ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico sophomore relief pitcher Victor Sanchez has been named to the watch list for the Gregg Olson Award. He is one of 80 players from across the country up for the award, which goes to the Breakout Player of the Year.
An Albuquerque native, Sanchez pitched just 8.0 innings over nine appearances as a redshirt freshman in 2013. He posted a 6.75 ERA and allowed opponents to hit .303 off him. This season, though, he has been the anchor of UNM's superb bullpen.
In 19 appearances, including two early-season starts, he is 4-0 with nine saves and a 1.06 ERA. He has struck out 29 in 34.0 innings and opponents are hitting a meager .132 off him. He allows less than one base runner per inning and has given up just two extra-base hits all season. From April 5 to May 4, a span of seven appearances, he did not allow a single hit over 8.1 innings.
Sanchez is one of three Mountain West players up for the award. A full list of players named to the watch list can be found here. Sanchez is also on the watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award, which is given to the best relief pitcher in the nation.
This is the second straight year a Lobo has been nominated for the award. Last season senior pitcher Gabe Aguilar was a semifinalist after lowering his ERA from 7.20 in just 5.0 innings to 2.58, a 5-2 record and three saves in 38.1 innings over 29 appearances.
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.
Initial nominations were made by sports information/media contacts from schools across the country. The finalists and winner will be determined by an independent panel.
Semifinalists are slated to be named, Friday, May 30th at the start of NCAA Regional play and the finalists are scheduled to be announced on Friday, June 6th 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-June 25/26. 2013
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 14-June 24/25.