Tide's Rutledge Contends For Award

CLEMSON, S.C – Alabama junior All-SEC shortstop Josh Rutledge is one of 10 semifinalists for the 2010 Brooks Wallace Award, the College Baseball Foundation and Hall of Fame announced Thursday. The Brooks Wallace Award is presented annually to the best shortstop in college baseball.

Rutledge is the Southeastern Conference's lone representative and one of only three shortstops playing in this weekend's NCAA Super Regional among the 10 semifinalists.

Alabama is at Clemson and the Crimson Tide will play the Tigers in the best-of-three series beginning Saturday at 6 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. central time). The game will be televised nationally by ESPNU. The second game of the series will be played Sunday at 7 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. CDT and will be televised by ESPN2. The third game, if necessary, will be played on Monday at either 1 p.m. EDT/Noon CDT or 7 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. CDT on ESPN2.

"Certainly, this is a tremendous honor for Josh and the University of Alabama," Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Josh is one of the best shortstops in the country and he has had a tremendous year for us. I think it says a lot about the type of player he is to be listed among the best players in the country at his position. This is a well-deserved honor."

The complete list of semifinalists includes Adam Bryant (Troy), Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton), Derek Dietrich (Georgia Tech), Brodie Green (Texas A&M), Jedd Gyorko (West Virginia), Carter Jurica (Kansas State), Drew Maggi (Arizona State), Ryan Soares (George Mason) and B.A. Vollmuth (Southern Mississippi).

In 64 games this season, Rutledge is hitting .365 (104-for-265) with 10 home runs and 69 RBI. He has had a career year at the plate with career highs in games played (64), at-bats (265), hits (104), doubles (16), home runs (10) and RBI (69). He leads the team with 35 multi-hit games and 20 multi-RBI games. He has reached base in 59 of 64 games and hit safely in 56 of 64 games.

He is sixth all-time at Alabama with 276 career hits and his 104 hits in 2010 are the fourth-most in a season by an Alabama player. He has hit safely in 32 of 34 games away from Tuscaloosa, including a 26-game road hitting streak, where he is batting .376 (47-for-122) with six home runs and 28 RBI.

He is the Tide's second-leading hitter this postseason with a .375 (15-for-40) batting average with 12 runs scored, one double, two homers and 10 RBI. He leads the team in hits (15) and runs scored (12) and ranks second in RBI (10) this postseason.

The Wallace Award, presented by Mizuno, will be presented in Lubbock, Texas, on July 2 as part of the College Baseball Awards Show. The College Baseball Awards Show will take place on July 2 in Lubbock, Texas, as part of a nearly weeklong schedule of festivities sponsored by the College Baseball Foundation. The events also include the induction ceremony for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.


*The Alabama baseball team arrived in Clemson, S.C. Thursday afternoon and held a 75-minute practice at Southern Wesleyan College, a Division III school in nearby Anderson, S.C.

*Both Alabama and Clemson will practice at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday and meet with the media prior to the start of the NCAA Super Regional.

*Coach Gaspard, junior right-hander Jimmy Nelson, junior right-hander Nathan Kilcrease, sophomore center fielder Taylor Dugas and Rutledge are scheduled to meet with the ESPN crew as well. The series opener will be televised by ESPNU, while the final two games are on ESPN 2. Mark Neely and former LSU All-American Ben McDonald will describe the action this weekend.

*Two Alabama players – senior first baseman Clay Jones and Kilcrease – are being featured on national college baseball websites on Friday. Mark Schlabach has a feature on Jones at ESPN.com, while Sean Ray shares his Q&A with Kilcrease at CollegeBaseballInsider.com.

Clay Jones and junior right-hander Jason Townsend had their names called on the final day of the 2010 Major League Draft in day two of the first-year player draft on Wednesday.

Alabama had five current players and three signees taken in the first two days of the draft, giving the Crimson Tide 11 players and signees tabbed in this year's MLB draft.

"I think we had a good draft and I have very happy for all of our players and signees," Gaspard said. "I am really happy for Clay Jones. He has had a tremendous year and I am glad he will get an opportunity at the next level. He certainly deserves it."

Townsend was the second player chosen on Wednesday as the Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the 31st round. He was the 927th overall selection. Jones was taken in the 32nd round by the Detroit Tigers as the 973rd overall selection.

Townsend is 2-1 with a 6.25 ERA in 21 appearances this season. He recorded a career-high six strikeouts against LSU on April 16 and tossed a career high five innings against Mississippi on May 14. He earned his first collegiate win with a two scoreless innings in the Tide's 6-5 win over Auburn on April 3.

Jones is hitting .329 (78-for-237) with a team-leading 17 home runs and 65 RBI in 64 starts. Jones has tied two UA single-game records this season. He tied the school record with four walks in the Tide's 10-5 win at No. 23 Southeastern Louisiana on April 14. Three days later, he set the single-game record with 18 putouts by a first baseman in a 14-inning loss to LSU on April 18. He hit a three-run home run in the Tide's 10-8 win at No. 8 Georgia Tech as the Crimson Tide captured the Atlanta Regional Championship on Monday night.

UA signee Austen Smith was taken in the 48th round by the New York Mets. The Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic High School standout was the 1,442nd overall pick.

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