May 13, 2014
OMAHA, Neb. – Houston Baseball junior pitcher Aaron Garza has been named to the Gregg Olson Award Watch List, which honors the nation’s Breakout Player of the Year, announced Tuesday.
Garza has played an integral role in the Cougars’ 2014 success as the Friday night ace for the pitching staff. He owns a 2.16 ERA and a 7-4 record in 13 starts. He leads the staff with 91.2 innings pitched and is second-best with 51 strikeouts.
The Galveston, Texas native ranks fourth in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings at 0.69, totaling just seven walks. He has been a key contributor on the nation’s leading pitching staff that holds the nation’s top ERA at 1.96 and the nation’s leading WHIP at 0.98.
Garza opened the 2014 season with an impressive 6-0 record in his first six starts, becoming the first Cougar to accomplish this feat since Keith Whatley back in 2002. He has two complete games to his name, including the latest in his last start at UConn.
Garza owns wins over Nicholls State, Michigan, Texas Tech, USC, Towson, College of Charleston and UConn.
The right-hander is coming off a 2013 season that saw him finish with a 5-5 record and a 3.88 ERA in 13 starts. He has already surpassed his inning total from a year ago by nearly 30.0 innings. For that, he is one of 80 named to the Gregg Olson Award, which recognizes the improvement of a player from last year to this year.
Garza adds this to his resume after he was named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Midseason Award Watch List, honoring the nation's top player, while also earning American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week honors on March 3 and Houston College Classic Most Valuable Player recognition following his shutout win over then-No. 26 Texas Tech.
Garza joins utility player Bryce Beeler from Memphis, LHP Eric Skoglund from UCF and shortstop Pat Sweeney from Rutgers as the four named to the Watch List, representing the American Athletic Conference.
Former Houston standout pitcher Austin Pruitt was named to the Watch List a year ago (2013) in the inaugural season of the award.
For a complete list of the Watch List, CLICK HERE.
ABOUT THE GREGG OLSON AWARD
The award is named after former Auburn Tiger star pitcher Gregg Olson, who became one of the top collegiate players in the nation after an initial season filled with only mixed success. Olson went on to become a two-time All American, first round draft pick, American League Rookie of the Year and MLB All Star. Like Olson, these players have elevated their game to an elite level and in many instances their team has mirrored their success as a direct result.
Initial nominations were made by sports information/media contacts from schools across the country. The finalists and winner will be determined by an independent panel.
Semifinalists are slated to be named, Friday, May 20th at the start of NCAA Regional play and the finalists are scheduled to be announced on Friday, June 6th 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-June 25/26. 2013
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 14-June 24/25.
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Houston will return to the city to face Rice at Constellation Field (home of Sugar Land Skeeters) in Sugar Land, Texas at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are available at www.sugarlandskeeters.com.