On campus: Valpo’s Jerrick Suiter helps TCU avoid elimination
By John Mutka Post-Tribune senior correspondent June 4, 2012 10:54PM
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:29AM
Valparaiso’s Jerrick Suiter is coming on like gangbusters at Texas Christian, which advanced to the regional championship game at College Station, Texas.
The freshman left fielder went 8-for-16 with three walks in four games to help TCU stave off elimination after a first-round loss to the Rebels. Five of his six hits came in a 28-12 rout of Dayton, the binge including a double and a triple. The Horned Frogs also ousted Texas A&M to earn a rematch with Ole Miss.
Showing why Toronto drafted him in the 35th round last year, Suiter boosted his season average to .316.
He warmed up for the regional with seven hits in the Mountain West Conference tournament. He scored five runs in three games to earn all-tournament honors.
Earlier this season the All-American also dabbled in pitching. He worked 10 innings in six appearances, posting a 3.60 ERA.
Michigan State’s Tony Cheky (Portage) started a bizarre 8-3-6-3 triple play with a diving catch in the eighth inning against Fresno State in the Palo Alto, California regional. The freshman center fielder also provided some highlights at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double in the 8-2 elimination loss.
Cheky doubled and scored in an earlier 6-2 regional loss to Pepperdine. In the Big Ten tournament Cheky went 7-for-15 with a .529 on-base percentage.
He finished with a .311 average and led the 37-23 Spartans with 15 stolen bases to help them post their third straight 30-win season.
Toledo’s Matt Kuna (Griffith) rebounded from a medical redshirt year to earn Mid-American all-conference first-team honors. The senior pitcher led the Rockets in innings (79.1) and strikeouts (59). He finished 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
Kuna and Ryan Wilkinson (Munster), who made the second team, were rotation regulars. Both started 11 games. Wilkinson (7-4, 2.81 ERA) was second in innings (78.1). A standout in the classroom, the sophomore left hander made the Dean’s List.
Indianapolis closer Chris Saroff (Crown Point) bowed out second all-time in saves with a career total of 23 coming this spring. He made 23 appearances for the Greyhounds (46-16), who reached the Division II national championships before being rejected by St. Mary’s top-ranked Rattler’s.
Saroff struck out 35 in 30 innings and posted a 2.70 ERA. In addition to 11 saves he won three games.
Evansville’s Josh Biggs (Washington Twp) collected four victories and six saves in 28 appearances. The junior short reliever chalked up a 3.93 ERA in 36.2 innings. Opponents batted only .243 against him.
Big Ten honors
Five area athletes named to the all-academic team for spring sports are Iowa’s Megan Ranegar (Valparaiso, Interdepartmental Studies), Indiana’s Ruth Christopher (Munster, Spanish) and Purdue’s Jakob Engel (Portage, psychology) in track; Wisconsin’s Alaina Trgovich (Munster, Rehab psychology) in tennis, and Indiana’s Dustin DeMuth (LaPorte, Exercise science) in baseball. Trgovich carried a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Ball State’s Audrey Bickel (Munster/Andrean) was named to the all-Great Lake Region and Mid-American all-conference second teams. She batted .345 with 10 home runs. The sophomore third baseman drove in 49, including a grand slam in a 4-0 victory over Central Michigan. In conference play she was credited with a .667 slugging percentage. Ball State finished 40-15 (16-3.MAC).
LaPorte’s Michael Fout, running for Florida State, qualified for the NCAA championships with a fourth-place finish in the 10,000 meters. He was clocked in 30:11.25. Earlier, the junior distance ace bagged 14 points in the Atlantic Coast Conference meet by placing second in the 5,000 and third in the 10,000.