Seven Huskers Named All-Big 12

By NU Athletic Communications
Johnny Dorn earned first-team All-Big 12 honors for the second time in his career.
Johnny Dorn earned first-team All-Big 12 honors for the second time in his career.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Oklahoma CityJohnny Dorn, Jake Opitz and Mitch Abeita highlighted the seven Husker baseball players selected to the 2008 All-Big 12 team Tuesday afternoon. The team, voted on by the league’s coaches, was announced during the Big 12’s Tournament press conference.


Dorn, Opitz and Abeita were all chosen as first-team honorees, marking the fourth time in the last six years that Nebraska had multiple first-team selections. Starting pitcher Thad Weber was the lone Husker on the second team, while first baseman Craig Corriston, outfielder Bryce Nimmo and reliever Dan Jennings were named honorable-mention selections.


Abeita received first-team honors after being an honorable-mention All-Big 12 selection in 2007. A Johnny Bench Award semifinalist, he enters the Big 12 Championship with a .343 average, nine homers and 44 RBIs, leading Nebraska in all three triple-crown categories. He ranks among the Big 12 leaders in batting average, walks and on-base percentage, while he reached safely in 49 of 50 games this year. Abeita is the eighth Husker catcher to receive first-team all-conference honors and the first since Jed Morris in 2002.


Dorn collects all-conference honors for the fourth consecutive year and returns to the first-team for the first time since his freshman year. A Dick Howser Award semifinalist, he finished the regular season with a 5-1 record and a 2.55 ERA in 13 starts, ranking in the top five of the league in strikeouts (93, second), opponent batting average (.198, second), innings (91.2, fourth) and ERA (fourth). He allowed three runs or less in 11 of his 13 starts and leads all active college pitchers with 36 career wins. Dorn is Nebraska’s first two-time first-team selection since Alex Gordon (2004-05) and first pitcher to accomplish the feat since Aaron Marsden in 2002 and 2003.


Opitz earned first-team recognition for the first time in his career, becoming the first Husker to be chosen as a first-team honoree at second base since Sam Sharpe in 1972.* Opitz enters the Big 12 Championship with a .327 average, seven homers and 42 RBIs, while scoring a team-best 45 runs and stealing 13 bases. He set career highs in five offensive categories, including batting average, homers, runs scored, walks and stolen bases.


Weber was the only Husker to receive second-team honors, as he was chosen in his first year in the Huskers’ weekend rotation. The senior right-hander from Friend, Neb., is 8-3 with a 5.17 ERA, fanning 66 over 69.2 innings this season. Weber ranks among the Big 12 leaders in wins (third), complete games (two, third) and strikeouts (ninth), while going 6-2 with a 4.56 ERA in conference games.


Nimmo earns all-conference recognition for the first time in his career, as the senior center fielder is hitting .305 with 27 RBIs and 42 runs scored. He is third on the team in walks and fourth in runs scored.


Corriston receives honorable-mention honors for the second straight year, as he earned recognition at third base a year ago before moving across the diamond this season. He is hitting .294 with four homers and 29 RBIs while finishing the regular season fourth on the team with 12 doubles.


Jennings receives all-conference honors for the first time in his career after going 6-2 with four saves and a 2.81 ERA. He ranks among Big 12 leaders in ERA (fifth), opponent batting average (.221, sixth) and saves (four, ninth) and is second on Nebraska’s team in both wins and strikeouts. He tossed 30.1 consecutive shutout innings this season and compiled a 2-2 mark with four saves in 13 Big 12 contests.


*-Second baseman John Cole was chosen as an outfielder in 2001, as he split time at both positions that season.





PLAYER OF THE YEAR: José Duran, Texas A&M, SS, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas/North Central Texas College
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Aaron Crow, Missouri, RHP, Jr., Wakarusa, Kan./Washburn Rural
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Chance Ruffin, Texas, RHP, Fr., Austin, Texas/Lake Travis
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: José Duran, Texas A&M, SS, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas/North Central College
COACH OF THE YEAR: Rob Childress, Texas A&M

Name, School                                      Pos.        Cl.           Hometown/Previous School
Luke Anders,Texas A&M                    1B           Jr.            College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated
Jake Opitz, Nebraska                        2B           Sr.          Littleton, Colo./Heritage
José Duran, Texas A&M                     SS           Jr.           Fort Worth, Texas/North Central College
Dane Carter, Texas A&M                    3B           Sr.           Graham, Texas/Graham
Mitch Abeita, Nebraska                    C             Sr.           Dallas, Texas/North Central Texas College
Aaron Senne, Missouri                       OF           So.          Rochester, Minn./Mayo
Neil Medchill, Oklahoma State         OF           So.          Oxford, Mich./Chandler-Gilbert CC
Kyle Colligan, Texas A&M                  OF           Jr.            Houston, Texas/Dulles
Jacob Priday, Missouri                       DH          Sr.           Sikeston, Mo./Sikeston
Jordy Mercer, Oklahoma State          UTL        Jr.            Taloga, Okla./Taloga
Aaron Crow, Missouri                         SP           Jr.            Wakarusa, Kan./Washburn Rural
Johnny Dorn, Nebraska                    SP           Sr.           Grand Island, Neb./Grand Island
Andrew Oliver, Oklahoma State        SP           So.          Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion
Travis Starling, Texas A&M                RP          So.          Yoakum, Texas/Yoakum

Name, School                                      Pos.        Cl.           Hometown/Previous School
Rebel Ridling, Oklahoma State        1B           Sr.           Sentinel, Okla./Midland JC
Thomas Belza, Oklahoma State      2B           Fr.           Loveland, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller
Jordy Mercer, Oklahoma State          SS           Jr.            Taloga, Okla./Taloga
Matt Hague, Oklahoma State            3B           Sr.           Kent, Wash./Washington
Trevor Coleman, Missouri*               C             So.          Dripping Springs, Texas/Dripping Springs
Luis Flores, Oklahoma State*          C             Jr.            Del Rio, Texas/Houston
Aljay Davis, Oklahoma                       OF           Sr.           Lakewood, Calif./NE Oklahoma A&M
Jordan Danks, Texas                         OF           Jr.            Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock
Roger Kieschnick, Texas Tech         OF           Jr.            Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall
Darby Brown, Texas A&M                   DH          Sr.           Lubbock, Texas/Cooper
Brian Ruggiano, Texas A&M             UTL        Jr.            Austin, Texas/Temple College
Thad Weber, Nebraska                     SP           Sr.           Friend, Neb./Hutchinson CC
Tyler Lyons, Oklahoma State            SP           So.          Lubbock, Texas/Frenship HS
Chance Ruffin, Texas                         SP           Fr.           Austin, Texas/Lake Travis
Daniel Edwards, Kansas State        RP          Sr.           Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood
*A tie in voting resulted in two second-team catchers.

Honorable Mention -- Baylor: Shaver Hansen, 3B; Shawn Tolleson, SP; Beamer Weems, SS Kansas: Buck Afenir, C; John Allman, OF; Erik Morrison, SS; Robby Price, 2B; Ryne Price, OF; Paul Smyth, RP Kansas State: Brad Hutt, SP Missouri: Greg Folgia, 2B; Kyle Gibson, SP; Ryan Lollis, OF Nebraska: Craig Corriston, 1B; Dan Jennings, RP; Bryce Nimmo, OF Oklahoma: Mike Gosse, UTL; Jamie Johnson, OF Oklahoma State: Jordy Mercer, RP, Donnie Webb, OF Texas: Brandon Belt, 1B; Preston Clark, UTL; Cole Green, RP; David Hernandez, SS; Russell Moldenhauer, OF; Cameron Rupp, C; Kyle Russell, OF; Michael Torres, DH Texas A&M: Clayton Ehert, SP; Barret Loux, SP; Brooks Raley, SP; Blake Stouffer, 2B; Kyle Thebeau, RP Texas Tech: Willie Rueda, 2B


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