OMAHA, Neb. – Elon junior utility man Casey Jones was one of 80 players to earn inclusion on the watch list for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award presented by Toolshed Sports. The award is presented annually to college baseball’s “Breakout Player of the Year.”
A year after hitting .287 with 25 runs scored, nine doubles and 17 RBI in 48 games as a sophomore, Jones has become one of the top hitters in the nation in 2014. This season, Jones leads the Southern Conference and ranks seventh in the country with a .415 batting average. He also rates eighth nationally with 20 doubles, eighth with a .498 on-base percentage and 10th in the country with a .660 slugging percentage, all of which also lead the SoCon. He also rates in the top-30 in the country in RBI (18th with 52), RBI per game (26th with 1.02), hits (15th with 78), total bases (16th with 124) and doubles per game (18th with 0.39). He is tied for second on the team with six homers.
Earlier this year he put together a 26-game hitting streak during which he hit .473 (44-for-93). Jones has recorded a hit in all but six of his 51 games played and has failed to reach base safely (walk, hit or hit by pitch) in just two games all season. He is attempting to become just the third Elon player since the transition to NCAA Division I play to end the year with an average of at least .400.
In league games, Jones has posted a .470 batting average, 24 runs scored, 10 doubles, four triples, four homers and 29 RBI.
The award is named after former Auburn Tiger star pitcher Gregg Olson, who became one of the top collegiate players in the nation after an initial season filled with only mixed success. Olson went on to become a two-time All-American, first-round draft pick, American League Rookie of the Year and MLB All-Star. Like Olson, these players have elevated their game to an elite level and, in many instances, their team has mirrored their success as a direct result.
Semifinalists are slated to be announced on Friday, May 20, at the start of NCAA Regional play and finalists will be named on Friday, June 6, at the beginning of Super Regional action. The finalists and winner will be determined by an independent panel. The winner of the 2014 Gregg Olson Award will be named in Omaha, Neb., during the College World Series, which is to be held this season at TD Ameritrade Park from June 14-24/25.
For more information on the award, or to see the full watch list, visit www.olsonaward.com.