Contestants named for the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby

OMAHA, Neb., June 28, 2012  The 2011 College Home Run Derby Champion, College of Charleston’s Daniel Aldrich, will return to Omaha to defend his title against seven other talented sluggers in the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby presented by Miller High Life.

Aldrich, a redshirt sophomore, started the season as a preseason First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). Aldrich stepped up in his team’s toughest games this season, hitting home runs in wins at South Carolina and at Clemson, including a 12th-inning walk-off home run against Coastal Carolina.

“I’m honored and excited to be returning to Omaha to compete in this year’s Home Run Derby,” says Aldrich. “I had a great time competing against some of the country’s top players last year, and I’m looking forward to hitting well again this year.”

Joining Aldrich in Omaha for the 2012 College Home Run Derby are:

  • LB Dantzler – a junior from University of South Carolina, who finished the season with 10 home runs and 48 RBI. Dantzler helped lead the Gamecocks to its third straight national championship series.
  • Tyler Horan – a redshirt sophomore from Virginia Tech, who finished the season with 15 home runs, ranking third in the ACC. He also led his team in several categories, including runs batted in (RBI) (41) and runs scored (45).
  • Daniel Palka – a sophomore from Georgia Tech, who hit 12 home runs and was named Second Team All-ACC. He was one of two Yellow Jackets to start all 64 games this season. In his time off the field, the outfielder volunteers for the Special Olympics.
  • Derek Fisher – a freshman from the University of Virginia who was named to the 2012 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Baseball Team, as selected by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, and as a Freshman All-American by the NCBWA. He ranks in the Top 10 nationally for triples (8) and his favorite MLB team is the New York Yankees.
  • Zach Stephens – a sophomore from Tennessee Tech, who tied for sixth nationally in home runs (18) and was named to the Second Team All-Ohio Valley Conference. Stephens was also a semi-finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and named to the 60-man Golden Spikes Award Watch List.
  • Mason Katz – a junior from Louisiana State University (LSU), who finished the year with 13 homers, 52 RBI, and a slugging percentage over .550. When not on the diamond, Katz loves spending time on the golf course.
  • Aaron Judge – a sophomore from Fresno State, who finished the year with a batting average of more than .300 while playing in all 58 games. He is a two-time First Team All-WAC selection and a 2012 WAC All-Tournament Team selection.

Nathan Minnich of Shepherd Wins 2012 Tino Martinez Award

The recipient of the 2012 Tino Martinez Award is senior first baseman Nathan Minnich from Shepherd University (W.Va.). The award is presented to the most outstanding player in DII college baseball. The annual honor is named after the former University of Tampa Spartan, United States Olympian, first round draft pick and MLB All-Star, Tino Martinez.

Minnich, who was a Tino Martinez Award finalist last season and finished eighth, was a runaway winner this season, receiving the first place vote on over half of the ballots cast and also captured the Internet fan vote.

The 6’3”, 240-pound slugger from Waynesboro, PA anticipates hearing his name called in this year’s Major League Baseball after posting incredible stats reserved for video games. He finished the season batting .487 (74 for 152) with 21 home runs, 12 doubles and 72 RBIs, while racking up a .980 slugging percentage. He led the country in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, walks per game and RBIs. He also ranked second in batting average and home runs and finished ranking third in runs scored per game.

After Minnich the voting was tight between the remaining five candidates. Southern New Hampshire’s Tim Flight edged Concordia St. Paul’s Bryan Lippincott for second place.  Lippincott in turn finished in third by a slight margin over Western Oregon’s Grady Wood and St. Mary’s (TX) Rene Solis who tied for fourth place. Flight and Lippincott were able to secure the second and third places in the final vote standings thanks to a substantial push from the Internet based fan vote. Sunshine State Player of the Year Anthony Boza of Lynn finished sixth in the voting.

Initial nominations for the award were made by baseball sports information contacts and media members. A panel of media, coaches and sports information officers was polled to finalize the candidates and determine the winner. A fan Internet vote also contributed to the final vote.

Chase Larsson of the Cameron Aggies was the recipient of the award last season after leading DII in home runs (29), RBI (84), slugging percentage (1.000) and total bases (190). Mount Olive’s Carter Capps, the 2011 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s National Pitcher of the Year, finished in a close second.

Erskine’s Bryan Fogle of won the first edition of the award in 2010 after batting .430 and leading DII with 28 home runs, 103 RBI (the second most in NCAA history) and 203 total bases. The Flying Fleet star was drafted by Tampa Bay following the season. Runner-up Hayden Simpson of Southern Arkansas was a first round draft choice of the Chicago Cubs.

Mid Major Rankings (Regular Season Final)

For the purpose of these rankings, the ACC, Big East, Big West, Big XII, Conference USA, Pac 12 and SEC conferences are excluded. TCU is also omitted.

Rank Comment
1 Purdue Boilermakers - The Boilermakers (44-12) won the Big 10 regular-season and tournament titles and were selected to host an opening-weekend Regional in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
2 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers - The ‘Chants (41-18) won their six straight regular-season Big South championships with a 4-1 victory over Liberty. CCU has also won six straight regular-season championships.
3 Dallas Baptist Patriots - Dallas Baptist (39-17) had their regualr season come to a close May 19th when they won a series over Bradley. With a high RPI thanks the Pats will once again be playing in a regional.
4 Pepperdine Waves - The Waves (34-21) secured the West Coast Conference crown with a series win over San Diego. It is the program’s 18th regular-season WCC title, first since 2006 for the Waves who are playing their best ball at season’s end.
5 Kent State Golden Flashes - With a win over Central Michigan Kent State (41-17) earned its fourth straight MAC Tournament title The Flashes have won 32 of their last 39 games – including 21 of their last 23 as they enter the extended postseason.
6 UNC Wilmington Seahawks - The Seahawks (38-21) advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the program’s history after winning both the Colonial Athletic Association’s regular and post season titles.
7 San Diego Toreros- USD (40-15) dropped a 5-1 decision to Pepperdine to finish second behind the Waves in the West Coast Conference. The Toreros had lead the WCC for most of the season before being usurped the final weekend.
8 Sam Houston State Bearkats - Sam Houston (38-20) was eliminated in the Southland Conference tournament semifinals after a walk-off home run by upstart UT-Arlington. The ‘Kats did soundly secure the regular season Southland Conferece title.
9 Utah Valley Wolverines - UVU (39-11) Utah Valley clinched its third straight Great West Conference Tournament title; however the conference does not get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines won 40 of their last 41 games.
10 New Mexico State Aggies - NM State (35-22) won the Western Athletic Conference regular season title, but lost back to back games to start the WAC tournament for a quick elimination.

Next Ten: Appalachian State Mountaineers, Indiana State Sycamores, Southeastern Louisiana, Missouri State Bears, Cal Poly Mustangs, Stony Brook Seawolves, UT Arlington Mavericks, New Mexico Lobos, Michigan State Spartans, College of Charleston Cougars