PISCATAWAY, N.J. – After helping lead Rutgers baseball to a series win at George Mason over the weekend, senior catcher R.J. Devish (Beachwood, N.J.) was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday. It is the first such baseball honor for the Scarlet Knights and second weekly award overall since joining the conference last season.
"R.J. is a hard-working player," head coach Joe Litterio said. "It is great to see all of his dedication pay off. He had a great weekend that helped us take the series."
Devish sparked RU offensively against the Patriots, reaching base 11-of-14 times plus a sacrifice bunt for a .786 on-base percentage and a 1.125 slugging mark. The leadoff hitter went 5-for-8 with five runs, five RBIs, five walks, one double, one home run and one stolen base in the three-game series. He is the only Rutgers catcher in this century to bat first in the lineup.
In the series opener, Devish crushed a three-run home run – his first career long ball – to break open a one-run ballgame, finishing with a career-high four RBIs and his fourth collegiate three-hit game. Then in the nightcap of the doubleheader, he walked three times. Devish reached base in his last five plate appearances in the rubber game and scored twice with a steal and a run batted in, as the Scarlet Knights rallied from a four-run deficit to win, 8-6, and take the set.
For the young season, Devish leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh nationally with a .682 on-base percentage. He is also third in the conference in batting average (.462) and slugging percentage (.769).
As previously mentioned, this marks the first Big Ten Player of the Week accolade for Rutgers baseball. Milo Freeman (Millburn, N.J.) picked up Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on March 23, 2015 for the other weekly award from the conference. Devish is the first Scarlet Knight to win league player of the week since Brian O’Grady on March 3, 2014 in the American Athletic Conference.