Heyer on Pitcher of Year Watch List
May 10, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona freshman pitcher Kurt Heyer is one of 25 quarterfinalists for the College Baseball Foundation 2010 Pitcher of the Year Award. Heyer is the only freshman on the list that includes three seniors, 12 juniors and nine sophomores.
On the season, Heyer boasts a 6-1 record with a 2.22 earned run average in 13 appearances, including 12 starts. He has allowed just 68 hits in 77 innings pitched while limiting opposing hitters to a .239 batting average. Perhaps most impressive, Heyer has struck out 89 batters while issuing just 18 walks on the season.
A 6-foot-2 right-hander, Heyer has turned in one of the best freshman seasons in Arizona history while emerging as one of the Pac-10 Conference’s top starting pitchers. Heyer ranks in the top-10 in the conference in several key pitching categories, including having the third-lowest ERA and the third-most strikeouts. He has allowed the fifth-fewest total runs and the fourth-fewest earned runs.
Heyer’s freshman season totals already rank highly on the UA freshman single season record lists with three weeks of the regular season remaining. Heyer’s tally of 89 strikeouts ranks second-most ever for a UA freshman, trailing only Ben Diggins, who struck out 91 in 1999. His six wins are good enough to tie four other notable freshmen – Ed Vosberg, Joe Magrane, Mark Melancon and Eric Berger – for the sixth-most in a single season, while his 77.0 innings pitched checks in at No. 8.
With at least three expected starts remaining for Heyer, he will put several current figures on the line in the coming weeks. His 2.22 ERA currently would be the top freshman mark in UA history, which is held by Vosberg’s 3.46 ERA in 1980. Heyer’s 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched is ahead of Berger’s 10.03 clip in 2005, and the 2.1 walks per nine innings pitched trails only Sean Rierson’s 1.88 pace in 2001.
Already this season, Heyer has twice been named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week and a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week. Heyer struck out 13 batters in his collegiate debut against Utah Valley on Feb. 19 to earn the honors the first time around and followed that up with a 14-strikeout performance against Washington State on April 16.
Heyer’s 14 strikeouts against the Cougars surpassed the 13-strikeout tally he racked up in his debut, which at the time tied for the second-most ever by a UA freshman pitcher in a single game. The 14 strikeouts are two shy of Tim Schweitzer’s 16 strikeouts against UCLA in 1991. Heyer, who also hit double-digit strikeouts with 10 against Northern Colorado on March 12, is the only player to appear multiple times on the freshman single-game strikeout top-10 list for UA, which starts at 10 strikeouts.
A native of Huntington Beach, Calif., Heyer joins Arizona State’s Seth Blair and UCLA’s Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole as pitchers recognized on the list from the Pac-10 Conference. The Pitcher of the Year Award will be presented in Lubbock, Texas, on July 2, as part of the College Baseball Awards Show.
The Wildcats will host No. 2 Arizona State May 15-17 in a Saturday-Monday series this coming weekend. Each game will begin at 6 p.m. at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.
Heyer’s 2010 Season Stats:
W-L ERA GP/GS IP H R ER BB K Opp./BA
6-1 2.22 13/12 77.0 68 22 19 18 89 .239