University of Louisville sophomore pitcher and first baseman Brendan McKay was named Friday as the John Olerud Two-way Player of the Year Award winner becoming the first repeat winner of the prestigious honor.
After winning the award as a freshman in 2015, the Darlington, Pennsylvania native did not suffer from any kind of sophomore slump successfully maintaining his status as the nation’s top two-way player. McKay put up tremendous numbers in 2016 en route to earning All-America honors from six different organizations as well as garnering All-Atlantic Coast Conference First Team accolades as both a pitcher and hitter. He was also a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, which honors the top player in all of college baseball.
“It’s hard to imagine that Brendan could put up even better numbers this year than he did in winning the award as a freshman, but that’s exactly what he did,” Olerud Award co-chairman George Watson said. “Brendan showed the kind of leadership on the mound, at the plate and in the field that is indicative of what we look for with the Olerud Award. We are pleased to have Brendan as our winner for the second straight year.”
McKay, who is competing with the USA Collegiate National Team for the second straight year, finished the season 12-4 with a 2.30 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 109.2 innings. The 128 strikeouts are the third-highest single-season total in school history and his 21 career wins ranks sixth in school history. At the plate, McKay closed the year hitting .333 with six home runs, 41 RBI, 19 doubles and 43 runs scored. He hit .455 with a home run and three RBIs to earn Most Outstanding Player honors at the NCAA Louisville Regional.
The Olerud award is named for the former Washington State University standout who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s and who was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The award will be presented Saturday as part of the Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions celebration in Lubbock.
It will be presented along with the National Pitcher of the Year Award, the Brooks Wallace Award for the most outstanding shortstop and the Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year Award. For more information on the Olerud Award or the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.
The Cardinals closed the 2016 season with a 50-14 record overall after winning their second straight ACC Atlantic Division championship, advancing to their fourth straight NCAA Super Regional and reaching the 50-win plateau for the fourth time in school history.
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