Two HBCU Baseball Players Make 2023 Dick Howser Trophy Semifinal List

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) has released its list of semifinalists for the 2023 Dick Howser Trophy. The voting was done by the NCBWA. The award, given to the top player in collegiate baseball, is based on two rounds of national voting. Two baseball players from Historically Black College and University (HBCU) are finalists.

Pitcher Omar Melendez of Alabama State and infielder Ty Hill of Jackson State made the semifinal list. The finalists will be announced on Thursday, June 8. The 2023 award will be presented at Charles Schwab Field in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the 11th year. The winner will be unveiled on MLB Network on Thursday, June 15, at 9 a.m Central Standard Time. A Friday, June 16 press conference with the winner will be held at 10 a.m., the opening day just prior to the first game of the 76th NCAA College World Series.

Melendez was chosen Black College Nines’ HBCU Baseball Pitcher of The Year and a member of BCN Elite First Team for the 2023 season. Melendez is 11-0 on the mound this season, tops in the SWAC. He also leads the SWAC in Earned Run Average (2.59), with 4 complete games in 87.0 innings pitched and with 92 strike outs. He has held conference opponents to a .241 batting average.

Hill, chosen as Black College Nines’ First Team Elite this year, leads the team in hitting at .390 in 50 games. He has recorded 67 hits, scoring 50 runs with an on-base percentage of .524 with 49 walks. He also has recorded 16 doubles, 4 triples, belted 6 home runs with 53 runs batted in.

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 includes performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.

The Dick Howser Trophy Committee, in conjunction with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce has released the list of semifinalists for the 2023 Dick Howser Trophy, presented by The Game Headwear. The most prestigious award in college baseball is given to the top player based on two rounds of national voting.

Balloting was done by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, in conjunction with the Dick Howser Trophy Committee and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

This is the 36th year of the Dick Howser Trophy.

This year’s 60 candidates hail from 17 different conferences and 42 different schools. The Southeastern Conferences leads with 12 semifinalists, followed by the Atlantic Coast with 11, Pac-12 with six, Big Ten with five, Big 12 and Sun Belt with four each, Conference USA with three, Big South, WAC, SWAC with two and America East, Southern, Summit and West Coast each with one representative. Wake Forest was represented with five semifinalists, LSU had three on the list and Arizona State, Arizona, Campbell, DBU, Florida, FGCU, Nebraska, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Stanford and Virginia each had two. Every position on the diamond is represented, including 11 outfielders, 10 first basemen, nine starting pitchers, seven second and third basemen, six catchers, five shortstops, three designated hitters and one utility player. The nation’s best relief pitcher will be named the NCBWA Stopper of the Year.

A previous HBCU baseball winner of the Howser Trophy is Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern University in 2003.

2023 Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalists:

Pos. Name, School

Kemp Aldersman, OF, Ole Miss

Max Anderson, 2B, Nebraska

Bryce Arnold, SS, Campbell

Jarrod Belbin, 2B, Campbell

Derek Bender, DH, Coastal Carolina

Jac Caglianone, 1B, Florida

Ryan Campos, C, Arizona State

Charlie Condon, OF, Georgia

Jonah Cox, OF, Oral Roberts

Jacob Cozart, C, NC State

Dylan Crews, OF, LSU

Chase Davis, OF, Arizona

Tyler Davis, 1B, Sam Houston State

Austin Deming, 3B, BYU

Kevin Dubrule, SS, Army-West Point

Eddie Felix, 2B, FGCU

Hunter Fitz-Gerald, 1B, Old Dominion

Ryan Galanie, 1B, Wofford

Jake Gelof, 3B, Virginia

Lucas Gordon, SP, Texas

Grant Jay, C, DBU

Tanner Hall, SP, Southern Miss

Calvin Harris, C, Ole Miss

Josh Hartle, SP, Wake Forest

Ty Hill, SS, Jackson State

Hunter Hines, DH, Mississippi State

Jack Hurley, OF, Virginia Tech

Jeremiah Jenkins, 1B, Maine

Justin Johnson, 2B, Wake Forest

Ryan Johnson, SP, DBU

Gavin Kash, 1B, Texas Tech

Luke Keaschall, 2B, Arizona State

Seth Keener, RP, Wake Forest

Joe Kinker, DH, FGCU

Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest

Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida

Shane Lewis, OF, Troy

Carson Liggett, SP, Louisville

Nick Lorruso, 3B, Maryland

Rhett Lowder, SP, Wake Forest

Brice Matthews, SS, Nebraksa

Omar Melendez, SP, Alabama State

Cole Messina, C, South Carolina

Braden Montgomery, OF, Stanford

Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami

Ethan Petry, OF, South Carolina

Alberto Rios, OF, Stanford

Roc Riggio, 2B, Oklahoma State

Kiko Romero, 1B, Arizona

Nolan Schanuel, 1B, Florida Atlantic

Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland

Paul Skenes, SP, LSU

Kyle Teel, C, Virginia

Zach Thornton, SP, Grand Canyon

Payton Tolle, Utility, Wichita State

Brock Vradenburg, 1B, Michigan State

Bryson Ware, 3B, Auburn

JJ Wetherholt, 2B, West Virginia

Tommy White, 3B, LSU

Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest


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