Ostapeck Named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week for Second Time This Season
March 26, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Junior starting pitcher Stephen Ostapeck (Sacramento, Calif.) was named the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week by the conference this afternoon, marking the second time this season that he was won the award. Ostapeck is coming off pitching a three-hit shutout in an 8-0 victory over St. John's on Saturday afternoon.
Villanova salvaged a three-game series against the Red Storm with its 8-0 win in the finale, while also snapping an overall four-game losing streak in the process. Ostapeck dominated the game from start to finish, setting down 27 of the 33 batters he faced and yielding only three hits, two walks and a hit batter.
In the entire game just seven batters hit the ball out of the infield against Ostapeck, who saw only one runner advance into scoring position after the second inning. He put together one stretch where he retired 13 consecutive batters and finally punctuated the complete game effort with a swinging strikeout for the final out of the contest.
Ostapeck is now 2-0 on the season and lowered his ERA for the year by nearly two runs to 4.35 in 31.0 innings pitched, spanning five starts and one relief appearance. His start against St. John's was only the second of his career against a BIG EAST opponent.
With his most recent effort on the mound Ostapeck has put himself in some very select company within the Wildcats program, which is known year in and year out for the quality of its pitching staff. The three-hitter versus the Red Storm on Saturday afternoon was the second complete game shutout of the season for Ostapeck, who also twirled a four-hit shutout at Norfolk State last month.
The two shutouts make Ostapeck the first Villanova pitcher since Drew Baylor in 1996 to pitch two complete game shutouts in the same season. After his four-hitter against the Spartans earlier this season Ostapeck was selected the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week for the first time this season.
Since the conference office began handing out Player and Pitcher of the Week awards back in 1985 only three other pitchers from the Wildcats have received a Pitcher of the Week nod twice in one season. Ostapeck joins the company of Brian Kenny (1990), David Herr (1995) and Nick Allen (2005) as the only pitchers to accomplish this feat.
In his five starts this season Ostapeck is averaging just over six innings per start. He has logged 30 1/3 innings in those appearances while allowing only 23 hits and six walks. He is 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP while holding opponents to a .211 batting average against him.
Villanova is currently 14-11 overall on the season and 1-2 in BIG EAST play. Following a midweek game against Penn on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. the Wildcats head to Louisville for a three-game BIG EAST series this weekend.