LUBBOCK, Texas – With the 2022 college baseball regular season done and the Field of 64 announced, the cream has risen to the top in the chase for a national championship.
Similarly, the best of the best among the players vying for the 2022 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award have also risen to the top, with three of the five finalists preparing to lead their teams on that chase.
The five finalists for the award, presented by the College Baseball Foundation, are senior Devin Ortiz from Virginia and sophomores Jordan Hamberg from Coppin State, Cameron Jones from Georgia State, Jacob Pennington of Murray State and Paul Skenes from Air Force.
“All season long, trimming this list to semifinalists and now to finalists has proven very difficult due to the outstanding seasons put forth by all our two-way players,” Olerud Award chairman George Watson said. “But these five finalists have differentiated themselves not only through the statistics they’ve racked up but by being leaders of their respective teams. Each one of these finalists is more than deserving of this award.”
The award is named for the former Washington State University standout who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s and was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The award will be presented by the College Baseball Foundation later this summer.
Here is a closer look at the finalists:
- Jordan Hamberg, Soph., OF/LHP, Coppin State: Hamberg has been one of the main reason the Eagles have had such a tremendous season, which included capturing the automatic NCAA tournament bid with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament title earned on May 21. Hamberg has been a consistent force, compiling a 6-2 record and 4.04 ERA in 12 starts with 86 strikeouts and just 33 walks. At the plate, he hit .355 in 43 starts with eight home runs and 34 RBI.
- Cameron Jones, Soph., 1B/LHP, Georgia State: Georgia State was one of the top teams in the Sun Belt all season and Jones helped pace the Panthers both on the mound and at the plate. The sophomore hit .374 in 54 games with five home runs and 31 RBI while compiling a 2-3 mark and 3.00 ERA on the mound, striking out 37 batters and walking just 11 in 36 innings of work.
- Devin Ortiz, Sr., IF/RHP, Virginia: The lone upperclassman on the finalist list, Ortiz helped lead the Cavaliers to a third-place finish in the Coastal Division of the ACC and an NCAA tournament berth. On the season, he hit .298 with seven home runs and 47 RBI in 55 games while compiling a 5-1 mark and 2.03 ERA on the mound, making five starts for the Cavaliers with 37 strikeouts in 26.2 innings and holding opposing batters to a .158 average.
- Jacob Pennington, Soph., DH/RHP, Murray State: The Racers had a solid season, and Pennington was a big part of the reason why. The sophomore went 3-1 on the mound with a 4.86 ERA in 15 appearances to go with one save. At the plate, he hit .289 in 45 games with seven doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBI to go with a .488 slugging percentage.
- Paul Skenes, Soph., DH/RHP, Air Force: For the first time in 53 years, the Falcons have qualified for the NCAA Tournament, and the outstanding year by the sophomore Skenes played a huge part in that. The right-hander hit an impressive .325 in 48 games with 10 doubles, 12 home runs and 36 RBI, and on the mound was an impressive 10-2 with a 2.42 ERA striking out 92 in 81.2 innings while holding opponents to a .214 batting average.
For more information on the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.