HISTORY OF THE GREGG OLSON AWARD
2015 Winners: Andrew Benintendi, Arkansas and Kyle Lewis, Mercer
In an injury-hampered freshman season in 2014, Benintendi hit .276 with a single home run.Benintendi exploded on to the scene as a sophomore, becoming the first college baseball player to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in a season since 2009. He won both the 2015 Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Awards led the Southeastern Conference in batting average, home runs, on-base and slugging percentage.
In 2014 played in 42 games but only started 17 of the contests. Lewis hit a respectable .281 but didn’t contribute much else offensively, only adding three doubles and a pair of home runs. In 2015 Lewis was a breakout national performer and led the Southern Conference with a .367 batting average and 17 home runs and finished fifth with 56 RBIs to fall just shy of the league's triple crown. Lewis was named the SoCon Player of the Year and earned Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Second Team All-America honors in 2015.
2014 Winner: Sam Moore, UC Irvine
His first two seasons on the mound at UCI, Moore had a 5.52 ERA in 16 total appearances. This year the junior hurler emerged to be one of the best closers in the college game, earning 23 saves to establish new record both for UC Irvine as well as the Big West. If Moore is able to earn another save in Omaha he'll tie the NCAA single season record. Moore also a complied a 1.88 ERA and struckout 38 strikeouts in 43 innings.
2013 Winner: Scott Baker, Ball State
Baker went 12-2 with a 2.18 ERA and limited opponents to a .227 batting average in 111.2 innings. He pitched five complete games and featured excellent command of his pitches, striking out 88 and walking 35. If you had watched Ball State baseball last season you probably would not have predicted Scott would have had this level of success in his second year. As a true freshman Scott was 0-1 while appearing in 15 games mostly as a reliever. He also had a 6.15 ERA and struck out 30 batters while walking 23.