Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Bittle Named Finalist For 2009 Lowe's Senior Class Award
Right-hander Scott Bittle was named one of 10 finalists for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award which honors senior who have committed four years of excellence both on and off the playing field, Lowes and the NCAA announced recently.
The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award – which is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School – is an award which has developed into one of the nation’s premier tributes to college seniors. The award, which began with basketball in 2001, is now in its third year with baseball.
The finalists were chosen by a media committee from a list of 30 candidates based on qualities that define a complete student-athlete. These four primary areas of criteria include: classroom, community, character and competition.
Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the third annual winner, who will receive the award from Lowe’s during the NCAA Men’s College World Series this June in Omaha, Nebraska. The nationwide voting concludes on May 31. Fan balloting is available on the award’s official website and will be combined with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.
Fans can go vote at www.SeniorClassAward.com.
“It’s very flattering for Scott to be named as a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “But it’s also an honor for which he is certainly very deserving. He is having another tremendous season and once again, we would not be having the season we are having without him.”
Bittle has been the epitome of the traits put forth by candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. After battling through his sophomore season, Bittle returned for his junior year and helped lead his team to the program’s sixth straight NCAA Regional as he led the nation in strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched and led the Southeastern Conference in strikeouts with 130. He also posted a 7-1 record with eight saves as he earned First Team All-America honors.
After being drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 2008 MLB Draft, Bittle opted to return to Ole Miss for his senior season. He began the season as a closer, but has since transitioned into the role of weekend starter to help anchor the weekend rotation.
Since moving into Sunday starter role, Bittle has posted a 3-0 record with a 1.29 ERA and has posted 38 strikeouts while allowing on four runs in 28.0 innings of work. He pitched a complete-game shutout of Kentucky with a career-high 13 strikeouts and was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week for his efforts. He also turned in a streak of 21.1 scoreless innings pitched in the first three weekends as a starter covering games against LSU, Kentucky and South Carolina.