Front page: Luke Maile hits a walk-off home run against #2 South Carolina. Photo courtesy UK athletics. Above: Goose Kallunki in action for Utah Valley. Photo courtesy UVU athletics
University of Kentucky junior Luke Maile (Amsterdam 2010-2011) and Utah Valley University senior Goose Kallunki (Cooperstown 2010) have both been selected as semifinalists for the 2012 Dick Howser Trophy. The award, presented by Easton Foundations, is given to the top player in collegiate baseball. Overall, 35 semifinalists have been named. The semifinalists include student-athletes from 17 different conferences representing 32 different schools. The 2012 Dick Howser Trophy will be presented on Fri., June 15, in Omaha, Neb., on the opening day of the College World Series. The full list of semifinalists can be found here
Luke Maile is a junior catcher for the nationally-ranked Wildcats from Crestview Hills, Ky. Maile helped the Cats to a school regular season record 41 victories. This spring, Kentucky earned its’ first national number-one ranking ever and opened the season with 22-straight victories. Maile is Kentucky’s top masher with a team high 11 home runs and 49 RBI. He also leads UK with a .556 slugging percentage and 31 bases-on-balls. The junior backstop has smacked 66 hits, including 13 doubles, and scored 44 runs. The fleet-footed Maile also has swiped nine bases on 11 attempts. Defensively, he has made just six errors in 472 total chances for a .987 fielding percentage. Heading into the SEC tournament, Luke has not missed a game this season with 56-straight starts. He is a two-time SEC Player of the Week.
Goose Kallunki is a senior first baseman for the nationally-ranked Wolverines from Orem, Utah. Kallunki has helped the Wolverines to a school record 43 wins and Utah Valley finished regular season play in the Great West Conference with an undefeated (28-0) record. Kallunki leads all hitters in NCAA Division I with 80 RBI. He ranks in the top 10 nationally in batting average (.429), hits (91), home runs (17), total bases (159) and slugging percentage (.720). His 17 home runs are a single-season school record and over four seasons, he has amassed a school career mark with 217 RBI. Kallunki is the top run producer in Utah Valley’s offense which heading into the final weekend of the regular season, was ranked first in Division I with a .349 team batting average. Between Mar. 23 and May 15, Utah Valley amassed a 32-game winning streak, the fourth longest in NCAA history. This spring, Goose has earned four different National Player of the Week awards.
Former winners of the Dick Howser Trophy include Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), David Price (2007), Brad Lincoln (2006), Alex Gordon (2005), Jered Weaver (2004), Rickie Weeks (2003) Khalil Greene (2002), Mark Prior (2001), Mark Teixeira (2000), J.D. Drew (1997), Todd Helton (1995), Jason Varitek (1994) and Robin Ventura (1985).