UK's Thomas on Olson award watch list

Kentucky's Micheal Thomas has been named to the Gregg Olson Award watch list, it was announced Monday.

The fifth-year senior catcher is among 80 players nationally being considered for college baseball's "breakout player of the year." He is one of seven SEC standouts on the list, joining Will Allen and Auston Bousfield of Ole Miss, Andy Cox of Tennesseee, Jon Keller of Alabama, Dillon Ortmon of Auburn and LSU's Andrew Stevenson.

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The Elizabethtown, Ky., native is hitting .299 with seven doubles, one triple, seven homers and 42 RBI this season for the Wildcats. He has caught 46 of UK's 50 games, including 25 consecutive starts dating back to March 26. He ranks fourth in the SEC in RBI and is third in throwing out 12 runners attempting to steal.

Thomas entered the season a career .232 hitter with just 10 extra-base hits, but has been a huge part of UK's high-powered offense this season. The Cats rank first in the SEC and fourth nationally in runs scored (394), first in home runs (51), first in on-base percentage (.403) and second in batting average (.303).

The award is named in honor of Olson, a former first-round draft pick from Auburn, who starred after a debut season with mixed results. The semifinalists will be named May 20 and finalists on June 6. The winner will be presented in Omaha, Neb., at the College World Series.

Kentucky (30-20) returns to action on Tuesday with its final non-conference game of the regular season, traveling to face host Murray State at Paducah's Brooks Stadium, with first pitch at 7 p.m. ET.

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