May 18, 2012
DALLAS - Missouri State sophomore pitcher Nick Petree was one of 10 Division I starting pitchers and 35 players nationwide named semifinalists for the 2012 Dick Howser Trophy Friday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The award, given to the top player in collegiate baseball, is based on two rounds of national voting, with the winner announced on June 15, the opening day of the 2012 College World Series, at TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha.
A three-time MVC Pitcher of the Week honoree in 2012 and the lone Valley player included among the Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists, Petree was previously named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame's National Pitcher of the Year watch list. The Clinton, Mo., turned in the nation's longest scoreless innings streak this season, working a Missouri State-record 38.1 consecutive shutout frames from April 6-May 17, as well as 73.0 straight innings without giving up an earned run (March 2-May 17).
Petree, who brought the nation's top individual earned run average into the final week of the regular season, leads the Missouri Valley Conference in victories (10) and ranks fourth on the Bears' single-season wins list. Additionally, the right-hander became just the seventh pitcher in school history to surpass the 100-strikeout plateau in a season in Thursday's 6-3 setback at Indiana State.
This season marks the 26th year of the Dick Howser Trophy presented by Easton Foundations. The candidates hail from 17 different conferences and 32 different schools. The Big 12 leads the way with six semifinalists, followed by the Southeastern Conference with five, ACC with three and the Colonial Athletic Association, Conference USA, Southland, Southern and West Coast Conferences with two. Every position on the diamond but shortstop is represented, including 10 starting pitchers, five outfielders, four catchers, second basemen and relief pitchers, three first basemen, two third basemen and utility players and one designated hitter, among this diversified group.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager, who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration of the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.
The Bears (35-18, 11-7 MVC) will try to lock down the No. 2 seed at next week's State Farm MVC Championship in Springfield with a 5:30 p.m. (Central) against the regular-season league champ Indiana State (41-13, 14-5 MVC) Friday in Terre Haute.