May 7, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee junior Drew Steckenrider has been named to the initial watch list for the 2012 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, the College Baseball Hall of Fame has announced.
Steckenrider is one of 20 players, including five from the SEC, on the watch list for the award which recognizes the top two-way player in the nation. The award, named for the Washington State star who achieved success as both a first baseman and a right-handed pitcher, will be presented as part of the annual College Baseball Night of Champions on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas.
The event features the presentation of numerous awards, including the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award for which UT senior Zach Osborne is a nominee, as well as the induction ceremony for this year's Hall of Fame class.
A 6-5 flamethrower on the mound, Steckenrider has made a team-high 24 appearances and leads the squad with a 2.58 ERA over 59.1 innings of work. During that time, he has struck out 73 batters, which ranks fifth in the SEC. His 31 punchouts looking top the league, while his opposing batting average of .191 is good for second by one point.
Also a powerful switch hitter, Steckenrider is coming off one of the most productive weeks of his career at the plate as he torched Vanderbilt pitching to the tune of eight hits and seven RBIs over three games, hitting at a scalding .571 clip. In the series opener against the Commodores, he tied the school record with four doubles.
For the season, the Lawrenceville, Ga., native is hitting .252 with a team-high five home runs. He also paces the Vols with 13 doubles, a .432 slugging percentage, .391 on-base percentage and 32 walks on the year. In addition, he ranks second on the squad with 24 RBIs and nine stolen bases.