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Three Ducks among 30 candidates for 2022 Senior CLASS Award ®

Mar 22, 2022

EUGENE – Three Oregon student-athletes have been selected as candidates for the 2022 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.
 
Third baseman Sam Novitske, left fielder Tanner Smith and closer Kolby Somers are among the 30 candidates released today.
 
Novitske, from Pleasanton, Calif. with a 3.65 GPA in business, has started more than 125 games during his four seasons at Oregon. He has collected over 130 hits while playing third base, shortstop and second base during his career. A member of the 2021 All-Eugene Regional Team, Novitske earned CoSIDA first-team All-District 8 honors in 2020 as well as being a member of the Spring Academic honor roll in both 2020 and 2021. Novitske spent time off the field taking part in Oregon's partnership with Team Impact.
 
Smith, from Newport Beach, Calif. 3.22 GPA in political science, earned third-team Collegiate Baseball All-America honors in 2021, finishing last season batting .324 with five home runs and 36 RBI while batting leadoff for the Ducks. He had a Pac-12 best 24 doubles, which set a new Oregon single-season record for two-baggers, while reaching base at a .417 clip and slugging .533. The Ducks' left fielder ranked third among all Pac-12 players with 33 extra-base hits. His 24 doubles ranked fifth nationally and his 0.44 doubles per game were the best in the Pac-12 and 12th overall in the country. Smith also tripled four times, which was good for second in the Pac-12 and 28th nationally. Smith earned a spot on the 2021 Dean's List and is a leader off the field taking part in O Heroes, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Team Impact.
 
Somers, a senior from Hillsboro, Ore. has already graduated with a degree in general social science – business and is working on his master's in sports product management. He claimed first-team All-Pac-12 Conference honors and NCBWA All-America honors last season, was dominant closing out games for the Ducks in 2021. The lefty finished the season with a 2-2 record and a 3.08 ERA with 11 saves. He fanned 37 in 26.1 innings pitched while holding opposing hitters to a .149 batting average. He ranked third in the Pac-12 in saves, as well as ranking sixth all-time in single-season saves at Oregon. His seven saves in conference games were the second most in the league, one behind the leader. Fourth all-time in career saves at Oregon, Somers has been involved with Team Impact, O Heroes and the Miracle League.