May 20, 2014
2014 All-Big Ten Teams
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Three Northwestern Wildcats have been named to 2014 All-Big Ten Teams, as voted on by the conference's 11 head coaches, the league office announced Tuesday (May 20). Scott Heelan was named the All-Big Ten Third Team second baseman, while newcomers Matt Hopfner and Joe Hoscheit were both unanimously selected to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.
Heelan led the Wildcats in several offensive categories during his second season in Evanston. The Gurnee, Ill., native notched a team-high 33 RBI, while also leading the club with 13 doubles and a slugging percentage of .413. He ranked second on the team with both a .317 batting average and 60 hits, while striking out only 16 times in 218 plate appearances over 48 games. Heelan hit .341 in Big Ten play with seven doubles and 13 RBI; his on-base percentage of .420 in league play ranked seventh in the conference. He batted a team-best .408 with runners in scoring position and led the 'Cats with 10 multi-RBI games.
A redshirt junior, Heelan began the season as the starting catcher for the Wildcats before sliding over to second base for the first time in his career during a game on March 29 at Penn State. Heelan made his first career start in the infield on April 4 against Illinois and he went on to make 23 starts at second base, including in 18 Big Ten games.
Since making the shift at the beginning of April, Heelan batted .380 in 28 games. He collected a team-high 41 hits and 19 RBI during that span, while hitting safely in all but three games.
Heelan enjoyed a particularly memorable weekend during the final series of the season at Ohio State. He batted .417 with four extra-base hits and four RBI. Three of the extra-base hits came in the series-clinching victory over the Buckeyes on May 16. Heelan's bases-clearing double with two outs in the top of the seventh inning gave Northwestern the lead for good. Later in that game, he legged out his first career triple. Heelan four RBI at OSU that day marked a career high.
Joining Heelan in collecting All-Big Ten recognition Tuesday are two newcomers who were unanimously selected to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. Hopfner was named the team's first baseman, while Hoscheit was pegged as one of three outfielders.
Hopfner led the Wildcats and ranked ninth in the Big Ten with a .335 batting average. The Edina, Minn., native also led the squad and ranked tied for 11th in the conference with 66 hits. Hopfner scored a team-high 30 runs and ranked second for NU with 25 RBI. He registered six doubles, a triple, 17 walks and a stolen base during his inaugural collegiate campaign.
The freshman became the first freshman to lead the Wildcats in hits since Trevor Stevens in 2009 and he had the most hits overall since Chris Lashmet tallied 67 in 2011. He posted two separate 10-game hitting streaks during the course of the season and reached base safely in the first 17 games of his career. Hopfner also reached base safely in the final 15 Big Ten games of the season. He led Northwestern with 21 multi-hit games and produced a career-high three hits six times, including in the season finale at Ohio State on May 17.
Hopfner, who started the last 50 games of the season, was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Feb. 24 following a strong performance at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. He batted .500 that weekend with nine hits to help the Wildcats to wins over Nebraska-Omaha and Mississippi Valley State.
In addition to playing in the outfield, and at first base, Hopfner made seven appearances, including one start, on the mound for the 'Cats.
Northwestern had a second unanimous All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection in Hoscheit. The St. Charles, Ill., native led the Wildcats with four home runs and ranked third behind Heelan and Hopfner with 23 RBI. Hoscheit made 48 starts and showed off his versatility by starting 27 times in left field, 17 times at third base and four as the designated hitter. Like Hopfner, he also made seven appearances on the bump, all of which came during the season's final month.
Hoscheit tied for the team lead with 15 extra-base hits, including five doubles. He also tied for the team lead with nine two-out RBI and ranked second on the team with six multi-RBI games in 2014.
On Monday, May 19, Hoscheit was named the Big Ten's final Freshman of the Week for 2014. He batted .417 with five hits, including two doubles, to help Northwestern pick up its first series victory at Ohio State since 1989. He notched a career-high three hits in the series-clinching victory on May 16.
In addition to being a boon at the plate, the right-hander picked up back-to-saves in the first two games of the series. He finished the season with a 0.87 ERA and two saves in six appearances, while holding opponents to a paltry batting average of .150.
Senior Jack Quigley was also honored as Northwestern's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient for 2014. The team captain represented Chicago's Big Ten Team well both on and off the field. He appeared in a team-high 24 games, including two starts for the 'Cats. He notched eight saves, which ranked tied for fifth in the Big Ten this season.
On April 21, Quigley was named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week after picking up a win and a save in back-to-back days at Nebraska. He pitched the final 3.1 innings in the series opener when Northwestern won in 12 innings at Hawks Field in Lincoln, Neb., the following day, Quigley threw the final inning to secure his third save in the series-clinching victory. He limited the Huskers to a batting average of .077 over the two games.
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