Four Hokies named to Watch Lists over the past week

BLACKSBURG – Over the past week, several organizations have announced respective “Watch Lists” and four Virginia Tech baseball players have been chosen among the nation’s best at their positions. Senior Ryan Tufts, and juniors Connor Coward, Nick Anderson and Joe Freiday, Jr. were those Hokies selected to the lists.

Tufts was one of 75 Division I college baseball shortstops chosen for the 2017 Brooks Wallace Award Watch List, as announced by the College Baseball Foundation last Friday. The Bridgewater, Massachusetts native is having a career year as he is approaching or has bested all his previous offensive single-season highs, which includes seven home runs, a .331 batting average and a .448 on-base percentage. He has started 114 straight games for the Hokies which includes the last 97 straight at shortstop. CLICK HERE for more information.

The College Baseball Foundation also announced the watch list for the National Pitcher of the Year Award and Coward was among the 64 named to the list. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania product is currently 5-2 this season with a 4.25 ERA. He’s started nine games for the Hokies, tied for the team high, and transferred from a midweek starter to the weekend rotation the third week of the ACC slate. His ERA is a full three runs better than his first two seasons and he leads the team with 53.0 innings pitched and is third in strikeouts with 42, 10 better than his previous best season high. CLICK HERE for more information.

Lastly, the College Baseball Foundation also named 25 players to the 2017 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Watch List and Anderson was one of four from the ACC. The San Diego, California native has been having a strong season on the mound – his first full season – as he currently has a 5-4 record, a 4.13 ERA in 52.1 innings pitched and has 37 strikeouts. At the plate, Anderson is batting .342 with four home runs and a .534 slugging percentage. CLICK HERE for more information.

Also recently announced was Freiday’s addition to the 2017 Johnny Bench Award Watch List as presented by and the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. Out of Lakeville, Mass., Freiday is fourth on the team with eight home runs and has started 37 of the team’s 42 games behind the plate. He has also caught 14 would-be base stealers, the second most ever for a Hokie catcher since the team joined the ACC, behind Anthony Sosnoskie’s 18 in 2008. CLICK HERE for more information.

In the coming weeks, the organizations will narrow down those watch lists to semifinalists, finalists and eventually the winners who will be announced later this summer.

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