April 30, 2007
DALLAS - UCLA sophomore shortstop Brandon Crawford has been named to the 2007 Dick Howser Trophy Watch List, the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) announced last week. Crawford has posted a .345 batting average with five home runs and 41 RBI in all 42 games this season.
Crawford accompanies two other shortstops named to the Dick Howser Trophy Watch List - Walter Diaz (South Florida) and Brandon Turner (Mississippi State). Five Pac-10 players, including Crawford, are represented on the watch list. Arizona State's Brett Wallace and Matt Spencer, Oregon State's Mitch Canham and Washington's Nick Hagadone have earned similar recognition.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the 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. 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.
Crawford has helped lead UCLA to the top of the Pac-10 standings with a 10-2 conference record. The sophomore from Pleasanton, Calif., currently leads the Bruins with 58 hits, 40 runs scored, 14 doubles, two triples, 41 RBI, 91 total bases and nine stolen bases.
Crawford has had at least one hit in 35 of the Bruins' 42 games this season. He has tallied a team-best 19 multi-hit games, including a season-high four hits in UCLA's 16-11 win at Stanford on March 31.
His two-out grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning against East Carolina on Feb. 18 helped catapult UCLA out of a 7-5 deficit and allow the Bruins to sweep the visiting Pirates with a 9-7 victory. When UCLA trailed crosstown rival USC, 6-4, with two outs and two runners on base in the top of the ninth, Crawford drilled an 0-and-2 pitch to left field for a base hit to tie the game, 6-6. One batter later, Crawford scored the go-ahead run from second base on an infield single as the Bruins held on to win, 7-6, on April 14.
Named the Bruins' team MVP in 2006, Crawford played an instrumental role in guiding UCLA to the 2006 NCAA Regionals. As a freshman, he hit at a .318 clip with six home runs and 30 RBI.
UCLA has posted a 24-18 record this season and has won 16 of its last 20 games. The Bruins return to action at UC Irvine on Tuesday, May 1, at 6 p.m.