Ian Kennedy Named Pac-10 Pitcher Of The Year
May 31, 2005
LOS ANGELES - USC sophomore right-hander Ian Kennedy (Huntington Beach, Calif./La Quinta HS) has been named Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. He earned his second consecutive All-Pac-10 honor.
Kennedy becomes the eighth Trojan to earn POTY honors since the award was created in 1991 and the first since Mark Prior won it in 2001. Other former winners include Jackie Nickell (1991-Southern Division), Randy Flores (1995-Southern Division), Seth Etherton (1996 and 1998-Southern Division), Barry Zito (1999) and Rik Currier (2000, along with being Co-Player of the Year).
This season, Kennedy led the league by striking out 144 batters, including 67 looking, and tied for the league lead with 11 wins on the year. His 2.44 ERA was fourth-best Conference-wide, while batters hit just .199 against him, also fourth-best. Kennedy pitched 103 1/3 innings on the year, eighth-most in the Conference. A two-time Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (April 12 and May 3), Kennedy is a semifinalist for the 2005 Roger Clemens Award, the Xanthus-Dick Howser Trophy and the Brooks Wallace College Player of the Year Award.
Kennedy has been red-hot with an 8-1 record and 1.60 ERA in his last nine starts with five of those games on the road (Washington, Cal State Fullerton, Cal, Arizona and Oregon State). In 67 1/3 innings, he has allowed 47 hits with 12 earned runs, 14 walks and 95 strikeouts. He has registered double digits in strikeouts in five of his last nine starts.
Junior catcher Jeff Clement, one of five finalists for the 2005 Golden Spikes Award, earned his third straight All-Pac-10 honor after batting .353 this season with 17 doubles, 13 home runs and 48 RBI. With 44 career home runs, Clement is third on USC's career list behind Mark McGwire (54) and Geoff Jenkins (45). He threw out 24 of 58 base runners (41%) this season.
Clement and Kennedy were both members of the 2004 U.S. National Team.
Six other Trojans received All-Pac-10 honorable mention: freshman infielder Matt Cusick, sophomore infielder Hector Estrella, sophomore outfielder Cyle Hankerd, junior third baseman Billy Hart, junior infielder Blake Sharpe and junior pitcher Jack Spradlin.
USC will play Pepperdine on Friday (June 3) at the 2005 NCAA First-Round Regional at Blair Field in Long Beach, Calif. The game starts at 3 p.m. with the winner of the four-team regional, which also features host Long Beach State and Rhode Island, advancing to the NCAA Super Regional next week. The eight Super Regional winners will then advance to the College World Series (June 17-26/27) in Omaha, Neb. ###