Sedlock is Big Ten's best pitcher

Sedlock is Big Ten's best pitcher

CHAMPAIGN — Despite the Illinois baseball team failing to live up to last year’s successful run all the way to an NCAA super regional, the Illini can tout the Big Ten’s best pitcher for the second year in a row.

Cody Sedlock, a junior right-hander for coach Dan Hartleb’s program, took home the honor on Tuesday, becoming the fifth pitcher in Illinois history to do so.

Sedlock posted a 5-3 record with a 2.49 ERA in 1011/3 innings, establishing a single-season strikeout record with 116 compared to only 31 walks.

Sedlock was one of four unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selections on Tuesday and was the only conference pitcher to finish in the top five of innings pitched (642/3), strikeouts (75), ERA (1.67) and opponent batting average (.188) during Big Ten games.

Sedlock joins former Illini Tyler Jay, Drew Dickinson, Jason Anderson and Brett Weber as the UI pitchers to garner this distinction. Jay, now with the Minnesota Twins’ organization, where he is 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA with the Class A advanced Fort Myers (Fla.) Miracle, won the award last season. Dickinson, now the Illini’s pitching coach, earned the honor in 2001, while Anderson, a former standout at Danville who is now the baseball coach at Eastern Illinois, claimed the accolade in 2000, two years after Weber became the first Illini pitcher to do so in 1998.

Sedlock, a native of Sherrard who played high school baseball at Rock Island Alleman, has one year of eligibility left but is expected to forgo next season after he likely finds himself a high selection in the upcoming MLB draft, which starts on June 9.

Along with Sedlock, three other Illini received Big Ten accolades on Tuesday.

Catcher Jason Goldstein, who led Illinois with a .312 average and a team-high 29 RBI, earned third-team All-Big Ten honors, the third consecutive season the senior from Highland Park collected league recognition. Freshman pitcher Cole Bellair, who went 2-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 16 appearances, including nine starts this past season, was named to the league’s All-Freshman team, while senior reliever J.D. Nielsen (5-1, 3.60 ERA in 29 appearances) received the team’s sportsmanship award.