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Contestants Named for the 2014 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby

TD Ameritrade has announced that the 2013 College Home Run Derby Champion, Rice University’s Michael Aquino, will return to Omaha to defend his title in the fifth annual TD Ameritrade College Home Run DerbyIn 2013 Aquino blasted a total of 20 home runs, including six in the final round, to win the College Home Run Derby title. A First Team All-Conference USA selection this season, Aquino hit .316 with seven home runs and 46 RBI as Rice advanced to an NCAA Regional for the 20th consecutive year. Last season, the outfielder mashed nine home runs to tie for the team lead.

Joining Aquino in the 2014 College Home Run Derby are:  Continue reading

Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2014: Will Clark, Mark Kotsay, Steve Arlin and Dustin Ackley honored

Four of the greatest players ever to play college baseball will be inducted into the Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame July 3 in Omaha, Neb. Dustin Ackley (North Carolina), Steve Arlin (Ohio State), Will Clark (Mississippi State) and Mark Kotsay (Cal State Fullerton) comprise the Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

These four individuals will be recognized in front of fans at the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on July 3. The players will be featured in ESPN’s live broadcast of the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby, which begins at 7:30 p.m. CDT.

Established in 2013 to celebrate college baseball’s rich history, the Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame honors the game’s legends that have made their mark in Omaha. Inductees were selected because of their outstanding contributions to college baseball, specifically through extraordinary performance on the game’s grandest stage: in Omaha. Finalists and winners were selected by a committee of former college baseball players and coaches as well as members of the media.

Last year’s inaugural Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame class included Rod Dedeaux (USC coach), Augie Garrido (Texas coach), Bob Horner (Arizona State), Brooks Kieschnick (Texas), Robin Ventura (Oklahoma State) and Dave Winfield (Minnesota). Continue reading

Kentucky’s AJ Reed named Two-Way Player of the Year

In the midst of seeking to become just the third unanimous national player of the year in Southeastern Conference history, Kentucky’s AJ Reed has been named the winner of the 2014 John Olerud Award, given annually to the nation’s top two-way player, it was announced by the College Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday afternoon.

Reed put together one of the finest seasons in the history of college baseball in 2014, winning the Dick Howser Trophy, Baseball America’s College Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Year and the American Baseball Coaches Association National Player of the Year. He is also a consensus first-team All-America honoree, earning accolades from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Louisville Slugger, the ABCA, Perfect Game and Baseball America.  Continue reading

LSU’s Aaron Nola named Pitcher of the Year

LSU junior right-hander Aaron Nola was named the 2014 National Pitcher of the Year Friday by the College Baseball Foundation. He will be presented with the award Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas, during the annual “Night of Champions” event at the Overton Hotel.

Nola is the sixth Tiger in school history to win a national player or pitcher of the year award, joining pitcher Ben McDonald (1989 Golden Spikes Award), pitcher Lloyd Peever (1992 Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year); first baseman Eddy Furniss (1998 Dick Howser Trophy); catcher Brad Cresse (2000 Johnny Bench Award); and shortstop Alex Bregman (2013 Brooks Wallace Award).

Nola, a 2014 Golden Spikes Award finalist and a two-time Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year, enjoyed a three-year career at LSU, compiling a 30-6 mark and a 2.09 ERA in 332 innings with 42 walks and 345 strikeouts. He is No. 3 on the LSU career list for strikeouts, No. 4 for ERA and No. 5 for pitching wins.

Nola, a Baton Rouge native, was named in 2014 a first-team all-American for the second straight season, as he posted an 11-1 mark and a 1.47 ERA in 116.1 innings with 27 walks and 134 strikeouts. Continue reading

Dozen Deserving Players Named Finalists for Gregg Olson Award

olsonawardA dozen deserving players have been named finalists for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award presented by Toolshed Sports. The honor is given to college baseball’s breakout player of the year. The award is presented to a top amateur baseball player who elevates his game to an elite level throughout the season.

The award is named after former Auburn pitching great and two-time All American Gregg Olson. After a freshman season at Auburn filled with only mixed success, Olson became one of the top collegiate players in the nation during an outstanding, unprecedented sophomore season. Despite being omitted from any preseason All American lists, Olson went on to lead the entire nation in ERA with a 1.26 mark and compiled an incredible 11-1 record with 10 saves for the Tigers. Following a summer pitching for the USA National Team where he lead the club in strikeouts, Olson returned to Auburn for another spectacular season. He led the SEC with a 2.00 ERA and amassed a triple-digit strikeout total, issuing 113 K’s in only 72 innings with only 27 walks. He finished his collegiate career with back-to-back First Team All American honors, a 25-7 record, 3.03 ERA, 20 saves, 271 strikeouts and redefined the way college coaches used their top pitcher.

The Olson Award was developed to honor college baseball’s success stories and showcase players like Olson who have raised the level of their game through hard work, strength of mind and determination. Eligible players are those who were omitted from major publication’s preseason All American prognostications; however by the end of the season their on the field performance have demonstrated that they are among the top amateur baseball players in the nation.

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USA Baseball announces Finalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award.

DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball unveiled the three finalists for the 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award in a selection show on on Tuesday. This year, the award will be presented to the nation’s top amateur baseball player for the 37th consecutive season.

Of the 21 semifinalists that were voted on by a committee of more than 200 voters, Michael Conforto, an outfielder from Oregon State, Aaron Nola, a right-handed pitcher from Louisiana State, and A.J. Reed, a left-handed pitcher and infielder for Kentucky, received the most votes and were named finalists for the award. Continue reading

Ragin’ Cajuns Top Latest NCBWA DI Poll for Second Week in a Row(June 3, 2014)

Louisiana-Lafayette was ranked No. 1 for the first time ever in the NCBWA survey on May 26, holds down that same location this week and joins Virginia (eight weeks), Oregon State (four weeks – Feb. 17, May 5-12-19), Florida State (March 17), South Carolina (March 10), and Cal State Fullerton (preseason No. 1) as top of the pole sitters after 17 weeks of surveys in 2014. This tops last season’s five total teams at No. 1 during the entire January-June NCBWA compilations with six different top-ranked schools held that distinction. ULL also is the first Sun Belt Conference school ever to gain placement atop the rankings. Continue reading

Southern Indiana Wins 2014 DII Championship

In a game fitting for the crowning of a champion, Southern Indiana defeated Colorado Mesa to capture its second national title in five years. It was tight contest throughout, with neither club gaining an advantage of more than a single run. The Screaming Eagles earned a quick advantage in the top of the first, but the deficit was soon erased by the country’s top-hitting club as the Mavs scored two to take the lead in the bottom of the third. After that it was nearly all zeroes on the board as pitchers from both clubs kept the scoring to a minimum. Nevertheless, USI was able to manufacture a run late to tie the game and send it into extra innings to keep their diminishing title hopes alive. Continue reading