CLEARWATER, Fla. (May 22, 2012) – Rutgers junior third baseman Patrick Kivlehan (West Nyack, N.Y.) has been voted the BIG EAST Player of the Year, as determined by the league coaches and announced Tuesday by the conference office. He joins Darren Fenster (2000) and Todd Frazier (2007) as the third Scarlet Knight to earn the honor.
“Patrick winning BIG EAST Player of the Year is just an amazing accomplishment as far as I’m concerned,” said Fred Hill, who is in his 29th season as head coach. “Not having played baseball in four years and to do the things he did is a testament to his hard work. He was also a lifesaver for our team because one of our better players, Russ Hopkins, was injured the day before practice started and he picked up right where Russ left off. He’s got to be very proud of himself, the coaches certainly are proud of his accomplishment.”
Kivlehan, who joined the team after playing in the Rutgers football program for the last four seasons, won the first league triple crown in BIG EAST history with a .410 batting average, 10 home runs and 36 RBIs in 27 conference games. He also won the overall batting (.399) and home run (14) titles, while having the highest slugging (.710) and on-base percentages (.484) in 49 total contests throughout the year. The former defensive back additionally finished third in the conference with 24 stolen bases.
The third baseman took home four weekly league honors during the course of the season, including the BIG EAST Player of the Week on March 26 after collecting seven hits and reaching base safely in 12-of-15 plate appearances against Seton Hall in the first conference series. He was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on April 2, April 30 and May 14.
During the season, Kivlehan recorded 24 multiple-hit games, including three contests with four knocks. He currently has reached base safely in the last 26 games, adding 14 games with at least two RBIs. Rutgers has gone 23-15 since the third baseman took over the cleanup spot in the order on March 18 at Stetson.
Kivlehan is the fourth hitter to win conference Player of the Year under Hill, as Doug Alongi won the honor in the Atlantic 10 in 1993 as well.
The award is voted on by each of the 12 head coaches in the conference and was announced at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 BIG EAST Championship at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own player.
BIG EAST Yearly Honors (5/22)
BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Patrick Kivlehan, 3B, Rutgers (Jr., West Nyack, N.Y.)
BIG EAST PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Justin Amlung, RHP, Louisville (Jr., Louisville, Ky.)
BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Jared Ruxer, RHP, Louisville (Fr., Indianapolis, Ind.)
BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR
Ed Blankmeyer, St. John’s
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