In a May 4 game against the Indiana Hoosiers, Illini shortstop and lead off hitter Ben Troike got hit by a pitch on the thumb. When that pitch was thrown, neither Illinois nor Ben Troike thought that would be the last pitch he would ever see in orange and blue, but it just may have been.
Troike was selected in the 11th round of the MLB Draft with pick number 338 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
With one year of eligibility left, Troike has a decision to make - but getting drafted in the 11th round - makes the money that he could have in his hands very enticing.
In three seasons with the Illini, Troike batted .266 with six home runs and 71 runs driven in. The junior made his mark setting the table for the likes of Bren Spillane, Michael Massey, Zac Taylor and company, tallying exactly 100 runs scored and reaching base at a .356 clip.
Troike has been the Illini’s captain of the infield as well, boasting a .962 fielding percentage from short stop.
Not only did Troike get it done on the field, but the righty also earned himself Academic All Big Ten honors in back to back seasons.
Although his potential final season may have been cut short, we tip our caps to Troike: a solid defending short stop, an athletic table setter near the top of the order and a Tampa Bay Ray.