MADISON, Wis. - On Thursday, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference revealed its All-WIAC teams and award recipients. Illinois Tech's Ian Duke was named Honorable Mention, while James Tarala was selected to the All-Sportsmanship team.
Just a freshman, Duke's strong freshman season really took off during conference play. One of the four main components of Tech's starting rotation, Duke ranked fifth in the WIAC with a 1.91 earned run average in conference games, allowing just seven earned runs in five starts (33 innings). He also allowed just six extra base hits, tied for the fifth-fewest among qualified pitchers in WIAC contests. In addition, the Manhattan, Illinois native had a .252 batting average against amongst conference foes.
Tarala earns the All-Sportsmanship team honor after his leadership as team captain helped guide the Scarlet Hawks pitching staff to great improvements. As a staff, the Scarlet Hawks improved its team earned run average by over two full runs from the 2017 campaign despite facing a more difficult schedule. Tarala himself was a large part of the turning of the tide, as the senior improved his own ERA by nearly two runs (down to 4.26) while leading the staff in innings pitched (67.2) and strikeouts (49).