Darren Baker Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – California second baseman Darren Baker was named as one of 10 finalists for the 2021 Senior CLASS Award on Monday. The award honors senior student-athletes who excel both on and off the field.
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. Baker and the nine other finalists – including Oregon State's Jake Mulholland and UCLA's Zach Pettway – were chosen by a selection committee from a list of 30 candidates previously announced on April 8.
Baker, a four-year starter with 156 career starts under his belt, has put together his best individual season as a Golden Bear in 2021. The preseason All-American has career-highs in nearly every statistical category, including batting average (.333), runs (34), stolen bases (24), on-base percentage (.413) and fielding percentage (.990). He carried a 42-game reached-base streak until April 25 and owns a team-leading 19 multi-hit performances this spring.
Baker is a .302 career hitter and finds himself just 12 hits shy of 200 for his career (188) as of May 10.
The Granite Bay, California, native impacted his community in a big way throughout 2020, raising over $11,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to help rebuild small businesses that were victims of looting in the Sacramento area. Shortly after the bulk of the 2020 season was canceled, Baker donated 1,000 meals to Feeding America to help families who struggled financially during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baker will graduate from Cal later this summer with his degree in American Studies.
Cal fans can help Baker win the award by voting on the Senior CLASS Award website through June 7. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the 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. The Senior CLASS Award recipient will be announced during the 2021 College World Series in June. Visit seniorCLASSaward.com for more info about the 10 finalists.
2021 Senior CLASS Award Baseball Finalists
Darren Baker, California
T.J. Collett, Kentucky
Scott Dubrule, Mississippi State
Brett Harris, Gonzaga
Alex Kachler, North Florida
Jake Mulholland, Oregon State
Zach Pettway, UCLA
Evan Russell, Tennessee
Andy Thomas, Baylor
Rankin Woley, Auburn