Freshman hurler named conference co-pitcher of the week

By Steve Contorno

Starting pitcher Phil Haig thought someone was playing a joke on him when he first heard he was the Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week. After all, Illinois hasn’t been given the honor all season, and Haig, just a freshman, was the starter for a team that lost three of four games during the weekend.

But Monday morning the conference announced Haig was to share the honor with Northwestern’s Eric Jokisch, another freshman, who leads the Big Ten in conference wins with seven. Both Haig and Jokisch pitched shutouts for their respective teams, with Haig shutting down second-place Purdue and Jokisch dominating Big Ten champion Michigan.

“He was outstanding and it’s well deserving,” head coach Dan Hartleb said of Haig’s award. “We were in a tough situation where we were slumping a little bit. We needed somebody to step up and have a good game for us, and he was awesome that game.”

Haig threw a two-hit complete game Saturday, striking out three, and faced just 25 hitters in a seven-inning game. In four innings the minimum number of batters came to the plate, and he never pitched to more than four hitters in an inning. Haig also picked up the win as Illinois topped Purdue 2-0, the team’s only victory of the weekend.