BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Fans can help decide the winner of the inaugural Gregg Olson Award, given to college baseball's breakout player of the year, presented by Toolshed Sports. Campbell hurler Ryan Thompson, the 2013 Big South Pitcher of the Year, is one of six finalists for the Olson Award.
The award will be presented to a top amateur baseball player who elevates his game to an elite level throughout the season.
Fans can vote online here, helping determine the winner.
Thompson was named Second Team Louisville Slugger All-American as a reliever, setting league and Campbell records for ERA with a slim 0.88 mark, currently sitting second in the nation, while also garnering First Team All-Big South honors to go along with his BSC Pitcher of the Year nod.
Thompson tied a school record with 10 saves in 31 appearances, which ranks second all-time in CU single-season history. The Turner, Ore. native also boasted a 9-1 record, tying him for third on the single-season charts with teammate Heath Bowers (9-0, 2013) and Cory Satterfield (9-4, 1988).
He pitched 71 2/3 innings, allowing only seven earned runs and six extra base hits. Thompson also fanned 57 and held opponents to a .201 average.
Thompson, Campbell's first ever conference pitcher of the year, was also named to the 2013 Big South All-Tournament team.
The award is named after former Auburn pitching great and two-time All American Gregg Olson. After a freshman season at Auburn filled with only mixed success, Olson became one of the top collegiate players in the nation during an outstanding, unprecedented sophomore season. Despite being omitted from any preseason All American lists, Olson went on to lead the entire nation in ERA with a 1.26 mark and compiled an incredible 11-1 record with 10 saves for the Tigers.
Following a summer pitching for the USA National Team where he led the club in strikeouts, Olson returned to Auburn for another spectacular season. He led the SEC with a 2.00 ERA and amassed a triple-digit strikeout total, issuing 113 K's in only 72 innings with only 27 walks. He finished his collegiate career with back-to-back First Team All American honors, a 25-7 record, 3.03 ERA, 20 saves, 271 strikeouts and redefined the way college coaches used their top pitcher.
The Olson Award has been developed to honor college baseball's success stories and showcase players like Olson who have raised the level of their game through hard work, strength of mind and determination. Eligible players will be those who are omitted from major publication's preseason All American prognostications; however by the end of the season their on the field performance will demonstrate that they are among the top amateur baseball players in the nation.
Thompson is joined on the finalist list by Ball State's Scott Baker, East Tennessee State's Kerry Doane, Western Kentucky's Ryan Huck, Florida State's Scott Sitz and Mike Tauchman from Bradley.
The winner of the 2013 Gregg Olson Award will be named in Omaha, Nebraska during the College World Series which is to be held this season at TD Ameritrade Park from June 15-25/26. Initial nominations were made by sports information/media contacts and voting was conducted by a panel for college baseball media members.
For more information about the award visit www.olsonaward.com.