July 6, 2006
HOUSTON - University of Houston junior righthander/DH Brad Lincoln was honored Thursday as the winner of the 2006 CSTV.com Player of the Year Award following a season-long vote of college baseball experts.
Lincoln took over the outright lead in the voting in the next-to-last poll and pulled away in the final balloting to earn the award with 63 points, 15 points ahead of James Madison's Kellen Kulbacki. The Clute, Texas, native collected four first-place votes to lead all players.
It was the fifth national player of the year honor for Lincoln following the 2006 season. Earlier, he received the Dick Howser Trophy and the Brooks Wallace Award and was named the Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings and Rivals.com. He became the first player in both UH and Conference USA history to be honored as a baseball national player of the year.
The members of the 10-person voting panel had much to say in praise of Lincoln.
"No player meant as much to his team as did Lincoln," said SEBaseball.com's Mark Etheredge. He was arguably the top pitcher in the country and also was the Cougars' top power source.
"His pitching numbers stand up well on their own, but when you add in his contributions at the plate, Lincoln is clearly the Player of the Year," said NCAA-Baseball.com's Jeremy Mills.
Lincoln, who was a 2006 consensus First-Team All-American, emerged as one of the nation's finest all-around players in 2006. He compiled a sparkling 12-2 record with a 1.69 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 127.2 innings of work. Those numbers were even better in C-USA games only where he assembled a 7-0 record with a 1.28 ERA.
Lincoln's strikeout total ranked as the third-best mark in UH single-season history and moved him into third in UH career history with 293 punchouts.
He was named a C-USA Pitcher of the Week four times during the regular season and was honored as the Pro-Line Cap National Pitcher of the Week after tossing a five-hit shutout with nine strikeouts in the series opener at No. 1 Rice on May 12.
He was honored as the C-USA Pitcher of the Year while also being named to the league's First Team and was recognized at DH on the C-USA All-Tournament Team for his performance at the plate.
Lincoln was one of the Cougars' leading hitters all season. In 2006, he compiled a .295 batting average with 14 home runs and a team-leading 53 RBIs. His three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Cougars to an 11-10 win over Texas-San Antonio in the season on opener on Feb. 7.
With his pitching and offensive numbers, Lincoln ranked among the Top 10 C-USA individual leaders in five of the six Triple Crown categories for the majority of the 2006 season.
Lincoln blasted a home run and earned a pitching win in games at UC Irvine and against C-USA rival Tulane earlier this season. With that, he joined current San Diego Padre pitcher Woody Williams as the only players to hit a home run and collect a win from the mound in the same game twice during their careers.
Lincoln became the first player in both school and Conference USA history to be taken among the Top 10 picks of Major League Baseball's amateur draft June 6 when he was selected at No. 4 by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In addition to the CSTV.com Player of the Year Award, Lincoln is one of four finalists for the Roger Clemens Award, presented to the nation's top collegiate pitcher. That honor will be presented on July 12 at the Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston.
The staff of CSTV.com contributed to this report.