May 19, 2014
NEW YORK--Senior relief pitcher Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) and freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) were each named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team in an announcement made by the conference office on Monday afternoon. Meurer is the first Villanova pitcher since 2007 to earn all-conference honors and Czinege is the Wildcats first freshman to garner an All-BIG EAST nod in nine years.
Meurer has been as dependable of a bullpen arm as there is for the past three years and as the Villanova closer in 2014 reached statistical totals that few others in program history have matched. He appeared in 28 games and had nine saves, one win and a 1.21 ERA in 44 2/3 innings pitched. The 28 appearances and nine saves are each tied for the second most in a single-season in school history. Meurer did not allow an earned run in 24 of his 28 outings during the season, including a stretch from April 4 through May 13 in which he made 13 appearances and did not surrender an earned run in 17 1/3 innings pitched. He finished the regular season tied for second in the BIG EAST in saves, as well as tied for third in appearances.
As solid a performer as Meurer was throughout the entire season, he saved his best outings for BIG EAST play. Meurer pitched in 11 of the Wildcats 18 conference games and appeared in all three games of series against St. John's and Butler. He had five saves and a 1.23 ERA over 14 2/3 innings against conference foes, with a two-run single during the final weekend of the season accounting for the only earned runs against him during league play.
Meurer finished his Wildcats career ranked second in school history with 73 career appearances despite pitching just three seasons at Villanova after transferring from a junior college program. He pitched in 54 games in the last two years alone and during his career filled every possible role on the pitching staff. Meurer finished his Wildcats career with six wins, 10 saves and 96 strikeouts over 128 2/3 innings. He became the first Villanova pitcher to earn All-BIG EAST honors since Mike Loree was a second team selection in 2007.
Czinege was the Wildcats top hitter as a freshman this season and finished the year leading the team in four offensive categories. He batted a team-best .306 (60-for-196) for the year while compiling a .353 on-base percentage and a .434 slugging percentage. Czinege led the team with 60 hits, 38 runs batted in and five sacrifice flies while tying for the lead with four home runs and five stolen bases. He also had 26 runs scored, seven doubles, three triples and nine sacrifice bunts.
Czinege was one of four Villanova players who started all 50 games during the season and his 227 plate appearances ranked second on the team. Czinege reached base safely in 36 of his 50 games played and had at least one hit 30 times. He led the team with 23 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI games during the year. Included in those totals are six games with three or more hits, with a season-high four hit performance against Penn State during the final week of the season. Czinege drove in five runs in a win over Temple during which he homered, singled twice and stole a base. He also had four RBI in a win over Norfolk State earlier in the year as well as driving in three runs versus Butler. The last Villanova freshman to lead the team in hitting and to earn All-BIG EAST honors is the team's current hitting coach, Derek Shunk, who achieved both feats in 2005.
Below is a full listing of the BIG EAST major award winners and all-conference teams.
2014 All-BIG EAST Baseball Team and Major Awards
Player of the Year: Reagan Fowler, Creighton and D.J. Ruhlman, Seton Hall
Pitcher of the Year: Josh Prevost, Seton Hall
Rookie of the Year: Michael Donadio, St. John's
Coach of the Year: Ed Servais, Creighton
Daniel Rizzie, Xavier, C
Reagan Fowler, Creighton, 1B
Jake Peter, Creighton, 2B
D.J. Ruhlman, Seton Hall, SS
Kyle Grimm, Seton Hall, 3B
Nick Collins, Georgetown, DH
Mike Gerber, Creighton, OF
Michael Donadio, St. John's, OF
Derek Jenkins, Seton Hall, OF
Matt Warren, Creighton, SP
James Lomangino, St. John's, SP
Josh Prevost, Seton Hall, SP
Vinny Nittoli, Xavier, SP
Joe Kuzia, St. John's, RP
Nick Collins, Georgetown, C
Dillon Hamlin, Seton Hall, C
Sal Annunziata, Seton Hall, 1B
Todd Czinege, Villanova, 2B
Bret Dennis, St. John's, SS
Robbie Knightes, St. John's, 3B
Derek Hasenbeck, Xavier, DH
Zach Lauricella, St. John's, OF
Alex Caruso, St. John's, OF
Brian Bruening, Xavier, OF
Gunner Johnson, Butler, SP
Ryan McCormick, St. John's, SP
Luke Cahill, Seton Hall, SP
Scott Klever, Xavier, SP
Bryan Sova, Creighton, RP
Matt Meurer, Villanova, RP