Ryan Toohers Named BIG EAST Player of the Week, Graceffo on Honor Roll

09 Dec 2021 | 09:56 | Baseball

NEW YORK—Senior first baseman Ryan Toohers (Florham Park, N.J.) was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week and junior starting pitcher Gordon Graceffo (Cranford, N.J.) earned a spot on the Honor Roll as the conference office announced its weekly awards on Tuesday morning. Villanova continued its streak of having at least one player recognized each week so far in the 2021 season. This is the first career weekly honor for Toohers, while while Graceffo is on the honor roll for the second time this season and the sixth time in his career.

Toohers had a torrid weekend at the plate as the Wildcats swept three games from Saint Joseph’s to extend the program’s longest winning streak in more than 30 years. Villanova has won 12 straight for the first time since a school-record 16-game streak during the 1989 season and is 12-2 heading into the start of conference play later this week.

In the three games against the Hawks last weekend, Toohers went 10-for-13 (.769) with four runs scored and seven runs batted in. He drew two walks, was hit by a pitch once and in all reached base safely in 13 of his 16 plate appearances in the series. Toohers had three or more hits in all three games against Saint Joseph’s while hitting two doubles and a triple during the weekend.

The Wildcats won the opening game of the series, 8-7, on Thursday afternoon and Toohers drove in the game-winning run with a seventh-inning single. He went 4-for-5 with a run and two RBI in the series opener, was 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBI in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday and finished the series with three more hits and two RBI in the final game. His last double of the weekend was the 34th of his career and tied him for 20th place in school history.

Graceffo won his seventh consecutive decision dating back to last season with seven strong innings against Saint Joseph’s in the second game of the series. He scattered two earned runs on seven hits in his most recent outing while walking two and striking out nine. Graceffo is 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in four starts this season and currently leads the BIG EAST in ERA while ranking second in WHIP (0.95).

This is the sixth time in his career that Graceffo has been named to the weekly BIG EAST Honor Roll. The only players in school history who have earned the honor more times are pitchers Hunter Schryver (nine honor roll selections) and Josh Eidell (seven). Graceffo was also named the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week earlier this season after he pitched a five-hit shutout against Hofstra.

The pitching trio of Graceffo and seniors Jimmy Kingsbury (Phoenixville, Pa.) and Tyler Arella (East Northport, N.Y.) has combined to go 8-0 with a 1.77 ERA during the 12-game winning streak. Villanova opens conference play this weekend with a four-game series at Creighton, beginning with a Friday night contest at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

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