COLUMBUS, Ohio – Seth Kinker, a senior pitcher on the Ohio State baseball team, is a candidate for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award, the organization announced Wednesday. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot.
“I am truly honored to be named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award and join a list of student-athletes across the nation who have excelled on and off the field,” Kinker said. “I am blessed with the opportunity to call myself an Ohio State Buckeye for four years now and I have been gifted with the amount of resources Ohio State has provided on and off the diamond.”
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring.
Kinker, from Huntington, W. Va., has been a key member for the Buckeye pitching staff the last four years. Kinker has made 88 career appearances, which ranks seventh in school history. In his career, he is 12-4 with a 2.25 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 152.0 innings pitched. In 2018, Kinker has been strong again on the mound, registering a 1.06 ERA with a 3-1 record in nine appearances. His four saves this year is second in the conference.
Other Kinker notes:
– Guided team to the Big Ten Tournament title and NCAA Regional appearance during sophomore year in 2016, going 6-1 with a 1.65 ERA in 38 appearances out of the bullpen
– Leads all active Buckeyes with 12 career wins
– His 13 career saves is tied for eighth in the OSU record book
– Struck out a career-high seven hitters in 4.2 scoreless innings of relief in his last appearance March 16
– 2017 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List
– Two-time Big Ten Players to Watch List (2017-18)
– “Seth Kinker is our go-to-guy in the bullpen,” head coach Greg Beals said.
– “Whether it is as a closer, or in shut-down situations, Seth has proven us that he is our go-to reliever. You can certainly expect him to be getting the ball in critical situations.”
Kinker is a young man of very high character. Associate head coach and pitching coach Mike Stafford had the following to say about the OSU right-hander, “Kinker is from a small town in West Virginia and came in as a two-way player. We made him into a pitcher, and he is a highly-competitive person and wants the ball all the time in big situations. He’s already ready to perform even if he threw 40 pitches the day before. He’s also very versatile and was used as a starter when the team’s rotation was dealing with injuries in 2017. Kinker makes everyone better by leading by example and has had the most consistent numbers each season since joining the team in 2015. He pushes his teammates to the best of their ability. He’s a laid-back guy in the clubhouse but brings out that “bulldog” personality when he’s locked in on the mound.”
A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and OSU Scholar-Athlete, Kinker has taken part in numerous community service events including Kick it for Cancer (2015-17), reading to elementary children in the Columbus area the last four years with 2nd and Seven Foundation, and participating in the Bucks Go Pro community service event in summer of 2017. He also provided service for Meals on Wheels in Columbus by preparing the meals at the association’s kitchen and helped make blankets during his freshman and sophomore years at the Medical Center for the city mission of Columbus. This last month, Kinker and others on the program helped out at the Pensacola Ronald McDonald House during the Cox Diamond Invitational.
Kinker is one of three Big Ten student-athletes named to the prestigious list. Micah Coffey (Minnesota) and Scott Schreiber (Nebraska) were also named. He is the fourth OSU baseball player to be named a Senior CLASS Award candidate (Jacob Bowell, 2007; Cory Kovanda, 2010; Jalen Washington, 2017).
From the list of 30 candidates, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award in late April. Those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.