Trio of JUCO players wins hitting and fielding awards

Three baseball players from the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series received awards for their play this season.

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced its player of the year, Gold Glove awards and Big Stick awards Tuesday.

Central Arizona College outfielder Keenyn Walker and South Georgia College pitcher Brice Baker are Rawlings Division I Gold Glove winners. They each had a 1.000 fielding percentage.

Walker was the first player in the 2011 JUCO World Series to be selected in the Major League Baseball amateur draft and made the All-America team.

One player at each position received a Gold Glove award. Bossier Parish (La.) Community College second baseman Taylor Pittman is the Easton Defensive Player of the Year. He had a 1.000 fielding percentage with 73 putouts and 120 assists.

Jefferson (Mo.) College outfielder Tyler Hibbert won a Rawlings Big Stick Award. Hibbert hit .465 for the South Central District champions.

The Big Stick Award goes to the player with the highest batting average in each of the 10 districts.

The NJCAA’s American Baseball Coaches Association player of the year is Howard (Texas) College left fielder Tyler Collins. The sophomore hit .488 to win the Southwestern District Big Stick Award and was a Gold Glove winner.

He led the nation with 19 home runs and was second with 82 RBI. Collins led the Hawks with 16 stolen bases, 34 doubles and four triples. He was a sixth-round pick by the Detroit Tigers in the MLB draft.

Former Southern Nevada College catcher Bryce Harper, now in the Washington Nationals farm system, was the 2010 player of the year.


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