednesday, May
22, when it faces St. John’s (22-33, 10-14 Big East) in a 10 a.m. contest which will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com.
Pitt 2013 Big East Honors
Joe Jordano (Coach of the Year)
Ethan Mildren (First Team)
Elvin Soto (First Team)
Casey Roche (First Team)
Matt Wotherspoon (Second Team)
Rhys Aldenhoven (Second Team)
Steve Shelinsky Jr. (Second Team)
Stephen Vranka (Second Team)
Boo Vazquez (Second Team)