The Seattle University baseball team gathered together at the Glen Acres Golf and Country Club Saturday, June 2, for the end-of-year banquet, celebrating a memorable 2012 campaign.
Freshman catcher Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) received both the David C. Tripp Award as most valuable player and the Rookie of the Year Award. Olson started 43 of the 49 games he appeared in, batting .276 with eight doubles, two home runs, and 18 runs batted in, plus he drew 23 walks while striking out only 16 times. Behind the plate, he picked off four runners and threw out 17 would-be base stealers (41.4% of steal attempts).
Riley Tompkins (Lynnwood, Wash.) earned the Johnny O'Brien Award as best offensive player. The senior led the team with a .387 slugging percentage, three home runs, and 20 runs batted in. He seemed to always come up big in the team's key victories, driving in two runs Feb. 22 at Washington as well as bringing in the game-winning runs at Washington State April 7.
The Ed O'Brien Award for best defensive player was given to senior Trent Oleszczuk (Beaverton, Ore.) for solidifying the defense up the middle in the Redhawk infield. He started the season at second base, where he made just one error, before moving to shortstop. He only made two errors at that position, posting a total fielding percentage of .987 for the season.
Senior Brandon Kizer (Marysville, Wash.) received the John Kelly Pitcher of the Year Award after posting a 5-4 record with a 3.59 earned run average. His victories came against Washington, BYU, San Jose State, Ohio State, and Portland. He also had strong outings at Washington State and against Nevada, giving up only one earned run in eight innings of work in each of those games.
The most inspirational award was named in honor of Cam Christian, the captain of the 2011-12 squad who died in a car accident in October. His family was on hand as the honor was given to junior pitcher Eric Yardley (Richland, Wash.). Yardley moved into the closer's role for the Redhawks and finished the season with a 2-2 record and five saves, including closing out the 5-4 victory at Washington State with back-to-back strikeouts.
The 2012 Seattle University baseball team finished with a 23-30 record, once again improving on its win total from the previous season. After spending the first three seasons of the program's rebirth as a Division I independent, the Redhawks will move into the Western Athletic Conference and will be eligible for the conference title and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.