IRVING, Texas – Baylor baseball closer Josh Michalec was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week, the league announced Monday.
The senior right-hander earned the honor for the first time in his
career and joins Abe Woody as the only two BU relievers to win
a weekly conference award in program history.
The right-hander from Houston had a fantastic week as he recorded saves (two of which were multi-inning saves) in all three of Baylor's wins. He allowed just one hit and two walks with three strikeouts in 5.1 innings and three appearances while holding hitters to a .067 batting average.
On March 5 in a 3-2 win over Lamar, Michalec entered the game in the eighth inning with a 3-1 lead, two on and no outs. He managed to get out of the jam with a swinging strikeout while allowing just one of Nick Lewis' runs to score on two productive outs. He then gave up his only hit of the week in the ninth but erased it on a double play and added another swinging K.
On March 8 in a 1-0 win over No. 4 Cal State Fullerton, Michalec entered the game in the seventh with a 1-0 lead, two outs and a runner on first, and got a ground out to end it. In the eighth, he erased a walk with a double play to end that frame and followed with a perfect ninth.
On March 9 in a 5-4 win over the Titans, Michalec entered the game in the ninth with a 5-4 lead and stranded a walk as he got a looking K to end the game to give Baylor the series win over the fourth-ranked team in the country.
Michalec is now a perfect 6-for-6 in save chances in his career as all six chances have come in 2014. Overall, he has a 2.61 ERA out of the pen in seven appearances that cover 10.1 innings. He's given up three runs on seven hits and five walks with eight strikeouts while holding foes to a .206 batting average.
Michalec joins teammate Darryn Sheppard on the list of BU players to earn a weekly award from the league office this season. Sheppard was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 17 after his first collegiate weekend of play. The last time BU had a pitcher earn the honor was on March 4, 2013, when Max Garner claimed the accolade. The last time the Bears had a reliever earn the honor was May 16, 2005, when Woody won the award.
Baylor travels to Houston for its lone midweek game on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT vs. the Cougars before hosting Texas Tech this weekend for the teams' first Big 12 series.