Ohio State’s Alex Wimmers a Golden Spikes Semifinalist

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Two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year finishes season 9-0 with a 1.60 ERA. and a chance at college baseball’s Heisman.

The Buckeyes’ Alex Wimmers positioned for numerous post-season awards and All-America honors.Tuesday Wimmers, Ohio State’s talented junior pitcher from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Archbishop Moeller High School, was named one of 30 semifinalists for USA Baseball’s 2010 Golden Spikes Award. This is the second consecutive year that Wimmers is a semifinalist for the prestigious award, which will be presented for the 33rd time to the best amateur baseball player in America.

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Wimmers, vying to become only the second two-time, first-team All-America in Ohio State history after Steve Arlin accomplished the feat in 1965-66, missed three starts and four weeks of action this year after injuring his hamstring moments before a scheduled start against Michigan. He made a valiant and heroic return in the team’s final Big Ten series vs. Minnesota, throwing 30 pitches in 1.1 innings Friday night before the game was suspended because of rain.

“Just give me the ball.”

Knowing Ohio State needed a win to have a chance at extending its season, Wimmers took to the mound 17 hours later on Saturday and threw 69 more pitches while working 4.2 innings. He exited after the sixth inning with Ohio State leading, 3-1. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO.

In a testament to his toughness, at one point in his Saturday appearance Wimmers was drilled in the left thigh by a hard hit ball that then caromed toward third base for an infield single. Catcher Dan Burkhart went out to the mound to check on Wimmers who had nothing more to say than “just give me the ball.”

Consecutive PoY Awards

The three lost starts didn’t stop Wimmers, who ranks T16th all-time in Big Ten Conference history with 273 career strikeouts, from leading the Big Ten Conference this season in ERA and opposing batting average (.218), or from securing his second consecutive Big Ten Pitcher of the Year accolade (he shared it with Indiana’s Eric Arnett in 2009).

While becoming the first back-to-back winner of the award in Big Ten history, Wimmers also becomes only the second pitcher to claim the honor twice: Ohio State’s Justin Fry was Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in 1997 and 1999.

What a Career…So Far

In his three seasons, two of them as a starter, Wimmers ranks among Ohio State’s all-time Top 5 in four key statistical areas and he is sixth in another. He is fourth at Ohio State in fewest runs allowed (81) and he is fifth in strikeouts (273), fewest earned runs allowed (71) and fewest hits (173). He is also sixth in earned run average (2.94). His 18 career victories rank 23rd.

Wimmers was 9-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 2009 when he was named first-team All-America by PING! Baseball and second- or third-team All-America by five other awarding publications.

The news that Wimmers is a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist comes in the wake of announcements the past three weeks that he is one of 25 finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy and a quarterfinalist for the College Baseball Foundation’s Pitcher of the Year Award.

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