BASEBALL: Recognition for Bittle, Basham

As Ole Miss fights for its postseason life in a year it really wasn’t expected to, there have been some very successful individual story lines. Relief pitcher Scott Bittle and catcher Brett Basham are two of them, and they have been added to a couple of very prestigious watch lists.

I’ll have more on Bittle in Friday’s print edition.

Here’s the release from Ole Miss media relations.

— PA

OXFORD, Miss. – Junior right-hander Scott Bittle and junior catcher Brett Basham recently saw their names added to the mid-season watch lists for end of the year awards in recognition of their performances in the 2008 baseball season.

Bittle was recently added to the 2008 Clemens Award Watch List and ballot for the first round of voting which is currently underway for the nation’s top pitcher, while Basham was announced recently as a candidate for the Johnny Bench Award which honors the nation’s top catcher.

Bittle leads the Southeastern Conference in strikeouts with 92 in only 50.2 innings pitched as a closer and also finds himself among the tops in the nation. Bittle leads the nation in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (16.33) and fewest hits allowed per 9.0 innings (3.37) while he is fifth nationally in ERA (1.60) and is seventh in total number of strikeouts (92). For the season, Bittle has posted seven saves and a 4-1 record. The seven saves moved him to 14 saves for his career, third on the career list at Ole Miss.

Basham has been stellar behind the plate this season, leading the Southeastern Conference in runners caught stealing as he has thrown out 21 base runners this season, to go along with two runners picked off. He is hitting .321 in Southeastern Conference play and has been one of the top run producers for the Rebels as he has tallied 28 RBI on the season.

Bittle joins junior right-hander Lance Lynn on the mid-season watch list for the Clemens Award. Lynn was named to the Clemens Award Watch List after the opening week of play when he was named National Pitcher of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association.

The 10 semi-finalists for the Bench Award will be announced on Wednesday, May 14, while the 10 semi-finalists for the Clemens Award will be announced on Thursday, May 15.

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