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Clowers and Seiz Named Gregg Olson Award Semifinalists
Liberty pitcher Shawn Clowers and second baseman Ryan Seiz have been named semifinalists for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award. The award honors college baseball's "Breakout Player of the Year." Clowers and Seiz are two out of 36 players selected as semifinalists for the honor.
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.
Finalists for the award, presented by Toolshed Sports, will be named on June 6, with the winner of the 2014 Gregg Olson Award being named in Omaha, Neb. during the College World Series, June 14-June 24/25.
Clowers, a junior, became a key member of the Liberty bullpen this season. The left-hander posted a 9-0 record and a 0.89 ERA over 54 1/3 innings in 2014. He made a team-leading 23 appearances, all in relief, setting career highs for wins, ERA, innings pitched and appearances. Clowers struck out 48 batters, walked 14 and held opponents to a .166 batting average this season.
With nine wins, Clowers tied for third in the Big South Conference in victories. The Axton, Va., native also earned Co-Big South Pitcher of the Week honors for March 17-23, this season.
Before this year, Clowers had made a combined 20 appearances during his first two seasons at Liberty. He had never pitched more 13 2/3 innings in a single year.
Seiz, also a junior, started every game for the Flames in his first season at Liberty. The second baseman was named the 2014 Big South Player of the Year after leading the Big South Conference in runs scored, home runs, slugging percentage and total bases. Last week, he was selected to the second team of the Louisville Slugger All-America squad, becoming the first Flame to ever be named to a postseason All-American team.
Seiz led Liberty in batting average (.351), runs scored (55), home runs (12), on base percentage (.429), total bases (137) and slugging percentage (.593). The Perkasie, Pa., native also had 43 RBIs and helped solidify the Liberty defense with his play at second base.
During the year, Seiz was named the NCBWA National Hitter of the Week for the week ending March 2, along with earning ECAC Player of the Week honors for March 30 of the season. He was tabbed the Big South Player of the Week twice this season.
Seiz entered the weekend ranked nationally in several offensive categories. The second baseman ranked 14th in total bases, 15th in home runs and 20th in slugging percentage
Seiz sat out last season after transferring from Louisville.