April 28, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State players Ronnie Bourquin and J.B. Shuck are among the 64 candidates who appear on the watch list for the Dick Howser Trophy, given to the top player in collegiate baseball, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, announced Thursday.

Bourquin, a junior from Canton, Ohio (Canton South), leads the Buckeyes with a .401 batting average, 59 hits and 45 RBI. The Buckeyes’ third baseman has 11 doubles, two triples and four home runs for a slugging percentage of .585. Shuck, a true freshman from Galion, Ohio (Galion), owns the best ERA in the Big Ten at 1.29 and is tied for the conference lead with six victories, including three in the Big Ten. He has 42 strikeouts in 55.2 innings and has started eight of his nine appearances and one complete game. Shuck, who is listed on the watch list as a DH/Athlete, also has made 20 starts at either first base or in the outfield and has a .321 batting average with 25 hits and 15 RBI.

The membership of the NCBWA will choose the Dick Howser Trophy based on three rounds of voting. The 2006 winner will be announced at the College World Series in Omaha on Friday, June 16, at 10:30 a.m. EDT. The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-American 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 for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.

NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport’s only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.

The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser’s death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, RHP, Long Beach State, 2004; and Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005.