Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
Former UNLV baseball All-American Ryan Ludwick will have his jersey No. 18 retired Saturday during halftime of the Rebels basketball team’s game against San Diego State at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Ludwick, a MLB all-star outfielder who finished last season with the San Diego Padres, joins former UNLV coach Fred Dallimore and slugger Matt Williams with their baseball jerseys retired.
“For the long tradition and history behind the Rebel baseball program, to be one of only three is pretty special,” Ludwick said in a statement.
Ludwick, who attended Durango High in Las Vegas, batted .354 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI as a freshman in being named to the Baseball American all-freshman team. Two years later as a junior, he batted .381 with 13 home runs and 69 RBI in capping one of the most productive three-year offensive careers in school history.
Ludwick was drafted by the Oakland A’s in 1999 and has spent time in six professional organizations. He hit 37 home runs in 2008 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I still follow the team every year,” Ludwick said. “I’m really excited about coach (Tim) Chambers coming in. I had the opportunity to play against his teams at Bishop Gorman when I was in high school. He did great things at CSN, and I think he will do the same at UNLV.”
UNLV athletes earn academic honors
A total of 27 UNLV student-athletes were part of the fall 2010 Academic All-Mountain West Conference Team. The league selected 386 athletes for the fall season, with each having a 3.0 or better grade point average and being a significant contributor to their teams.
Two UNLV freshmen had a perfect 4.0 GPA — volleyball player Madeline Westman and soccer goalie Kylie Wassell. Westman, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter and middle blocker from Wauconda, Ill., played in all of UNLV’s matches and led the Rebels with 123 blocks.
“I would say the secret would be commitment,” Westman said. “(Getting a 4.0) was my goal. I always tried to bring my homework on the road.”
Also, soccer player Ana Guida had a 3.98 grade point average. Of the UNLV contingent, four were football players: seniors Matt Murphy, Tate Knustson and Brendon Lamers, and junior Anthony Vidal.