Fighting Illini Baseball's Tyler Jay and Kevin Duchene have been named to the National Pitcher of the Year watch list. The award will be presented to, you guessed it, the nation's best pitcher on June 29th in Lubbock as part of the annual Night of Champions.
Tyler Jay, who's projected to be a late first round pick in the upcoming MLB draft, is currently second in the nation with a 0.68 ERA in 20 appearances (40.0 IP). Kevin Duchene is right up there, too. The lefty checks in at No. 3 nationally with his 0.82 ERA in 8 appearances (55.0 IP).
Jay and Duchene are joined by fellow Big Ten pitchers Mike Shawaryn (Maryland) and Josh Roeder (Nebraska) on this initial watch list. The American Athletic Conference has the most candidates (6) and they're followed by the Big 12 (5) and SEC (5).
The No. 8 Fighting Illini (33-6-1, 10-1) will be back in action this weekend as they travel to Happy Valley for a three game series against Penn State (13-23, 2-9). The series finale on Sunday will be televised on BTN at 9:00am CT.
For more on Illinois' historic season, make sure to check out Illinois Baseball Report.