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Ross Learnard Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week

While Jacson McGowan (pictured) also had a big weekend.

Courtesy Purdue Baseball

Purdue does not have many All-Americans when it comes to baseball. In fact, we have never had a First Team All-American in the history of our program and only a handful of Third Team All-Americans like Moose Skowron, Mike Biltmeier, and Mitch Hilligoss. Kevin Plawecki was a Consensus Second Team All-American in 2012, but that is really it for national All-America honors outside of some Freshman All-America honors for a few.

That means it was a huge deal when Ross Learnard was named to the NWBCA Second Team All-America team last season after having a 0.58 ERA and 6-0 record with 4 saves over 27 appearances during a spectacular 2017 season. That was also good enough for the same agency to name him to their preseason All-America Second Team. This weekend he took a big step towards becoming Purdue first ever First Team All-American by saving all three games agaisnt Maryland. Those three saves and a win over Indiana State on Tuesday earned him a Big Ten Pitcher of the Week Award:

Pitcher of the Week

Ross Learnard, Purdue

LHP – Sr. – Catlin, Ill. – Catlin

  • Closed out all four of Purdue’s wins last weekend earning a win and three saves, including all three games in the sweep at Maryland
  • Retired 18 of 22 batters faced, with six strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched
  • Has pitched 19 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to Feb. 25
  • The Academic All-Big Ten honoree records his first career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honor

Last Purdue Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Gareth Stroh (April 24, 2017)

Learnard is on a tear at Purdue. In his two seasons at Purdue he is now 8-1 with 10 saves across 68 innings. He has given up only five earned runs in his career, and the only two he gave up this year came on a walk-off game-winning home run by Notre Dame on February 24th.

He has not given up an earned run since.

With his 10 saves he is now 7th all-time at Purdue, but current Miami Marlins pitcher Nick Wittgren has the most with 22.

I don’t currently have a picture from Purdue to use, but I chose Jacson McGowan because he had a week worthy of Big Ten Player of the Week even if he did not get the award. He batted .500 against Maryland with a pair of home runs and 3 RBI. He tied the Saturday game in the 9th with a moonshot homer, then won it in the 11th with his second of the game.