2019 Brooks Wallace Award semifinalists released

Fourteen of the best shortstops in college baseball headline the semifinalists

May 15th, 2019

LUBBOCK, Texas - The chase to find out who is the best shortstop in the country is hitting the stretch run, and right now, it's anybody's race. That is evidenced by the quality of candidates who make up the 2019 Brooks Wallace Award semifinalist list.

The award, sponsored by Mizuno, honors the nation's top shortstop and will be presented this summer by the College Baseball Foundation. It is named for former Texas Tech shortstop Brooks Wallace, who played for the Red Raiders to from 1977 to 1980. Wallace died of leukemia at the age of 27.

Of the 14 semifinalists, all are hitting over .300 while showing their prowess in the field, with 12 of them posting 10 or more doubles and two hitting double-digit home runs.

"It's never easy to pare down to a semifinalists list as the season winds down to the conference tournaments, but we feel like we have an outstanding group of young men who are very deserving," said Larry Wallace, award co-chair. "We want a fantastic glove guy first and foremost to represent the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. All these guys have that ability and also swing the stick very well."

Leading the list of guys, at least with the glove, is Xavier senior Chris Givin, who has just one error on the season to go with a .303 batting average, four home runs and 25 RBI. Jack Dunn, a freshman at Northwestern hitting .346 with 36 RBI, and Michael Coritz, a junior at Navy hitting .303 with 26 RBI, each have committed just three errors.

Offensively, Joseph Ortiz at New Mexico State is putting up tremendous numbers for the WAC-leading Aggies. The junior is hitting .427 with eight home runs, 23 doubles and 80 RBI while fielding at a .978 clip.

Will Wilson, a junior at North Carolina State, is hitting .346 with 17 doubles, 15 home runs and 54 RBI, while UNLV junior Bryson Stott has 10 home runs, 19 doubles and 35 RBI to go with a .369 batting average and .968 fielding percentage.

Louisville junior Tyler Fitzgerald is hitting .340 with seven home runs and 60 RBI to go with a .963 fielding-percentage for the ACC-leading Cardinals. Vanderbilt senior Ethan Paul has the Commodores atop the SEC, hitting .330 with six home runs, 58 RBI and a .971 fielding percentage.

"The one constant has been these players' ability to hit the baseball," said Tom Quigley, award co-chair. "I can't remember having so many players with so many extra base hits, home runs and such high batting averages. It is almost the mirror image of MLB. It's going to be quite exciting to see how this year plays out."

For more information on the Brooks Wallace Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.