BASEBALL: Congrats to Bittle

Ole Miss relief pitcher Scott Bittle has been named a semifinalist for the Clemens Award which goes to the nation’s top college pitcher.

There may — or may not — be a lot of baseball left to play for the Rebels. It all hinges on what gets done against Kentucky beginning today at 5:30. However, it’s not too early to say the season has fell far below the expectations of many.

A constant bright spot has been the play of Bittle. It’s also a great story for a good guy who struggled last year but remained in Oxford and worked through his problems to become a dominant player.

While preseason All-Americans Lance Lynn and Cody Satterwhite may have worked their way down in the June draft, Bittle no doubt has worked his way up.

Here’s the release on the Clemens Award:

— PA

OXFORD, Miss.  – Ole Miss junior reliever Scott Bittle was
named one of 10 top pitchers in the country as the
right-hander was named as a semi-finalist for the 2008
Clemens Award by the Greater Houston Baseball Administration
on Thursday.

Bittle is one of four pitchers among the national leaders to
appear on the list as he leads the nation in strikeouts per
9.0 innings. The Texarkana, Texas, native is also among the
national leaders in ERA fewest hits allowed per 9.0 innings
and strikeouts.

Also on the list with Bittle are Brian Matusz of San Diego,
Aaron Crow of Missouri, Joshua Fields of Georgia, Scott
Gorgen of UC Irvine, Chris Hernandez of Miami (Fla.),
Shooter Hunt of Tulane, Mike Leake of Arizona State, Andrew
Liebel of Long Beach State, and Stephen Strasburg of San
Diego State.

“This is a tremendous honor for Scott and certainly is an
honor of which he is deserving,” said Ole Miss head coach
Mike Bianco. “Scott has been a big part of our success
this season and his numbers speak for themselves.”

The junior has notched 99 strikeouts on the season and is
mowing them down at an average of 16.33 batters per 9.0
innings and boasts an almost 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio as
he has only walked 21 batters on the year.

The right-handed hurler has posted a 5-1 record on the year
with wins in relief over Mississippi State, No. 6
Vanderbilt, South Alabama, at No. 8 Georgia and Auburn. He
has also picked up seven saves on the year, including:
Southern Miss, at TCU, at Alabama, at No. 10 South Carolina,
at Arkansas State, Arkansas and Jackson State.

Bittle is currently third all-time on the career saves list
at Ole Miss as his seven saves this season pushes him to 14
for his career.

He is also a candidate for the Ferris Award, honoring the
top collegiate baseball player in the state of Mississippi.

Voters for The Roger Clemens Award are broken down into
three groups. All Division 1 head baseball coaches are
issued ballots, as are a selected group of writers and
broadcasters who cover the college game. In addition the 16
winners of the R.E. Bob Smith Award, which was presented in
Houston in 1988-2003, are asked to vote, along with the 13
finalists from the first four years of the Clemens Award.

The Roger Clemens Award was named after pitching legend
Roger Clemens, who began his march to stardom while leading
the University of Texas to the College World Series title in
1983. As a major-leaguer, Clemens won 354 games (eighth best
in history), fanned 4,672 hitters and won seven Cy Young
Awards, emblematic as the top pitcher in his league. The
Roger Clemens Award is the only award of its kind, honoring
the finest pitchers in college baseball. Voting to determine
the three finalists for the 2008 award will begin on May 26.

The event is administered by the Greater Houston Baseball
Association, which has donated more than $300,000 to the
charities from the net proceeds from the first four dinners.
The GHBA is a non-profit 501.3 (C) organization dedicated to
the growth of amateur baseball in the Houston area.

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4 Responses to “BASEBALL: Congrats to Bittle”

  1. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    Scott Bittle well deserves this award.

  2. tcfan Says:

    Tonight’s game will be on FSS for anybody that wants to watch (CH 630 DirecTV)

  3. bigdraws Says:

    Actually, it’ll prolly be rained out.

  4. cr Says:

    Amazing considering how he struggled last year. Congratulations and well deserved. It was also a great coaching job to help him through those rough spots last year and build enough confidence to pull this off.

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