LYNCHBURG, VA. – Campbell's Brent Graham and Ryan Thompson are two of 46 nationally selected as semifinalists for the inaugural Gregg Olson, presented by Toolshed Sports, honoring college baseball's "Breakout Player of the Year".
Graham, a senior from Portland, Ore., bats .381 for the 47-9 Camels, adding 55 runs scored and 36 RBI. The All-Big South Second Team selection is also a NCBWA Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist and Brooks Robinson Award (nation's top shortstop) Watch List honoree, leading the Big South in on-base percentage, while ranking second in batting, second in runs scored and fourth in slugging percentage. The senior has notched 19 infield hits and 11 bunt singles on the year.
Thompson was named the Big South's Pitcher of the Year and First Team all-conference, owning an 8-0 record with nine saves and a 0.82 ERA. The junior righthander surrendered only six earned runs during the regular season, owning a streak of 29 1/3 innings without a run allowed from April 5 until May 18. Thompson, a junior from Turner, Ore., was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Mid-Season Watch List, and garnered Big South Pitcher of the Week accolades on May 6.
The award is named after former Auburn Tiger star pitcher Gregg Olson, who became one of the top collegiate players in the nation after an initial season filled with only mixed success. Olson went on to become a two-time All American, first round draft pick, American League Rookie of the Year and MLB All Star.
Like Olson, these players have elevated their game to an elite level and in many instances their team has mirrored their success as a direct result.
Initial nominations were made by sports information/media contacts and the semifinalists were determined by made by an independent panel. A list of finalists is scheduled to be announced on Monday, June 3rd in conjunction with the conclusion of NCAA Regional play.
The winner of the 2013 Gregg Olson Award will be named in Omaha, Neb. during the College World Series which is to be held this season at TD Ameritrade Park from June 15-June 25/26.