College Baseball Foundation Honors 2011′s Best…
LUBBOCK, Texas – This year’s College Baseball Awards Show recognized five outstanding players on Sunday, including Texas pitcher Taylor Jungmann, winner of the 25th annual Dick Howser Trophy. Clemson shortstop Brad Miller, UCLA pitcher Trevor Bauer, Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen, and Texas pitcher Corey Knebel were also honored.
The Heisman of college baseball, the Dick Howser Trophy, goes to the season’s most exceptional player, teammate and leader. Jungmann’s excellence made him this year’s standout. He was selected unanimously as the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He said he appreciated learning about the award’s history and is honored to join in the tradition.
“Winning the award is amazing,” Jungmann said. “It trumps everything else, not even a question about it. I’m sure I’ll look back on it and I can’t tell you what it will mean then but right now it feels amazing.”
The Brooks Wallace Award, honoring the season’s most outstanding shortstop, went to Clemson’s Miller. In his three seasons with the Tigers, Miller compiled a .339 batting average and a .451 on-base percentage. The 2011 ACC Player of the Year said he enjoyed meet the family of the award’s namesake and was excited to be able to represent Clemson in such a positive way.
“Being a shortstop and taking pride in playing the position – and then also being able to represent Clemson and bring an award back to the school to continue the tradition there, it’s a huge honor,” Miller said.
Bauer of UCLA was named Pitcher of the Year. During the 2011 season, he pitched three complete game shutouts and finished as UCLA’s career leader in wins (34), strikeouts (460), and innings pitched (373.1). He said he values meeting all the people who play such a large role in college baseball.
“It’s a real pleasure to be able to meet the people that came before me and all the people involved in college baseball,” Bauer said. “It’s been a great honor. It’ll be a memory that I have for a lifetime.”
The John Olerud Award, honoring the season’s best two-way player, was awarded to Virginia ‘s Hultzen. He was named ACC Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive year with a 1.49 ERA and 151 strikeouts. He also complied a batting average of .320 and even hit an inside-the-park grand slam. He said he has really enjoyed the experience.
“It’s been a tremendous honor to be involved in this,” Hultzen said. “It’s been awesome. I just feel very lucky to have the opportunity to both hit and pitch, and it’s an honor to be here and get the award.”
Hultzen is the second Olerud Award winner from the ACC. Florida State outfielder/pitcher Mike McGee received the honor last season.
Texas’ Knebel received the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, which is given to the season’s top relief pitcher. He recorded 17 saves during the 2011 season, breaking a Texas freshman single-season record. He said he was really excited to be deemed the closer of the year.
“Especially being a freshman,” Knebel said, “It’s just breathtaking. It’s like a dream come true.”
The award winners were also pleased to be honored on the same night the 2011 Hall of Famers were inducted. The award show and induction ceremony were combined this year to create College Baseball’s Night of Champions.