TUCSON, Ariz. – Eastern Kentucky University left-hander Christian Friedrich has been named a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, the publication announced on Thursday. The southpaw from Evanston, Ill. was named the 2008 OVC Pitcher of the Year after a dominating junior campaign in which he ranked second in the nation in ERA (1.43) and hits allowed per nine innings (4.41). He was also eighth in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (11.9). Friedrich is EKU’s eighth baseball All-American in the past six years.
Friedrich was named the preseason OVC Pitcher of the Year in January, and did not disappoint. En route to being named first team All-OVC for the third straight year, he led the OVC in ERA, hits allowed per nine innings, strikeouts per nine innings, strikeouts (108), and opponent batting average (.144).. Through 81.2 innings of work and 12 starts this season, Friedrich allowed only 40 hits. Only one of those hits was a home run.
Against Morehead State on March 29, Friedrich became EKU’s all-time career strikeout leader in only his third season in Richmond. He has now recorded 305 strikeouts as a Colonel. He also has a career ERA of 1.84, which is best all-time at EKU.
Friedrich was named the OVC Pitcher of the Week three times this season, and five times in his career. His first weekly honor came in early March after he held Bradley University scoreless while striking out nine batters. His second came a few weeks later when he took a no-hitter into the seventh against the University of Illinois, striking out 12 in that contest. His final Pitcher of the Week honor came on May 5, a few days after he nearly tossed a perfect game against Samford, allowing just one baserunner in his eight innings of work and at one point retiring 20 consecutive batters.
In his last three outings of the season, Friedrich pitched 24 innings without allowing an earned run, while striking out 31 batters and only giving up nine hits.
Before the season, Friedrich was named a preseason first team All-American by Baseball America. He is also a finalist for several national player of the year awards, including the Brooks Wallace and Roger Clemens Awards, as well as the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser awards.
Tabbed by Baseball America as the sixth-best MLB prospect in college baseball heading into this season, Friedrich is projected as first round pick in the MLB amateur draft to be held June 5-6.