Blue Raiders named to award watch list

Bishop, Brentz on Wallace pre-season list

December 5, 2008 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Two Middle Tennessee baseball players have been named to the 2009 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year pre-season list.

Senior Rawley Bishop and sophomore Bryce Brentz have been named to the list after posting stellar performances during the 2008 season.

Bishop was awarded American Baseball Coaches Association South Central All-Region and First Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors as a junior. Bishop batted .372 with 18 home runs which tied for fifth for home runs in a single season. He also recorded a team high 19 doubles, 69 RBI and 64 runs scored. Bishop ranks third in a single-season for RBI and fourth for slugging percentage.

Brentz also performed well in 2008 receiving a number of awards including Collegiate Baseball's Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America, ABCA Third Team All-America and National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association Freshman All-America. Bryce was also named Freshman of the Year by the Sun Belt Conference and Second Team All-Conference. He also received ABCA South Central All-Region and 2008 Ping! All-Freshman First Team. Brentz ended the season batting .329 with 14 doubles, 18 home runs, 68 RBI and 49 runs scored and was 13 for 16 in stolen bases. Brentz is tied on the single-season list for fourth in RBI and fifth in home runs.

The Wallace Award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The 2009 award banquet will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.

Bishop and Brentz are joined on the list by Sun Belt players Ryan Mollica (Florida International), Ben Soignier (Louisiana-Monroe), Josh Storm (Troy), Chad Cregar and Matt Ridings (Western Kentucky).

The Wallace Award is dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace. Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Texas Tech from 1977 to 1980. A four-year starter, he was named All-Southwest Conference and All-District his senior year. He led the Red Raiders to their first-ever appearance in the Southwest Conference Tournament in 1980. After playing two years in the Texas Rangers organization, he returned to Texas Tech and served as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach. In the summer of 1984, he was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27. The Plano, Texas, native was married to the former Sandy Arnold and they had one daughter, Lindsay Ryan.

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