Lubbock, Texas - East Carolina junior infielder Stephen Batts and senior pitcher T.J. Hose have been named to the 2008 Brooks Wallace Player-of-the-Year Award Pre-Season Watch List the College Baseball Foundation announced last week. The duo becomes the first Pirates to be selected to the Watch List in its four-year history.
"Being on Brooks Wallace Watch List is a great honor," said Head Coach Billy Godwin. "It tells me that the Stephen and T.J. are recognized in college baseball as premier players. This is a credit to their hard work and success on the field."
Batts, who owns the second-longest active hitting streak in the nation - 29 games heading into the 2008 season, batted .323 a year ago with six home runs, 56 RBI and was named to the 2007 Conference USA All-Tournament and 2007 NCAA Chapel Hill Regional teams.
Hose enters his third season as East Carolina's top starter and has compiled a 16-13 career record with a 4.10 ERA. A season ago, the right-hander picked up second-team All C-USA honors after posting a 6-5 record with a 3.97 ERA, and was a two-time C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week selection and two-time College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll recipient.
"After a great fall baseball season, we can see that the talent level in college baseball will once again be great," said Raymond Richardson, Chair of Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Award Committee. "We have several from last year's Wallace Watch that we will continue to follow, and we look forward to tracking the new additions as well."
The Wallace Award is presented to the nation's top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame's annual induction festivities. The 2008 award banquet will be held Thursday, July 3, in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.
Last year's Brooks Wallace award went to Vanderbilt pitcher, David Price. Price was the first overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft and is currently pitching in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. The 2006 winner was standout pitcher/designated hitter Brad Lincoln of Houston. Nebraska's Alex Gordon, now with the Kansas City Royals, took home the 2005 trophy. The inaugural award was given in 2004 to Kurt Suzuki of Cal State Fullerton, who is now catching for the Oakland A's.
The Wallace Award is a dedication to the memory of the former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace. Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Texas Tech from 1977 to 1980. A four-year starter, he was named All-Southwest Conference and All-District his senior year. He led the Red Raiders to their first-ever appearance in the Southwest Conference Tournament in 1980. After playing two years in the Texas Rangers organization, he returned to Texas Tech and served as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach. In the summer of 1984, he was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27. The Plano, TX, native was married to the former Sandy Arnold and they had one daughter, Lindsay Ryan.