LUBBOCK, Texas – The shortstop oftentimes is the captain of the defense, usually the best athlete on the team capable of tracking down grounders in two different holes of the infield, both to the left and to the right.
Perhaps more than any other postseason award presented in college baseball, the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award values defense as much as any offensive statistics. This year’s list of semifinalists for the award embody that value, just like the namesake of the award did in his playing days.
“When narrowing down our list to this level, we put extra emphasis on what the award embodies and states in the bio of my brother, ‘a slick fielding shortstop,’” said Larry Wallace, co-chair of the Brooks Wallace Award committee. “Numerous young men on this list exemplify that skill as well has hit for average and power.”
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, a slick-fielding shortstop who played for the Red Raiders to from 1977 to 1980. Wallace died of leukemia at the age of 27.
Four players, in particular, are demonstrating what defense is all about.
The player with the best fielding percentage among the semifinalists is Nebraska’s Spencer Schwellenbach, who has helped lead a resurgence of the Cornhuskers program. The junior is fielding at a .985 clip while also hitting .275 with four home runs and 28 RBI.
Right behind him is another player making waves in the Midwest in Evansville freshman Simon Scherry. He currently holds a .977 fielding percentage to go with a .287 average, two home runs and 32 RBI.
Then there are juniors Phillip Glasser of Youngstown State and Matt Richardson of Utah. Glasser is hitting .308 with four home runs, 24 RBI and a .976 fielding percentage, while Richardson is hitting a whopping .369 with a home run and 26 RBI to go with a .975 fielding percentage.
There are also plenty of heavy hitters on the list as well. Trey Sweeney from Eastern Illinois, Carter Young of Vanderbilt, R.J. Yeaker from Mercer and Cal Conley from Texas Tech all have posted double-digit home runs and all are fielding at .969 or better on the year.
For more information on the Wallace Award or the Night of Champions event, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.
2021 BROOKS WALLACE AWARD SEMIFINALISTS
|Andy Armstrong||Oregon State||Pac-12||Sr.|
|Tommy Bell||Old Dominion||Conference USA||Jr.|
|Branden Comia||Illinois||Big Ten||Soph.|
|Cal Conley||Texas Tech||Big 12||RS-Fr.|
|Benjamin Cowles||Maryland||Big Ten||Jr.|
|Cristopher DeGuzman||Alabama State||SWAC||Jr.|
|Jason Dicochea||Santa Clara||West Coast||Sr.|
|Phillip Glasser||Youngstown State||Horizon||Jr.|
|Bennet Hostetler||North Dakota State||Summit||Sr.|
|Cody Jefferis||Univ. of San Diego||West Coast||Soph.|
|Kole Kaler||Hawaii||Big West||Jr.|
|Kodie Kolden||Washington State||Pac-12||Jr.|
|Ed Johnson||Tennessee Tech||Ohio Valley||Soph.|
|Brooks Lee||Cal Poly||Big West||RS-Fr.|
|Channy Ortiz||Grand Canyon||WAC||Sr.|
|Simon Scherry||Evansville||Missouri Valley||Soph.|
|Spencer Schwellenbach||Nebraska||Big Ten||Jr.|
|Benjamin Sems||Michigan||Big Ten||Sr.|
|Trey Sweeney||Eastern Illinois||Ohio Valley||Soph.|
|Drew Swift||Arizona State||Pac-12||Jr.|
|Jose Torres||North Carolina State||ACC||Fr.|
|Tyler Wilbur||Southeast Missouri||Ohio Valley||Jr.|
|Ernie Yake||Gonzaga||West Coast||Jr.|