David Owen named to Gregg Olson Award watch list

JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) — Arkansas State sophomore pitcher David Owen has been named one of 80 players to the 2014 Gregg Olson Award Watch List, announced Thursday by Toolshed Sports.

Owen is the first Arkansas State player to ever be named to the watch list for the Olson Award, presented annually to honor college baseball's "Breakout Player of the Year." Owen is one of five Sun Belt Conference players that made the list, joined by Georgia State's Nic Wilson, South Alabama's Brandon Hallford and Louisiana-Lafayette's Cody Boutte and Jace Conrad.

Owen has made 13 starts on the mound in 2014 and holds a 5-5 record with a 3.86 ERA. He is third in the SBC with 68 strikeouts, while also ranking third with 29 batters struck out looking. He has started the first game of all nine of the Red Wolves' Sun Belt Conference weekend series after starting the year as the team's Sunday starter during non-conference play.

The Millington, Tenn., native struck out a career-high 10 at Alabama-Birmingham on March 2 of this year and then matched the total in the first SBC start of his career against UALR on March 14. He leads the team in strikeouts, ERA by a starter and opposing batting average by a starting pitcher.

The Gregg Olson 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.

Semifinalists will be named Friday, May 20th at the start of NCAA Regional play and the finalists will 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.