Nov. 28, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University senior outfielder Jay Miller is one of 120 college baseball student-athletes named to the initial watch list for the 2006 Brooks Wallace Award presented by the College Baseball Foundation.
Last season Miller batted .322 with three home runs, 12 doubles and 32 RBI as he was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection. He finished his junior season with 215 career hits, 10th all-time at WSU, while his 45 career doubles are two shy of breaking into the Top 10. He posted 22 multi-hit games in 2005, including a 4-for-5 performance against Utah Valley State where he drove home four runs, scored three times and had a triple and home run.
Miller is one of 11 Pac-10 players named to the initial Wallace Watch, joining pitchers Hector Ambriz (UCLA), Dallas Buck (Oregon State), Keith Gunderson (Oregon State), Ian Kennedy (USC) and Tim Lincecum (Washington), outfielders Brennan Boesch (California), Colin Curtis (Arizona State) and Michael Taylor (Stanford), shortstop Chris Minnaker (Stanford) and first basemen Jordan Brown (Arizona).
Now in its third year, the award is presented annually to the national college baseball player of the year. Last year's winner was third basemen Alex Gordon of Nebraska. The list will be trimmed to 12 semi-finalists in May, and then down to three finalists following the Super Regionals in June.
Dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech shortstop and assistant coach, Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Texas Tech from 1977 to 1980. A 4-year starter, he was named All-Southwest Conference and All-District Six his senior year when he led the Red Raiders to their first-ever appearance in the Southwest Conference Tournament. After playing two years in the Texas Rangers organization, he returned to Texas Tech and served as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach. In the summer of 1984 he was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27.
The selection committee for the Wallace Award is comprised of a national panel of preeminent coaches, sports information directors, former winners and beat media who most closely follow the sport. Screening Committee members will evaluate the candidates and will continue their review throughout the entire baseball season. The list will expand and contract during the regular season and additional Wallace Watch candidates may be added as the season progresses. Voting for the three finalists and the Wallace Award winner will be conducted by confidential balloting, with totals tabulated by the J.W.Anderson & Associates accounting firm in Lubbock, TX.
The Cougars begin their 2006 season Feb. 10-12 at the Buccaneer Baseball Classic, hosted by Charleston Southern in Charleston, S.C. WSU opens against East Tennessee State on Feb. 10.
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