OMAHA, Neb. (May 13, 2014) – Senior Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) of the Rutgers baseball team has been named a candidate for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award, presented by Toolshed Sports. The award honors college baseball’s “Breakout Player of the Year.”
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.
After hitting .191 as a junior, Sweeney has raised his production as a senior to .338, fifth-best in the American Athletic Conference. He has already connected for career-highs with 11 doubles and four triples this season to accumulate a .493 slugging percentage. Additionally, he has a .436 on-base percentage to lead RU and rank sixth in the conference.
Sweeney is the second-toughest batter in the league to strikeout at a rate of once every 10.9 at bats. He was previously named to the Brooks Wallace Award list, an honor given to the top shortstops in the nation.
In 46 games and starts, Sweeney has 14 multiple-hit games, including two with four hits. He went 4-for-4 against Hofstra to spark a streak of 10 consecutive plate appearances reaching base over three games. Sweeney also went 4-for-4 with a double, home run, three runs and three RBIs in a win over Fordham. He has elevated himself from eighth or ninth in the lineup to fifth.
Sweeney is one of 80 candidates nationally.
Semifinalists for the Olson Award are slated to be named, Friday, May 30 at the start of NCAA Regional play and the finalists are scheduled to be announced on Friday, June 6 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 15-25/26, 2014. For more information about the award visit http://www.olsonaward.com.