David Price of Vanderbilt has won the fourth annual Brooks Wallace Award for national collegiate player of the year.
He joins Houston pitcher Brad Lincoln of Houston in 2006, Nebraska 3B Alex Gordon in 2005 and catcher Kurt Suzuki of Cal State Fullerton as recipients of the award, which honors the late Brooks Wallace - a standout infielder at Texas Tech and coach for the Red Raiders.
The junior junior from Murfreesboro, Tenn., played for coach Tim Corbin's Commodores, was consensus All-America and 2006-07 Southeastern Conference Male Athlete of the Year. He also recently captured the Dick Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award as well as being named American Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year.
He led the SEC in five different pitching categories and helped Vandy to a school-record-season victories' total at 54-13 overall and is the Commodores' first men's athletics national player of the year in any sport. Price was chosen as the first player in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and closed the year at 11-1 overall with 194 strikeouts in 133 1/3 innings pitched (13.1 strikeouts every nine frames). He did not lose a decision in his 17 starts and struck out 10 or more batters in 12 of those first 17 appearances.
Price allowed only two home runs all season and also had a career-high 17 strikeouts in the opening round of the NCAA Nashville Regional in nine innings against Austin Peay. He also fanned 15 LSU hitters in a SEC triumph..
The 2007 SEC Pitcher of the Year and Collegiate Baseball's National Co-Player of the Year (with fellow Wallace finalist Florida State 2B Tony Thomas, Jr.), finished with a 2.63 earned run average and 95 hits (a norm of 6.4 hits every nine innings). He also broke the Vandy career strikeout record with 441 in three seasons and 313 innings of work.
Price's 194 strikeouts also were second in SEC season history to LSU's Ben McDonald (1989), and the All-State basketball standout at Murfreesboro's Blackman High School aided VU to a No. 1 ranking nationally for nine consecutive weeks - a school record. He pitched the Commodores to their first-ever regular-season SEC title in '07 and starred on both the 2005 and '06 VU postseason entries.
He also was Baseball America's 2006 Summer Player of the Year with a 5-1 record, 0.20 ERA, one earned run in 44 innings tossed, and a major role in Team USA's gold medal in the World University Games at Havana, Cuba. Price joined third finalist 1B Matt LaPorta of Florida on the dais of the nationally-televised (please checked local listings) awards' ceremony at the United Spirit Center on the Texas Tech campus Tuesday night.