LUBBOCK, Texas—Four members of the back-to-back Big 12 Champion Texas A&M baseball team—first baseman Luke Anders, outfielder Kyle Colligan, and pitchers Travis Starling and Kyle Thebeau—were named to the 2009 Brooks Wallace Award preseason watch list, the Collegiate Baseball Foundation announced Friday.
The Wallace Award, presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player, is dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace. The CBF will trim the list twice late in the season before announcing the winner on July 2 in Lubbock.
Anders, a senior from College Station, a two-time All-Big 12 and All-Midwest Region selection, hit .349 with 58 RBI and a team-high 16 home runs in ’08. The Aggies’ leading returning hitter in ’09, Anders also led last year’s squad and the Big 12 in both slugging percentage (.660) and on-base percentage (.486). He is named to the Wallace Award watch list for the second consecutive year.
Colligan started 58 games in center field and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors after hitting .317 with 14 home runs and 39 RBI in 2008. The senior from Houston, who led the team in doubles (19) and runs scored (67), was named Most Valuable Player of the NCAA College Station Regional after smashing four home runs on the weekend.
Starling, a junior from Yoakum, established himself as one of the best closers in the Big 12 in ’08 after posting nine saves, third-best in the league. A unanimous first-team all-conference selection out of the pen, Starling also racked up an 8-2 record and set a new career high with eight innings of shutout relief in the Aggies’ 16-inning win at No. 5 Nebraska in May. He was also a Wallace Award watch list member in 2008.
Thebeau, the team’s C.E. “Pat” Olsen Outstanding Pitcher award winner, went 6-3 in ’08 with a 2.12 ERA that ranked second in the Big 12 and 15th nationally. The senior from Corpus Christi made a school-record 33 appearances, striking out 79 and holding opposing hitters to a .206 average. An All-Big 12 honoree, Thebeau allowed two hits or less in 27 of his 32 relief outings on the year.
The Aggies open the 2009 season on Friday, Feb. 20 against Wright State at Olsen Field. Season tickets are available now by calling 1-888-99-AGGIE or logging on to aggieathletics.com.
For more information on the Wallace Award or the Collegiate Baseball Foundation, as well as the complete watch list, log on to www.collegebaseballfoundation.org.
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