By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech senior shortstop David Garza has been named to the 2018 Brooks Wallace Award Watch List as announced by the College Baseball Foundation Thursday.
The award, sponsored by Mizuno, honors the nation's top shortstop and will be presented this summer by the College Baseball Foundation. It is named for former Texas Tech shortstop Brooks Wallace, who played for the Red Raiders from 1977 to 1980. Wallace died of leukemia at the age of 27.
"So many of these young men not only field their position well but also can hit with the best of them," said Larry Wallace, co-chairman of the Brooks Wallace Award. "Brooks would be amazed at some of the power exhibited in today's game."
Brooks would be particularly intrigued by the power and offensive prowess demonstrated by Garza, who leads the group of 53 nominees in home runs (11), RBI (48) and slugging percentage (.638). He also ranks third among the nation's most talented shortstops in runs scored, trailing only Troy's Matt Sanders and Coastal Carolina's Seth Lancaster. The Golden Eagle veteran has reached base in 38 consecutive game dating back to last season and has not missed a game since transferring to Tech in 2016 from Edmonds Community College.
Garza has been particularly impressive with the bat since the start of April, helping Tech climb to No. 21 in the national polls and own the country's longest winning streak of 22 games. In 11 games this month, the Othello, Wash. native is batting .400 with 17 runs scored, 18 hits, two doubles, a whopping seven home runs, 22 RBI, 11 walks and an on base percentage of .526.
A team leader on and off the field, Garza is a five-time member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll and earned a place on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll last season. Last season, he took home All-OVC First Team honors and was also a member of the 2017 Brooks Wallace Award Watch List.
"The college game is taking on a Major League feel, i.e. shortstops like Carlos Correa of the World Series Champion Astros, as so many players hit for high average and power," said Tom Quigley, co-chairman of the Brooks Wallace Award. "This year it will be a tough choice to narrow down the field for the award. A lot of conferences are represented, and we are seeing so much depth nationwide in NCAA baseball."
For more information on the Brooks Wallace Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.
Photo by Tony Marable