Michigan State pitcher Ryan Szczepaniak was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after his start against West Virginia, the conference announced on Wednesday.
Weekly #B1G Awards Alert— Big Ten Baseball (@B1Gbaseball) March 9, 2022
Ryan Szczepaniak of @MSUBaseball is the #B1GBaseball Freshman of the Week!
⚾ Went 5.0 IP with 4 Ks, leading the Spartans to a 9-3 win over West Virginia
⚾ The first Big Ten freshman pitcher to earn 2 wins this season
️ https://t.co/yQ4nrV7epS pic.twitter.com/fPRWnGeBJQ
Szczepaniak (pronounced Shuh-pain-yack for those unaware of him) is the former ace at Woodhaven High School, where he was once described as being “a strikeout machine.” Many may start hearing his name a lot more going forward.
He’s the first Big Ten freshman pitcher to be awarded two wins in the young 2022 season. His first came against UNLV in the Spartans’ first series, where he went five innings and allowed two runs in MSU’s 12-6 victory in the third game of the season.
The past Sunday against West Virginia, he went another five innings, allowed only three hits and one run, and struck out four batters. Michigan State would win the game 9-3.
This season, he’s pitched 12.1 innings and struck out 14 batters, averaging 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s also amassed an ERA of 2.92 — impressive for a freshman pitcher.
Meanwhile, Michigan State finished the Cambria Classic over the weekend with a 2-1 record. The Spartans earned wins against Kansas and West Virginia, but also had a 2-1 loss to No. 9 Notre Dame. MSU is 5-5 so far this season and plays the undefeated and No. 19-ranked Clemson Tigers on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.