CONWAY, S.C. Coastal Carolina University senior baseball players Andy DeLaGarza (Ossian, Ind./Norwell) and Chris Raber (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall) have been named as candidates for the 2007 Brooks Wallace College Player of the Year award, the College Baseball Foundation announced today. The Wallace Award is presented annually to the nations top collegiate baseball player and will be nationally televised on Fox Sports Network.
DeLaGarza is 9-1 with a 2.91 earned-run average in 12 starts this season. He has 45 strikeouts and just nine walks in 80.1 innings pitched. DeLaGarza is 10th in the country in wins and is fifth in the Big South in earned-run average. The senior pitched 7.1 innings, allowing four hits, four runs and striking out five in a win over VMI April 20. DeLaGarza has 20 career wins at Coastal and is fifth all-time in games started with 51.
Raber is hitting .348 in 45 games this season. He leads the Big South Conference with 15 home runs and has eight doubles, a triple and 47 runs-batted-in. The senior leads the team and the conference with a .696 slugging percentage and is getting on-base at a 46.7 percent clip. Raber is fourth all-time in Coastal history with 124 career walks and is fifth all-time with 210 games played. He has had two home runs in a game twice this season, including a pair in a 3-2 win over Virginia Feb. 11. Raber is second on the team with nine stolen bases and has made just one error at first base this season.
The 2007 award banquet will be held Tuesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.
The selection committee will narrow the list to 30 semifinalists toward the end of May. Following the NCAA Super Regionals, the three finalists will be announced during the College World Series in Omaha. The three finalists, their head coaches and parents will be invited to Lubbock where they will participate in a three-day celebration of college baseball on July 2-4. The Wallace Trophy and winners will become a part of the permanent display in the new College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock. The three finalists will participate in activities with the 2007 Hall of Fame Inductees as part of the "Past Meets Present" theme and will receive special recognition during the official induction ceremony.
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.
Coastal will head to Lincoln, Neb., to take on Nebraska this weekend. The first game will take place Friday, May 4 at 7:35 p.m. EDT.