Stiever named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week

Jonathan Stiever lives in the strike zone.

That’s allowed the Indiana right-hander to ascend the ranks as one of the top pitchers in the Big Ten. On Monday, he was recognized as such.

The conference recognized Stiever as its pitcher of the week after he tossed six scoreless innings in a series-opening win over Northern Illinois.

It was an efficient start for Stiever, one that further illustrated his ability to locate his pitches and miss bats, when needed. The junior threw 48 of his 62 pitches for strikes, while striking out six, walking none and allowing only two hits.

Although he touched 93 miles per hour on the radar gun Friday, perhaps most impressive was Stiever’s ability to put his pitches everywhere he pleased.

“He located,” IU coach Chris Lemonis said of Stiever’s Friday night start. “It was good stuff, but it was the location. I think he pitched on the inner half of the plate. He was just pounding guys in and getting a lot of easy outs.”

Across the last 19 2/3 innings, Stiever has struck out 25 batters, while yielding 14 hits and merely four earned runs. With the Big Ten opener looming this weekend at Iowa, it’s the kind of run that’s coming at the right time.

“You just have to go about your business day-by-day,” Stiever said after his Friday outing. “But to be able to put together a couple of good starts (is good) and our whole pitching staff is pitching pretty well this past little bit. Keeping that momentum going is pretty good for us.”

Stiever leads the Big Ten with 38 strikeouts in 30 innings this season, while allowing merely eight walks and holding opposing batters to a .254 average.