Three Wildcats Earn All-Big Five Honors
June 3, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Senior shortstop Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) and sophomore pitcher Josh Harris (Streamwood, Ill.) were each named to the All-Big Five Team on Monday morning, while senior pitcher Stephen Ostapeck (Sacramento, Calif.) received a spot on the Big Five All-Academic Team. Head coaches and sports information directors from the Big Five schools voted on the awards, which have been given out in each of the past eight years.
Sciacca is making his second straight appearance on the All-Big Five Team and was also the Big Five Player of the Year last season. This year he was the leading hitter for Villanova and led the team in several offensive categories. He batted .307 for the season while posting a .405 on-base percentage and a .466 slugging percentage, all team highs. Sciacca also led the team with 36 runs batted in, as well as with 18 doubles and two triples. His 18 doubles are tied for the sixth-most in a season in school history.
This season cemented Sciacca's place as one of the all-time greats in the Wildcats program. He finished his career as a .312 hitter with 196 hits, 103 runs scored, 108 runs batted in, 46 doubles and 37 stolen bases. He is tied for fourth place in school history in doubles, while his 37 stolen bases are ninth in the Villanova record book. During his career, Sciacca has garnered All-East Region, All-BIG EAST and All-Big Five accolades while earning weekly recognition during the season from the BIG EAST and Big Five four times each.
Harris was the top pitcher for the Wildcats this season and led the pitching staff in wins, innings pitched and ERA, while finishing second on the staff in games started and strikeouts. He won five games while posting a 3.75 ERA and logged 86 1 /3 innings, during which he struck out 56 and walked just 20. Harris allowed three earned runs or less nine times in his 13 starts and went at least seven innings eight times. He also had a run of five consecutive quality starts to begin the season, the longest such streak for a Villanova pitcher in seven years. Harris pitched a complete game against Marist early in the year and worked into the ninth inning of BIG EAST victories against both Notre Dame and Georgetown.
In his second season on the team and first in the starting rotation Harris quickly evolved into one of the Wildcats most dependable pitchers. He was the winning pitcher in two of the team's five conference victories and struck out five or more batters in a game seven times. Harris has pitched in 26 career games with 14 starts and owns six victories with a 4.05 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 106 2/3 innings pitched.
Ostapeck had a terrific season on the mound for Villanova while demonstrating continued success both on and off the playing field. He graduated last month with a 3.258 grade-point average while majoring in Criminal Justice, and is a two-time member of the BIG EAST All-Academic Team.
This season Ostapeck ranked second on the team in ERA and third in both innings pitched and strikeouts. On the final weekend of the regular season he fired a four-hit shutout in an 8-0 win over Georgetown to register his third career complete game shutout. He is the only Wildcats pitcher in the last five years with even one shutout to his credit. Ostapeck allowed three earned runs or less in eight of his 12 starts this season but earned a victory in just one of them. He logged 79 2/3 innings in his 12 starts and compiled a 4.05 ERA with 48 strikeouts and only 21 walks. On two different occasions he pitched into the eighth inning with zero or one earned run allowed but suffered either a loss or a no-decision.
In his four years on the team Ostapeck filled every possible role on the pitching staff and he wound up appearing in 55 career games, with 21 starts and 34 relief appearances. He won seven games and pitched to a 4.47 career ERA in 175.0 innings pitched, during which he struck out exactly 100 batters while walking only 40. Last season Ostapeck became the first Villanova pitcher in 16 years to throw two complete game shutouts in a season.
Sciacca and Ostapeck each wrapped up outstanding collegiate careers this season and are candidates to be selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft which begins later this week. Harris is pitching this summer in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League and will return to the Wildcats next season as both the leader of the pitching staff as well as a draft-eligible Major League prospect.