Nittoli joins four other Musketeers for All-BIG EAST.
May 19, 2014
CINCINNATI - Xavier's Vinny Nittoli and Daniel Rizzie highlight five Musketeers on the 2014 All-BIG EAST Conference baseball teams as voted on by the league's coaches. First-team members Nittoli and Rizzie are joined by second-team honorees Derek Hasenbeck, Brian Bruening and Scott Klever.
Nittoli ranks nationally in four major pitching categories, including 92nd in ERA (2.07), 118th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.71), 136th in WHIP (1.09) and 157th in walks allowed per nine innings (1.88). The native of Gibsonia, Pa., was named College Sports Madness BIG EAST Player of the Week after striking out nine batters in seven innings against Toledo. He also has one BIG EAST Player of the Week and three weekly conference honor roll awards to his credit this season. The dual-threat Nittoli is also batting .273 with four long balls, 19 RBIs and 16 runs scored.
Xavier's starting catcher Rizzie earned the first-team nod after establishing himself as the top catcher in the league this season. The native of Orland Park, Ill., ranks tied-fourth in the BIG EAST and 98th nationally in doubles (15) and tied-eighth in the BIG EAST in hits (60). Rizzie is batting .309 on the season with four homeruns. Behind the plate, opponents have only completed 45-of-68 stolen base attempts against the sophomore.
Hasenbeck is one of two Musketeers to have started every game this season and earned second-team all-conference as a designated hitter. The Poway, Calif., native is tied-second in the BIG EAST in both hits (64) and homers (6), while holding a .305 batting average.
After an injury-shortened 2013 campaign, Bruening returned to the lineup in 2014 to hit .272 with 26 RBIs and 26 runs scored. In conference action, the redshirt junior centerfielder is tied-third with six doubles and tied-fourth with five stolen bases.
Klever steadily improved over each of his four years as a Musketeer, culminating with a second-team all-conference honor this season. The local product from Mason HS (Cincinnati) is 6-5 on the year with a career-best 3.40 ERA. Klever's 92.2 innings pitched ranks second in the conference behind Seton Hall's Josh Prevost, the league's Pitcher of the Year.
The five all-conference honorees will lead Xavier into the 2014 BIG EAST Conference Championship presented by New York Life on Thursday, May 22, when the fourth-seeded Musketeers will take on the No. 1-seed Creighton Bluejays at 4 p.m. MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., will host the four-team double-elimination championship.
All-BIG EAST Conference Awards
Player of the Year - Reagan Fowler, Creighton, So., 1B; D.J. Ruhlman, Seton Hall, Jr., SS
Pitcher of the Year - Josh Prevost, Seton Hall, Sr., RHP
Rookie of the Year - Michael Donadio, St. John's, Fr., OF
Coach of the Year - Ed Servais, Creighton
Daniel Rizzie, Xavier, So., C
Reagan Fowler, Creighton, So., 1B
Jake Peter, Creighton, Jr., 2B
D.J. Ruhlman, Seton Hall, Jr., SS
Kyle Grimm, Seton Hall, Jr., 3B
Nick Collins, Georgetown, So., DH
Mike Gerber, Creighton, Sr., OF #
Michael Donadio, St. John's, Fr., OF
Derek Jenkins, Seton Hall, So., OF
Matt Warren, Creighton, So., SP
James Lomangino, St. John's, R-Sr., SP
Josh Prevost, Seton Hall, Sr., SP #
Vinny Nittoli, Xavier, R-Sr., SP
Joe Kuzia, St. John's, Jr., RP
Second Team &
Nick Collins, Georgetown, So., C
Dillon Hamlin, Seton Hall, Sr., C
Sal Annunziata, Seton Hall, Jr., 1B
Todd Czinege, Villanova, Fr., 2B
Bret Dennis, St. John's, Jr., SS
Robbie Knightes, St. John's, Fr., 3B
Derek Hasenbeck, Xavier, Jr., DH
Zach Lauricella, St. John's, Jr., OF
Alex Caruso, St. John's, So., OF
Brian Bruening, Xavier, R-Jr., OF
Gunner Johnson, Butler, Sr., SP
Ryan McCormick, St. John's, So., SP
Luke Cahill, Seton Hall, So., SP
Scott Klever, Xavier, Sr., SP
Bryan Sova, Creighton, Sr., RP
Matt Meurer, Villanova, Sr., RP
& - 16 players because of a tie in the voting
# - unanimous first-team selection