June 5, 2017
OMAHA, Neb. - Marshall baseball's Sam Finfer has been named a semifinalist for the 2017 Gregg Olson Award presented by Toolshed Sports. The award honors college baseball's breakout player of the year, and is awarded annually to a top amateur baseball player who elevates his game to an elite level throughout the season.
The semifinalist list consists of 25 players from NCAA Division I. Finfer is the only player from Conference USA to be named to the list.
After receiving no preseason recognition, Finfer turned in a stellar senior season that resulted in being named to the All-Conference USA First Team. The Bellevue, Wash., native led C-USA with 18 home runs and a .692 slugging percentage at the end of the regular season. His home run total was tied for the fifth-best in a single season in Marshall history.
Finfer finished the season hitting .338, while holding a team-high 68 hits, 17 doubles, 51 RBI, 139 total bases and a .410 on-base percentage. He had 19 multi-hit games, including two with four hits. He was second on the team with 11 multi-RBI games.
Finfer raised his batting average by 120 points, his slugging percentage by 301 points and his on-base percentage by 25 points. He had 34 more hits, 24 more RBIs, 23 more extra-base hits and 16 more runs scored than he did his junior year.
Finalists for the Gregg Olson Award will be announced during NCAA Super Regional action. The winner will be named in Omaha, Nebraska during the College World Series.
Previous winners of the award are Coastal Carolina's Andrew Beckwith (2016), Arkansas' Andrew Benintendi (2015), Mercer's Kyle Lewis (2015), UC Irvine's Sam Moore (2014) and Ball State's Scott Baker (2013).
After a freshman season at Auburn filled with only mixed success, Olson became one of the top collegiate players in the nation during an outstanding, unprecedented sophomore season. Despite being omitted from any preseason All-America lists, Olson went on to lead the entire nation in ERA with a 1.26 mark and compiled an incredible 11-1 record with 10 saves for the Tigers.
The Olson Award has been developed to honor college baseball's success stories and showcase players like Olson who have raised the level of their game through hard work, strength of mind and determination. Eligible players will be those who are omitted from major publication's preseason All-American prognostications; however by the end of the season their on the field performance will demonstrate that they are among the top amateur baseball players in the nation.