MTSU senior left-hander Zac Curtis was named a semifinalist on Friday for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award presented by Toolshed Sports. The award is given to the top amateur baseball player who elevates his game to an elite level throughout the season.
The Hendersonville native posted a 9-3 record with a stellar 1.89 ERA in 15 appearances. In 114.0 innings pitched, Curtis threw a nation-leading 136 punchouts. His total strikeouts this year is second all-time in a single-season at Middle Tennessee. The left-hander threw five complete games, recording two shutouts. He tossed MT's first two-hit game in five years at FIU. Curtis tossed double-figure strikeouts in eight contests.
Curtis earned Conference USA Pitcher of the Week honors three times and was named a first team All-Conference USA selection. Three other C-USA student-athletes were selected to the semifinalist list including East Carolina P Ryan Williams, FIU P Mike Franco, and UAB P Chase Mallard.
After a freshman season at Auburn filled with only mixed success, Gregg Olson became one of the top collegiate players in the nation during an outstanding, unprecedented sophomore season. Despite being omitted from any preseason All American lists, Olson went on to lead the entire nation in ERA with a 1.26 mark and compiled an incredible 11-1 record with 10 saves for the Tigers.
Following a summer pitching for the USA National Team where he lead the club in strikeouts, Olson returned to Auburn for another spectacular season. He led the SEC with a 2.00 ERA and amassed a triple-digit strikeout total, issuing 113 K's in only 72 innings with only 27 walks. He finished his collegiate career with back-to-back First Team All American honors, a 25-7 record, 3.03 ERA, 20 saves, 271 strikeouts and redefined the way college coaches used their top pitcher.
The Olson Award has been developed to honor college baseball's success stories and showcase players like Olson who have raised the level of their game through hard work, strength of mind and determination. Eligible players will be those who are omitted from major publication's preseason All American prognostications; however by the end of the season their on the field performance will demonstrate that they are among the top amateur baseball players in the nation.
Finalists are scheduled to be announced on Friday, June 6 at the beginning of Super Regional action. The winner of the 2014 Gregg Olson Award will be named in Omaha, Nebraska during the College World Series which is to be held this season at TD Ameritrade Park from June 15-26, 2014.
2014 Gregg Olson Award Semifinalists
Will Allen - C - Ole Miss
Cody Boutte - P - Louisiana
Taylor Clarke - P - College of Charleston
Shawn Clowers - P - Liberty
Jace Conrad - 2B - Louisiana
Andy Cox P - Tennessee
Zac Curtis P - Middle Tennessee
Andro Cutura - P - Southeast Louisiana
Tyler Davis - P - Washington
Montana Durapau - P - Bethune-Cookman
Mike Franco - P - Florida International
Kyle Freeland - P - Evansville
Casey Jones - IF/OF - Elon
Scott Kingery - OF - Arizona
Nathan Kirby - P - Virginia
Brandon Koch - P - Dallas Baptist
Ryan Koopman - P - Campbell
Jacob Lindgren - P - Mississippi State
Jordan Luplow - OF - Fresno St
Chase Mallard - P - UAB
Sam Moore - P - UC Irvine
Tyler Neslony - OF - Texas Tech
Connor Owings - IF/OF - Coastal Carolina
Max Pentecost - C - Kennesaw St
Rohn Pierce - P - Canisius
DJ Ruhlman - SS - Seton Hall
Scott Schaub - 3B - Jacksonville
Ryan Seiz - 2B - Liberty
Eric Skoglund - P - UCF
Andrew Stevenson - OF - LSU
Jake Stinnett - P - Maryland
Matt Warren - P - Creighton
Drew Weeks - OF - North Florida
Ryan Williams - P - East Carolina
Nic Wilson - 1B - Georgia St
Brian Wolfe - OF/1B - Washington