Trio Tapped For John Olerud Award Watch List

Front: Campbell's David Olson (GF 2010-2011). Above: High Point's Ryan Retz (Glens Falls 2010). Photos courtesy Campbell athletic/High Point athletics

Three players affiliated with teams in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League have been selected as part of the initial watch list for the 2013 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award. The initial watch list of 25 Division I athletes includes Wake Forest’s Matt Conway (Amsterdam 2010), Campbell’s David Olson (Glens Falls 2010-2011) and High Point’s Ryan Retz (Glens Falls 2010). The full list can be viewed here.

According to a College Baseball Hall of Fame press release, the John Olreud Award “recognizes baseball players who excel both on the mound and in the field.” The Olerud Award will be given out on June 29 in Lubbock, Texas, at the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions.

Matt Conway (Amsterdam 2010) is a redshirt junior first baseman and starting pitcher at Wake Forest University. He is one of just two players from the ACC on the 25-man watch list. The redshirt junior has helped the Demon Deacons to a 24-20 overall record this spring. At the plate, Conway leads all Wake Forest hitters in doubles (16) and slugging percentage (.497) and he stands second in batting average (.353), hits (57) and runs batted in (31). On the mound, the Birmingham, Mich., native has held opposing hitters to a .249 batting average in 11 appearances. He is 2-1 with one save and a 4.14 earned run average. Conway has struck out 38 and walked 12 in 45.2 innings. Among Wake Forest starters, he is third in ERA and strikeouts and fourth in games started and innings pitched. The former Amsterdam slugger missed the majority of the 2012 college season with a knee injury. He is a three-year starter for the Demon Deacons. Matt hit .275 with three home runs and 24 RBI for the Amsterdam Mohawks during the summer of 2010.

David Olson (Glens Falls 2010-2011) is a senior designated hitter and relief pitcher at Campbell University. He is one of two Big South players on the Olerud watch list, former Glens Falls teammate Ryan Retz (Glens Falls 2010) is the other. Olson is the regular designated hitter and clean-up batter for the nationally-ranked Camels. He has appeared in all 45 games for Campbell this spring. Heading into this weekend’s games, Olson is batting .358 with 53 hits, 37 runs scored, 28 runs batted in, 15 walks, six doubles and two home runs. The senior has accrued a .469 on-base percentage and a .439 slugging percentage. He is third on the Camels in batting average and fourth in hits, RBI and runs scored. The Auburn, Wash., native has pitched well in short relief. He currently holds a 3-0 record to go along with one save and a 2.08 earned run average. Olson has allowed just five earned runs and struck out 11 in 21.2 innings. The 2011 Tacoma Community College graduate is in his second season at Campbell. He was tapped second team All-Big South in 2012. David spent two seasons with the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. He appeared in 79 games for the Green and Gold and drove in 46 runs on 86 hits. Olson’s 2011 Golden Eagles won the PGCBL East regular season championship. 

Ryan Retz (Glens Falls 2010) is a senior utility player at High Point University. Retz has seen playing time for the Panthers this season as a starting pitcher, first baseman and right fielder. He is one of two players from the Big South on the Olerud watch list, former Glens Falls teammate David Olson (Glens Falls 2010-2011) is the other. The Tucson, Ariz., native has been one of High Point’s best offensive and defensive weapons this spring. Offensively, Retz paces the Panthers in batting average (.363), hits (61), doubles (14), home runs (four), runs batted in (32), slugging percentage (.518), walks (20) and on-base percentage (.447). The durable senior has also played and started all of High Point’s 44 games. On the mound, Retz is first among HPU pitchers in earned run average (2.91), complete games (two) and complete game shutouts (one); he is also tied for the team lead in victories (four). Through nine appearances and 55.2 innings pitched, Retz is 4-3 with 27 strikeouts. Just over one week ago, the senior spun a complete game five-hit shutout against North Carolina Central and went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in an 8-0 win. Ryan was a member of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles during the summer of 2010. He struck out 16 batters in 17.2 innings as a reliever. At the plate, he slammed three home runs and drove in 18.

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