COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State senior co-captain Cory Kovanda has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Kovanda, a 184-game starter at second base who leads the team this season and is sixth in the Big Ten Conference with a .398 batting average, is majoring in early childhood development. He is from Columbus and Worthington Kilbourne High School.

Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the winner, which will be announced in June at the 2010 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Fan balloting is available on the award’s official Web site at – click here to access – as well as through text messaging. Fans can text BASEBALL to 74567 to vote for the finalists. These votes will be combined with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in SchoolTM, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates who were announced in February.

The 2010 finalists are: Daniel Bibona, University of California, Irvine; Stephen Cardullo, Florida State University; Blake Dean, Louisiana State University; Mike Donato, University of Massachusetts; Jim Klocke, Southeast Missouri State University; Cory Kovanda, Ohio State University; Tyler Lyons, Oklahoma State University; Matt Payton, Western Kentucky University; Tony Plagman, Georgia Institute of Technology; and David Towarnicky, Appalachian State University.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community and competition.