PHILADELPHIA – Four members of the Penn baseball team earned recognition on Monday from the Big 5. Ryan Deitrich put an exclamation on his senior year with the Quakers by being named the Big 5 Player of the Year, while freshman Mike Vilardo was given the Big 5 Rookie of the Year Award. Joining that duo on the All-Big 5 team is sophomore pitcher Dan Gautieri. Senior Spencer Branigan was Penn’s representative on the Big 5 Academic Team.
A first-team All-Ivy selection in addition to his Big 5 honors, Deitrich was the heartbeat of Penn’s offense all season long. He ended his senior season with the Quakers hitting at a .382 clip and reaching base in exactly half his plate appearances, leading the Ivy League in both categories. In addition, he tied with Vilardo for the team lead with 55 hits and also stole a team-high 11 bases. In three games against Big 5 opponents, he was 6-for-12 with three doubles and a home run, driving in two runs.
Vilardo also put up some monster numbers in his first season in the Red and Blue. He finished second to Deitrich on the team with a .320 batting average and drove in 31, tops on the squad. His 19 doubles on the year put him among the top 50 in the nation, while his doubles per game average of 0.45 is in the top 10. In two Big 5 games this year, he was 4-for-8 with a double and three runs driven in.
Rounding out the trio on the Big 5 team is Gautieri. The sophomore became the ace of this year’s staff, compiling an ERA of 2.17 in nine starts. The right-hander ended the season at 5-3, leading the team with 58.0 innings on the hill and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.5:1. Starting the Sunday seven-inning contest throughout the season, he worked four complete games and was particularly masterful in a nine-inning shutout of Winthrop in which he struck out seven Eagles with no walks.
A communications major from Ross, Calif., Branigan is this year’s member of the Big 5 Academic Team. Graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences with a 3.48 grade point average, Branigan was a leader in the classroom and on the field. A CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, he finished this season batting .308 with 14 two-baggers and leaves Penn ranked fifth all-time in program history with 38 doubles, as well as 10th all-time with 142 games played.