May 18, 2012
DALLAS - Baylor seniors Josh Ludy and Trent Blank were named semifinalists for the 26th Dick Howser Trophy, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced Friday.
Blank and Ludy, who have led Baylor to a 41-11 record and its third Big 12 Championship, are among 35 candidates for the award, which is given to the top player in collegiate baseball. The Big 12 leads all conferences with six semifinalists on the list, and Baylor is one of four teams with two semifinalists.
A native of Columbia, Ill., Blank is one of 10 starting pitchers among the semifinalists. He ranks seventh nationally and leads the Big 12 with a 9-1 record and ranks seventh in the league with a 2.30 ERA entering Friday's start at Texas.
Blank's only loss this season came at Oklahoma on May 12, when he pitched his first career complete game and allowed one earned run in a 2-1 loss. With one more win, he can post the 15th double-digit wins season in program history, and his 17-5 career record ranks as the fifth-best winning percentage all-time at Baylor.
Ludy, a Portland, Ind., native and Big 12 Player of the Year candidate, leads the Big 12 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in conference games. His .344 batting average in all games ranks seventh in the league, and he also leads the conference with 53 RBI on the season. He is one of four catchers among the Howser Trophy semifinalists.
Ludy is also a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher, and he received his diploma from Baylor president Ken Starr prior to Thursday's win against Texas.
Baylor's Jason Jennings won the Howser Trophy in 1999. Jennings was the first of three Big 12 players to earn the honor, joining Nebraska's Alex Gordon in 2005 and Texas' Taylor Jungmann a season ago.
Finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy will be announced in mid-June, and the winner will be presented with the trophy at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha on June 15 - the opening day of the 2012 College World Series.
2012 Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalists
Mark Appel, P, Stanford
Robert Benincasa, RP, Florida State
Sean Bignall, OF, Arkansas-Little Rock
Trent Blank, P, BAYLOR
Austin Elkins, 2B, Dallas Baptist
Goose Kallunki, 1B, Utah Valley
Marty Gantt, OF, College of Charleston
Marco Gonzales, UT, Gonzaga
Andrew Heaney, P, Oklahoma State
Brock Hebert, 2B, Southeastern Louisiana
D.J. Hicks, 1B, UCF
Daniel Kassouf, DH, Appalachian State
Stefan Lopez, RP, Southeastern Louisiana
Michael Lorenzen, UT, Cal State Fullerton
Josh Ludy, C, BAYLOR
Luke Maile, C, Kentucky
Jamodrick McGruder, 2B, Texas Tech
Trenton Moses, 3B, Southeast Missouri
Chris O'Grady, RP, George Mason
D.J. Petersen, 3B, New Mexico
Nick Petree, P, Missouri State
Kevin Plawecki, C, Purdue
Danny Poma, OF, Hofstra
James Ramsey, OF, Florida State
Matthew Reckling, P, Rice
Carlos Rodon, P, NC State
Chris Rowley, P, Army
Raph Rhymes, OF, LSU
Zach Stephens, 1B, Tennessee Tech
Chris Stratton, P, Mississippi State
Ross Stripling, P, Texas A&M
Michael Wacha, P, Texas A&M
Michael Wagner, RP, San Diego
Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Ole Miss
Mike Zunino, C, Florida