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Jun-06-2014 06:10printcomments

Oregon State Duo Up for Top College Baseball Award

The Beavers Ben Wetzler finished the 2014 season with a 12-1 record and national-best 0.78 earned run average.

Oregon State University
Ben Wetzler, Michael Conforto. Photo Courtesy: Oregon State Athletics

(CORVALLIS, Ore. ) - Oregon State left-handed pitcher Ben Wetzler and outfielder Michael Conforto are two of the five finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, which is given annually to the nation’s top collegiate player.

The honor is voted upon and awarded by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Other finalists include Kentucky’s A.J. Reed, LSU pitcher Aaron Nola and Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost.

Wetzler finished the 2014 season with a 12-1 record and national-best 0.78 earned run average. Opponents tallied just 49 hits off him in 104 innings for a .143 batting average against, also the nation’s best number.

He allowed two earned runs in a game just twice, and shutout opponents over at least seven innings of work six times. He finished with four complete-game efforts, including his last three starts, and tallied three shutouts.

A Lousiville Slugger First-Team All-American this season, he completed his Oregon State career with a school-record 36 victories. He’s also thrown the most innings by an OSU pitcher at 369 1/3, and his 291 strikeouts are second-only to Jonah Nickerson’s 299. He also finished his career with a 2.51 ERA, putting him in ninth in OSU’s record books.

Conforto takes the honor after being named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year – for the second consecutive season – and is Oregon State’s first-ever three-time All-American as he was named a first-team selection by Louisville Slugger. He also earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors three consecutive seasons, the first Beaver to have that distinction in more than a decade.

He led Oregon State to its sixth consecutive postseason appearance in 2014, and its third regional host during that stretch. He finished the season with a .345 batting average with seven home runs and 56 runs batted in, which is second only in the Pac-12 to teammate Dylan Davis’ 64. Conforto also walked a school-record 55 times in 2014, which leads the Pac-12 and is tied for second nationally.

Conforto leads the Pac-12 in slugging percentage (.547), on-base average (.504) and runs scored (52), is fifth in average (.345) and hits (70) and tied for third in both doubles (16) and total bases (111).

Source: Oregon State Athletics

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