Villines Tabbed Big 12 Newcomer of the Week
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Big 12 Conference named freshman closer Stephen Villines the league’s Newcomer of the Week Monday afternoon, for his performances this past weekend against West Virginia.
Villines made three-consecutive appearances on the weekend against the Mountaineers, a first for the side-armer. In the four innings he pitched, Villines gave up four hits and a run, while striking out one batter, picking up two saves in the process.
“I couldn’t be more proud of that young man,” head coach Ritch Price said. “To close out all three games against West Virginia–the best hitting team in the conference–is an amazing accomplishment for a freshman.”
Saturday, the hurler closed out the ninth to pick up his seventh save on the season, while Sunday, he sent the seniors out in style for his eighth save, after striking out WVU first baseman Ryan McBroom looking to end the game.
In 24 appearances, Villines has given up just seven earned runs, holding opponents to a .216 batting average for a 1.59 ERA.
Kansas has now had a player earn conference recognition four times in 2014, as junior transfer third baseman Aaron Hernandez (Feb. 17), senior right-handed pitcher Frank Duncan (Feb. 24) and senior righty Jordan Piche’ (April 28) earned similar honors.
Villines and the Jayhawks trek to Michigan for a two-game set against the Wolverines, May 17-18, before heading straight to the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championships in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, May 21-25.
2014 Kansas Big 12 Players of the Week
- Feb. 17 – Aaron Hernandez (Newcomer of the Week)
- Feb. 24 – Frank Duncan (Pitcher of the Week)
- April 28 – Jordan Piche’ (Pitcher of the Week)
- May 12 – Stephen Villines (Newcomer of the Week)
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