MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – Mount Olive College pitcher Carter Capps and designated hitter Michael Knox are among 46 semifinalists for the 2011 Tino Martinez Award, which is presented to the Division II Baseball National Player of the Year. Mount Olive is one of only seven teams to have at least two semifinalists.
The award is named for former Major League Baseball All-Star Tino Martinez, who played collegiately at Division II Tampa. The award is administered by College Baseball Lineup.
Capps, a redshirt sophomore from Kinston, N.C., was named 2011 Conference Carolinas Pitcher of the Year and Most Valuable Player of this year’s Conference Carolinas Tournament. Prior to the start of the season, Capps was selected as Baseball America’s Preseason Division II National Pitcher of the Year and Top Prospect among Division II Players. Capps is 11-0 this season, becoming the first pitcher in Trojan history to record at least 10 wins in consecutive seasons. He is unbeaten in his collegiate career with a 21-0 record. Capps, who has a 1.72 earned run average, tossed a no-hitter against Coker this season, only the third in school history and the first-ever nine-inning no-hitter. Capps was also named to the 2011 CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District 3 First Team.
Knox, a junior from Cary, N.C., ranks second in the nation with 22 home runs this season and holds the Trojan career home run record with 46. He was named to the All-Conference Carolinas First Team for the second straight year and earned all-tournament honors at this year’s conference tournament. On February 15, he became the first player in school history to hit for the cycle, connecting on a single, double, triple and home run against North Carolina Wesleyan. Just 11 days later, he belted four home runs against St. Andrews, also a Trojan first. Knox, who leads the nation in walks, is batting .363 with 56 runs batted in. Knox joined Capps on the 2011 CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District 3 First Team.
Capps and Knox are among seven semifinalists from the Southeast Region as all eight regions are represented. The Tino Martinez Award is in its second year and Mount Olive has had at least one semifinalist each year. Jeremy Nowak was a finalist for the 2010 Tino Martinez Award.
Finalists are scheduled to be announced May 19 and the winner will be announced after the conclusion of the 2011 NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals, which take place May 28-June 4 at Cary, N.C. Mount Olive College and Town of Cary are co-hosting the National Finals for the third year in a row.