After being named a third-team All-American last week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Nebraska sophomore designed hitter Michael Pritchard earned second-team All-Midwest Region honors on Wednesday from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). It marks the third straight year the Huskers have had an all-region honoree, after Adam Bailey was a first-team picked in 2010 and Cody Asche was a second-team selection a year ago.
A first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2012, Pritchard put together one of the best seasons by a Husker hitter in recent memory, as he tied Derek Dukart (1994) for the third-longest hitting streak in school history at 25 games. The streak started in the Huskers' Big Ten opener against Illinois on March 23, when Pritchard produced two hits, and came to an end in the series opener against Minnesota on May 11. He notched a pair of hits 10 times during the streak, including three or more hits twice. Teammate Richard Stock ended the season with a 21-game hitting, marking the first time in school history that a pair of teammates have put together 20-game hitting streaks in the same season.
Hitting in the leadoff spot for most of the 2012 campaign, Pritchard led the Huskers with a .387 batting average and produced a team-high 82 hits, tying him with Bailey (2010) for the most hits by a Husker in a season since Ryan Wehrle had 84 in 2006. Pritchard also led the Huskers with a .447 on-base percentage and was one of the toughest outs in the country with just 10 strikeouts in 212 at bats. His one strikeout for every 21.2 at bats ranked eighth in the country, and he was one of just two players from a BCS conference to rank in the top 10.
During the regular season, Pritchard led the Big Ten with a .379 average and was sixth in the league in hits with 75. Among other Big Ten designated hitters, no other DH in the league had more than 50 hits on the year and Pritchard's 10 doubles were the most among Big Ten designated hitters. In 24 Big Ten game, Pritchard hit .333 with 32 hits and scored 22 runs.
Pritchard continued to swing a hot bat into the postseason with a 7-for-14 performance at the Big Ten Tournament, including a perfect 4-for-4 day in the Huskers' opener against Michigan State. Pritchard and Stock were each named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations