Texas A&M senior pitcher Ross Stripling was among 30 NCAA baseball student-athletes who were recognized for excellence both on and off the field as this week he was selected as candidate for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Stripling chose to stay in school and finish out his degree in finance instead of turning pro after he was drafted in the ninth round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Colorado Rockies.
Stripling blossomed into one of the country’s most dependable starting pitchers as a junior in 2011, along the way leading the country in wins with 14 and garnering All-America honors. Following the season, he was selected as an All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings (first team), Collegiate Baseball (third team) and College Baseball Insider (honorable mention). Starting in the bullpen, the right-hander racked up three saves (one later in postseason play) and a 0.00 ERA before being transitioned into the starting rotation a month into the season. He finished with a 2.29 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 125.2 innings pitched, while holding opponents to a team-low .202 batting average. On the final day of the regular season, Stripling tossed a four-hit complete game shutout at No. 4 Texas to give the Aggies a share of the Big 12 Regular Season Championship. Stripling was a key reason the Aggies made their fifth-ever trip to Omaha, Neb., and the College World Series as he went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and one save during four appearances in the NCAA Tournament. For his career, Stripling has 22 victories on the mound, ranking him at No. 11 on the Texas A&M all-time list.
He was first team All-Big 12 as a sophomore and junior and maintains a 3.61 GPA. A team-first individual, Stripling has filled a variety of roles during his time in College Station with a “whatever helps the ball club” attitude. He is also very active in the Bryan/College Station communities, going above and beyond what is expected of Texas A&M student-athletes.
Stripling was the only Big 12 player to be selected to the list of thirty finalists.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I head coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.