May 7, 2012
ATLANTA – A pair of Georgia Tech baseball standouts — senior Jake Davies and sophomore Zane Evans — have been named to the initial watch list for the 2012 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, which was announced by the College Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday.
Of the 20 players named to the list, Davies and Evans are the lone representatives from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Only Tech and the University of Florida had multiple players named on the watch list for the award, which recognizes the top two-way player in college baseball.
The award, named for the Washington State star who achieved success as both a first baseman and a right-handed pitcher, will be presented as part of the annual College Baseball Night of Champions on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas.
Evans, who is also on the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award (college baseball’s best catcher), is hitting .287 with 11 doubles, a triple, a home run and 34 RBI in 43 starts. On the mound, the righty has collected a team-leading three saves, has fanned 27 batters and waked just eight in 27 innings. Evans, a native of Roswell, Ga., has gunned down nine potential steal attempts in 27 chances this season (33 percent), including three of the last four against him. Tech is 55-24 in the past two seasons (16-6 in 2012) when the reigning Freshman All-America starts at catcher. Last year, Evans became the first freshman to serve as Tech’s everyday starting catcher since Jason Varitek in 1991.
The hard-hitting Davies leads the ACC with 53 RBI this season, and owns a 3.45 ERA in 10 appearances on the mound. The lefty has struck out 11 in 15.2 innings. Offensively, the McDonough, Ga. native is hitting .335 with eight doubles, a career-best eight home runs and was tabbed the ACC Player of the Week after keying a series win at then-No. 6 North Carolina in late April. Davies has made 46 starts and drawn 20 walks against 16 strikeouts in 176 at bats.
Georgia Tech, which is 29-19 overall and has won eight of its last 11 games, hosts Georgia Wednesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium in the rubber game of the rivals’ three-game season series. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by calling 1-888-TECH-TIX or visiting RamblinWreck.com/tickets.