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Fagan Crowned NCAA Statistical Champion For Strikeouts Per Nine Innings

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 07/11/2014
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
Fagan was crowned the NCAA statistical champion for strikeouts per nine innings.
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PRINCETON, N.J. – Capping off a banner season, former Tiger Michael Fagan of the Princeton University baseball team has been crowned the NCAA statistical champion for strikeouts per nine innings.

With 11.95 strikeouts per nine innings, Fagan edged out Evansville’s Kyle Freeland (11.56) for the nation’s top honor. TCU’s Brandon Finnegan had the third-highest strikeout rate in Division I (11.41), with UNC’s Reilly Hovis (11.39) and Western Carolina’s T.J. Fussell (11.33) rounding out the top five.

A first-team All-Ivy selection, Fagan tossed 58.0 innings in 2014, posting a 4-2 record in nine starts. Leading the conference in strikeouts (77), he issued just 18 walks while holding opposing hitters to a paltry .213 batting average. Going the distance in three outings, the lefty surrendered just 15 earned runs en route to a 2.33 ERA in his final season in Orange & Black.

Tallying double-digit strikeouts in four of his appearances, Fagan fanned 10 batters while allowing three runs in six innings against Michigan on Mar. 7. After striking out eight in a 1-0 complete game win at Navy on Mar. 22, he sat down 11 hitters in a seven-inning complete game victory over Brown on Apr. 5.

Combining for 17 strikeouts in consecutive starts against Columbia (Apr. 12) and Harvard (Apr. 16), Fagan fanned 11 in a 4-2 triumph over Penn on Apr. 20. In his final collegiate start, the senior struck out 11 in nine innings of work against Cornell on Apr. 27.

In last month’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Fagan was selected in the ninth round (282nd overall) by the Oakland Athletics. Joining former Tigers Zak Hermans (2013) and Matt Bowman (2012), he became the third Princeton pitcher in as many seasons to be drafted.

Since 1965, 46 Princeton baseball players have been chosen, including 21 since 2000. Fagan was also selected out of high school in the 2010 draft by his hometown San Diego Padres (45th round -1354th overall), but did not sign. Picked in 1986, Drew Stratton was the only other Tiger ever drafted by the Athletics.

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