June 22, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Putting the finishing touches on one of the most successful seasons in school history, the Texas A&M baseball team announced its annual team award winners on Wednesday, as voted on by the members of the squad.
Texas A&M ended the 2011 campaign at 47-22, the sixth-most wins in school history, and wrapped up a school-record fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and the program's first College World Series berth since 1999.
MARION PUGH MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - Tyler Naquin
Sophomore right fielder Tyler Naquin was selected as the Marion Pugh Most Valuable Player after fashioning a Big 12 Player of the Year and All-America campaign during his second year in Aggieland. The Spring, Texas, native led the nation and ranked fourth in A&M single-season history with 104 hits as he batted a Big 12-best .381 on the season to earn second team All-America accolades from Collegiate Baseball.
Additionally, Naqiun doubled 23 times and notched seven triples to rank him in third place for a single season at A&M in both categories. The strong-armed outfielder notched seven outfield assists to rank among the national leaders while falling just one game short of the school record for consecutive games with a hit as he maintained an impressive 27-game hitting streak from March 30 to May 14. He also became the first Aggie since 2007 to accomplish one of baseball's rarest feats as he hit for the cycle on March 6 against Houston.
C.E. "PAT" OLSEN OUTSTANDING PITCHER AWARD - Ross Stripling
On a team that boasted three "ace" caliber pitchers, junior Ross Stripling enjoyed the most success for the Aggies on the mound in 2011 and was honored with the C.E. "Pat" Olsen Outstanding Pitcher Award.
The Southlake, Texas, product put together a 14-2 record with a 2.29 ERA to lead the nation in pitching victories and collect the third most wins ever on the mound by an Aggie, finishing just two off the school record of 16 set by James Gibson in 1976.
The right-hander was one of the nation's steadiest hurlers all season, ranking among the country's leaders in wins (14), strikeouts (113), innings pitched (125.2), opponent batting average (.202), complete games (4) and shutouts (1). He was selected as a third team All-American by Collegiate Baseball in addition to garnering a selection to the Capital One Academic All-America Third Team.
Among Stripling's most memorable performances of the 2011 season was a four-hit complete game shutout at No. 4 Texas on the final day of the regular season which clinched Texas A&M's share of the Big 12 regular season title.
MARION PUGH SPIRIT AWARD - Scott Arthur
In addition to aiding Texas A&M's cause on the field during the 33 games he played this spring, junior Scott Arthur proved to be a driving force for the Aggies in both the clubhouse and on the practice field. He was recognized for his efforts by his teammates who awarded him the Marion Pugh Spirit Award, which is given annually to the player who is most instrumental to team unity and who provides valuable leadership both on and off the field.
The Spring, Texas, native played in both the infield and outfield for the Aggies in 2011, fighting for playing time and pushing all those around him to be better every time they stepped between the white lines. On the field, Arthur used his game-changing speed to swipe eight bases on nine attempts while seeing action at five different positions.
WALLY MOON AWARD - Kyle Martin
The Wally Moon award is given annually to the player who shows the most improvement from the fall to the end of the season and this year sophomore pitcher Kyle Martin was recognized by his teammates as the recipient of the honor.
After playing sparingly out of the A&M bullpen as a freshman in 2010, Martin developed into one of the Aggies' most reliable late-inning options during this season's run to the College World Series. The Austin native made 33 appearances to tie for second all-time by an Aggie behind teammate Nick Fleece, who set a new high-water mark with 36 this season. Martin put together a 2-3 record on the mound with a 3.67 ERA and one save while striking out 38 batters during 41.2 innings pitched. Additionally, opposing hitters often left the plate frustrated after facing Martin, who held them to just a .238 batting average on the season.
LORAINE B. AND WILLIAM B. "BREEZY" BREAZEALE RBI AWARD - Jacob House
In just his first season wearing the maroon and white, junior first baseman Jacob House made his impression on the program, becoming the Aggies' best run producer in 2011 to earn the Loraine B. and William B. "Breezy" Breazeale RBI Award.
House, who joined the Aggies after spending two seasons at the University of Arkansas, lead A&M with 52 runs batted in, edging teammate Matt Juengel who notched 50 RBI on the season.
The Mansfield, Texas, native spent much of 2011 as the Aggies' clean-up batter and enjoyed great success by contributing a .301 batting average while finishing second on the squad with 16 doubles to go along with three home runs and a pair of triples. He enjoyed 11 multi-RBI games including a career-high four RBI on March 8 against Centenary and again on May 10 against Texas State. He also put together a perfect 5-for-5 day at the plate against Texas Tech during the Big 12 Championship on May 25 to collect the most hits in a game by an Aggie in 2011.