Bowling Green, Ky. — The National College Baseball Writers Association released the watch list with 50 candidates for the 2008 Dick Howser Trophy on Thursday. The award is given annually to the top player in collegiate baseball. Among the candidates for this year’s award is Western Kentucky University junior Chad Cregar.
Cregar — an Oxford, Miss., native — entered play this week ranked second in the nation with 58 RBI, and sixth in home runs with 15. The transfer from Northwest Mississippi Community College is currently tied for the team lead with a .358 batting average heading into this weekend’s Sun Belt Conference series at Florida Atlantic. He is also tied for the top spot on the club with 59 hits, pounding out 11 double and a triple to go along with his 15 homers.
He has hit safely in 33 of WKU’s 40 games this season, putting together 17 multi-hit games. Cregar has also driven in multiple runs 14 times — including five four-RBI games. He drove in a season-high seven runs in the first game of a doubleheader against Florida International earlier this month, and has hit two home runs four times.
In fact, during that doubleheader with FIU, Cregar finished 6-for-9 at the plate with four homers — including two grand slams — and 12 RBI. That effort earned him Sun Belt Conference Player-of-the-Week honors, as well as national recognition from Ping! Baseball, collegebaseballinsider.com, and the College Baseball Foundation.
Cregar is one of four Sun Belt Conference players on the watch list. He is joined by FAU’s Mike McKenna, New Orleans’ Johnny Giavotella, and South Alabama’s Ryne Jernigan.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America 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. The 2008 winner will be announced at the College World Series in Omaha on Saturday, June 14, at 10:00 a.m. CDT. 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.