by Alex Cooper, sports information student assistant
OMAHA, Neb. – Georgia College junior Steve Hazel (Kentwood, Mich.) was named as one of 40 semifinalists for the Tino Martinez Award, released Thursday by D2baseballnews.com. The Tino Martinez Award has recognized the country's Most Outstanding Division II College Baseball Player since its inception in 2010.
Hazel is hitting .387 this season for the Bobcats, all while catching 48 of the 51 games. He has 31 extra base hits, including 13 home runs and 17 doubles. He has driven in 53 runs and scored 45 of his own. His .723 slugging percentage would be the best for any Bobcat since 2010.
There were five players from the Southeast Region named as semifinalists, with two of those coming from the Peach Belt Conference (PBC), Hazel and Patrick Grady of Lander.
The inaugural Tino Martinez award was given to Bryan Fogle of Erskine College. In 2011, Cameron University's Chase Larsson took home the honor. Nathan Minnich of Shepherd University won in 2012 and last year the award went to Sonoma State University's Harmen Sidhu.
The finalists will be announced prior to the Division II College World Series in Cary, N.C. and the winner will be named Monday, June 2 following the Championships.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.