Five Pac-12 baseball players named Howser Trophy semifinalists

By the Pac-12 Conference

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Five Pac-12 baseball players have been named semifinalists for the 2013 Dick Howser Trophy presented by Easton Foundations, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced Thursday. The award, given to the top player in collegiate baseball, is based on two rounds of national voting.

The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager, who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration of the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.

The semifinalists from the Pac-12 are Mark Appel, Sr., Stanford; David Berg, So., UCLA; Brandon Dixon, Jr. Arizona; Ryan Kellogg, Fr., Arizona State; Jimmie Sherfy, Jr., Oregon.

Appel, the Pac-12 leader in strikeouts (110), ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with a 1.97 ERA and boasts a .201 opposing batting average. The All-American is 8-4 in 12 starts this season and has has tossed four complete games. He has issued just 20 walks and allowed 15 extra-base hits in 91.1 innings this season.

Berg, who has pitched 30.0 straight innings without allowing a run, owns a Pac-12-best 0.64 ERA. He is 6-0 in 35 appearances and has tallied 13 saves. He boasts a .188 opposing batting average and has notched 60 strikeouts versus seven walks.

Dixon leads the Conference in stolen bases (30), runs scored (52) and batting average and ranks second in both slugging percentage (.574) and on-base percentage (.444). He is only the fourth player in school history to steal at least 30 bases, score 40 runs and tally 40 RBI in the same season.

Kellogg, who sits at 10-0 for the season, is just the sixth Sun Devil to collect at least 10 wins in his freshman season. He owns a 3.36 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) and has thrown one complete game. He has fanned 47 batters and walked 14, while limiting opponents to a .233 batting average.

Sherfy, who is tied for the NCAA lead with 19 saves, needs just one more to break his own school record, which he established in 2012. He boasts a 1.00 ERA in 34 appearances this season and has struck out 50 batters while walking 13. He has held opposing batters to a .198 average.

The finalists will be announced on Thursday, June 6. The 2013 award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the third year. The winner will be unveiled on Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m. CT, the opening day of the 2013 CWS. USC's Mark Prior won the award in 2001.

For more information on the Dick Howser Trophy, including a complete list of semifinalists, visit www.sportswriters.net/ncbwa.

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