May 30, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Georgia Tech juniors Daniel Palka and Zane Evans were each named to the 2013 Louisville Slugger All-America Team, which was chosen by the staff of Collegiate Baseball newspaper and announced on Thursday.
Evans, a catcher, and Palka, an outfielder, were each named to the Third Team, becoming the 45th and 46th players in Georgia Tech’s history that have collected a total of 112 All-America honors. The last Yellow Jacket named a Louisville Slugger All-American was second-team pitcher Mark Pope in 2011.
Both Palka and Evans, who are each semifinalists for the Dick Hoswer Trophy that is presented to college baseball’s top player, have combined to help lead the Yellow Jackets back to the NCAA postseason for the 29th time in school history.
Evans has done it all as the first-team All-ACC catcher is hitting a team-best .369 (third in the ACC), with career-highs in hits (83), home runs (14) and RBI (62). Along with ranking third in the ACC in batting average, Evans is second in home runs, fourth in RBI, fourth in slugging percentage (.613) and fifth in hits. He is the ACC’s only player in the league’s top five in hits, homers, batting average and RBI.
Evans, a native of Roswell, Ga., has collected a team-best eight game-winning RBI. As Tech’s closer on the mound, he has a win, a team-best three saves and a 3.44 ERA. Along with the Dick Howser Trophy, Evans is also a semifinalist for both the Golden Spikes Award (nation’s top amateur player) and the Johnny Bench Award (top college catcher), and is on the watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.
Palka, like Evans, was a first-team All-ACC pick in the outfield and has started all 59 games. The junior is the ACC’s leader with a career-best 17 home runs and is second in the league with a .637 slugging percentage and third with 65 RBI. The slugger homered in four consecutive games earlier this year, and twice has homered on consecutive at bats. His 41 career homers leads all active ACC players and ranks fourth nationally.
The lefty from Lyman, S.C., has also emerged on the mound, and is 2-1 with a 0.79 ERA in seven appearances. Both of wins have come in relief against No. 1 North Carolina and No. 7 Florida State.
Georgia Tech (34-25) opens plays in the Nashville Regional on Friday at 2 p.m. ET versus Illinois at Vanderbilt’s Hawkins Field. The game can be seen on ESPN3.