Denfeld News

June 30, 2008
Denfeld Alumni News

Former Denfeld pitcher named Minor League All-Star

Former Denfeld baseball standout Ben Jukich was selected today to play for the North Division in the 2008 Southern League All-Star Game.

The game will be played on Monday, July 14, at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, NC.

Jukich is 7-3 with a 2.78 ERA for the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Class Double-A minor league affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. In 100.1 innings this season, he has struck out 80 batters while walking just 34.

After graduating from Denfeld in 2001, Jukich played at McCook Community College in McCook, Neb., and Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S. Dak. In 2005 and 2006, he pitched for the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League.

At Dakota Wesleyan University, Jukich was named a 2006 honorable mention All-American after he led the nation with 144 strikeouts. He set DWU records for strikeouts in a season (144), strikeouts in a game (17) and tied the record for wins in a season (10).

Jukich was the first Dakota Wesleyan University and Great Plains Athletic Conference player to be selected in the Major League Baseball draft when he was picked in the 13th round (398th overall) by the Oakland A’s in 2006.

After the draft, he pitched 8.3 innings with a 3.24 ERA and two saves for Class A Short-Season Vancouver and he was 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 41.2 innings for Class A Kane County. The left-handed starter opened the 2007 season with Class A Advanced Stockton, where he went 3-4 with a 5.40 ERA in 12 starts.

On June 12, 2007, Jukich was sent to the Reds organization as the player to be named later in the April 27, 2007, trade that sent RHP Marcus McBeth from Oakland to Cincinnati in exchange for OF Chris Denorfia.

He joined the Reds’ Class A Advanced club in Sarasota, and was 8-2 with a 3.55 ERA in 14 starts. He had a 20.0 inning scoreless streak in August.

Jukich put an exclamation point on his breakout season in the first round of the Florida State League playoffs, when he threw seven hitless innings against Clearwater. He struck out five, walked two and retired the final 13 batters he faced.

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