East Lansing, Mich. — Michigan State baseball head coach Jake Boss Jr. announced the winners of the 2018 team awards on Thursday, May 31.
All of the awards were voted on by the players with the exception of the Offensive Player of the Year award, which is based on various statistical data over the course of the season.
Senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly was voted as the recipient of the John Kobs Most Valuable Player Award. Sophomore pitcher Mitchell Tyranski received the Robin Roberts Most Valuable Pitcher Award. Sophomore outfielder Danny Gleaves was voted to receive the Danny Litwhiler Defensive Player of the Year, while also earning the Kirk Gibson Offensive Player of the Year Award. Fellow sophomore, infielder/outfielder Justin Antoncic, was voted as the Steve Garvey Most Improved Player Award recipient. Senior infielder Kory Young received the Jerry Sutton Student Athlete Award. Senior pitcher Keegan Baar was the recipient of the Craig Hendricks Spartan Spirit Award, recognizing the most positive team player who is enthusiastic, trustworthy, conscientious, hard-working and good humored.
Roskelly, a native of Macomb, Michigan, tied for the team lead with 27 RBI this season and ranked second on the team in both home runs with five and slugging percentage at .413. Roskelly hit nearly .300 over the last half of the season, raising his average from .080 entering MSU’s game on March 21, to its final level of .267, dipping down from .300 entering the series vs. Maryland on April 27-29. Roskelly shared ownership of MSU’s longest hitting streak of the season at 15 games, as well as the Spartans’ longest reached base streak of the season at 19 games. He was also tied for third on the team with 62 total bases, adding five doubles and one triple to the five home runs. Roskelly tallied nine games with multiple hits and six games with multi RBI.
Tyranski, a Birmingham, Michigan, native, led the Spartan pitching staff with a 2.42 ERA and 27 appearances, allowing just 12 earned runs, including posting 15 appearances on the season of not allowing a run. The Spartan lefty notched five saves and rang up 54 strikeouts in 44.2 IP. Tyranski earned his first collegiate victory in MSU’s 5-2 win at Pepperdine on Feb. 24, going 4.1 IP, grounding the Waves’ bats allowing just one hit, while striking out five and walking just one. He picked up his first career save in a 4-2 victory for MSU over Illinois on March 10, going 1.1 IP with just one hit and one strikeout. Tyranski ranks tied for fifth in the Big Ten with the 27 appearances, as well as tied for seventh with five saves. He also ranked eighth in the B1G in conference-only action with 13 batters struck out looking.
Gleaves, a native of Homer Glen, Illinois, got off to a slow start while recovering from an injury, but had a blistering finish and ended up leading the Spartan active players with a .272 average. He was also second on the team and third in the Big Ten with 25 stolen bases, moving up to No. 5 on MSU’s single-season stolen base list. Gleaves hit over .350 over the final half of the season, including .385 in Big Ten action, with a .461 slugging percentage, and swiping 11 bases in league games, which tied for second among the conference leaders. Gleaves was 4-for-4, including two doubles, and three stolen bases in the nightcap at Penn State on May 5, becoming the only Spartan to go 4-for-4 in a game this season and just one of two MSU players to have four hits in a game. He had a seven-game hitting streak this season and also ended the year with a 10-game reached base streak.
Defensively, Gleaves patrolled center field for the Spartans, making 31 starts. Gleaves posted 93 put outs and had two assists, using his speed to run down potential extra base hits and make them outs.
A native of Westerville, Ohio, Antoncic led the Spartans in average for part of the season, ending at .269, while topping the team with a .360 on-base percentage. He ranked second on the team with seven doubles, adding two triples and one home run, as well as fourth on the team with 18 RBI. Antoncic was third on the team and 15th in the B1G with 14 stolen bases. Antoncic also owns a share MSU’s longest active reached base streak, as his streak of 19 games tied Roskelly for longest on the team. Antoncic also had a 12-game reached base streak earlier in the season. He had a season-long six-game hitting streak. Antoncic had 11 games with multiple hits and four games with multi RBI. Antonic was named to the Dairy Queen Classic B1G/Pac-12 Challenge All-Tournament Team in March. Antoncic hit .462 for the weekend, including his first home run of his Spartan career off No. 11 UCLA, adding two doubles.
Young, a native of Rockford, Michigan, was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, graduating in May with a degree in finance. He was also the recipient of MSU’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
On the field, Young recovered from a preseason injury and returned to the lineup, playing in 28 games, making 17 starts. He led MSU with seven sacrifices, topping the team with six sac bunts, while adding one sac fly.
Young had a memorable Senior Day on May 19, smacking not only his first triple of the season but of his career and it came in his final at bat at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field in the Spartans’ B1G Tournament clinching win vs. Ohio State. He finished his Senior Day going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, his second multi-hit outing this season. Young ended the day with a career-high four total bases, as well as tying a career-best with two runs scored.
Baar, a Jenison, Michigan native, made five appearances on the mound, but led the Spartans’ spirit in the dugout all season. During the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha, Baar was bearer of the team’s Spartan BatSpear, a handmade tool made by Antoncic’s father, and Baar used it to direct the team’s celebrations and cheers.
John Kobs Most Valuable Player: Chad Roskelly
Robin Roberts Most Valuable Pitcher: Mitchell Tyranski
Kirk Gibson Offensive Player of the Year: Danny Gleaves
Danny Litwhiler Defensive Player of the Year: Danny Gleaves
Steve Garvey Most Improved Player: Justin Antoncic
Jerry Sutton Student Athlete Award: Kory Young
Craig Hendricks Spartan Spirit Award: Keegan Baar
All awards voted on by the players with the exception of the Offensive Player of the Year award, which is based on various statistical data over the course of the season.