April 20, 2011
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Baylor senior outfielder Chris Slater has been chosen as one of 10 finalists for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in baseball.
The award is given annually to senior student-athletes who have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
A media committee selected the 10 finalists from a list of 30 semifinalists announced in February. Slater joins Texas' Cole Green as the only players from the Big 12 Conference to be honored as finalists.
A finance major from Plano, Texas, Slater has played in 33 games and made 23 starts in 2011. He currently ranks second on the team with a .309 (30-for-97) batting average and leads the Bears with eight doubles. He's scored 18 runs and added 19 RBI, two triples and one home run.
Slater's home run was an inside-the-park homer on March 19 against Texas Tech, giving him the first inside-the-park home run by a Baylor player since April 9, 2006.
Slater has also had a pair of walk-off hits this season. He hit a 10th-inning walk-off single to beat Florida International and give head coach Steve Smith his 600th career victory on March 15, and on March 25 he hit a walk-off double to win the series opener against Kansas State.
Additionally, Slater was named Big 12 Conference Player of the Week after having four consecutive three-hit games from March 8-13. Slater is the only Baylor player to start in all three outfield positions in 2011. He's made 12 starts in right field, seven in left, three in center and one as designated hitter.
In addition to his achievements on the field, Slater has also had success in the classroom. He was named a Second-Team Academic All-American by CoSIDA in 2010, and he is on pace to graduate in May with a 3.98 GPA. He's been named to the Big 12 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll in all seven semesters at Baylor.
Fan voting for the Senior CLASS Award begins immediately. Ballots can be cast once a day by visiting http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/baseball_2011. Slater's page can be viewed at http://www.seniorclassaward.com/athletes/chris_slater. The fan vote counts for one-third of the total with the remaining two-thirds determined by NCAA Division I coaches and national media members.
Voting continues through June 5, and Lowe's will announce the winner June 24 at the NCAA College World Series in Omaha.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Senior CLASS Award Finalists
Chris Dennis, Portland
Brandon Eckerle, Michigan State
Clint Ewing, Louisiana Tech
Cole Green, Texas
Frazier Hall, Southern
Paul Hoilman, East Tennessee State
Cole Johnson, Notre Dame
Chris Slater, Baylor
Cory Tilton, UNC Charlotte
Tyler Wilson, Virginia