UALR senior outfielder Sean Bignall has been named a semifinalist for the 2012 Dick Howser Trophy, an award given annually to the nation's top player by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). Bignall entered the final week of the regular season ranked in the top-10 nationally in six offensive categories, ranking as high as third in home runs, RBI, total bases and slugging percentage.
Presented by Easton Foundations, the Dick Howser Trophy is in its 26th year of existence, and is determined through two rounds of national voting. The award will be presented on Friday, June 15 at 11 a.m. CT, the opening day of the 2012 College World Series, at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, Neb.
Bignall is one of 35 players to make the list of semifinalists for the award, a group which is comprised of players from 17 different conferences and 32 different schools. Every position on the diamond is represented in the list of semifinalists except for shortstop, led by 10 pitchers and five outfielders.
A native of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Bignall leads the Sun Belt Conference in home runs, runs scored (59), RBI (64), total bases (148) and slugging percentage (.715). He has already set new UALR single-season records for home runs and total bases, and needs to drive in two more runs to break the school's single-season RBI record of 65.
In addition to his records for home runs and total bases in a season, Bignall tied the school record for home runs in a game by hitting three in a win over South Dakota State on March 7, while setting a new UALR standard with 14 total bases. On April 13, Bignall tied another school record by scoring five runs in UALR's 17-8 win over South Alabama. He is currently third on UALR's all-time single-season list for runs scored with 59, and needs to score four more to establish yet another school record.
Bignall has started all 52 games for the Trojans this season and entered the final week of the regular season ranked sixth in the Sun Belt with a team-leading .355 batting average. He was named Sun Belt Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks this season, receiving the honor on March 5 and March 12.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given annually in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager, who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration includes performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.
NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it was founded in 1962 and is the sport's only college media-related organization.
Name, Pos., School
Mark Appel, P, Stanford
Robert Benincasa, RP, Florida State
Sean Bignall, OF, UALR
Trent Blank, P, Baylor
Austin Elkins, 2B, Dallas Baptist
Goose Kallunki, 1B, Utah Valley
Marty Gantt, OF, College of Charleston
Marco Gonzales, UT, Gonzaga
Andrew Heaney, P, Oklahoma State
Brock Hebert, 2B, Southeastern Louisiana
D.J. Hicks, 1B, UCF
Daniel Kassouf, DH, Appalachian State
Stefan Lopez, RP, Southeastern Louisiana
Michael Lorenzen, UT, Cal State Fullerton
Josh Ludy, C, Baylor
Luke Maile, C, Kentucky
Jamodrick McGruder, 2B, Texas Tech
Trenton Moses, 3B, Southeast Missouri
Chris O'Grady, RP, George Mason
D.J. Petersen, 3B, New Mexico
Nick Petree, P, Missouri State
Kevin Plawecki, C, Purdue
Danny Poma, OF, Hofstra
James Ramsey, OF, Florida State
Matthew Reckling, P, Rice
Carlos Rodon, P, NC State
Chris Rowley, P, Army
Raph Rhymes, OF, LSU
Zach Stephens, 1B, Tennessee Tech
Chris Stratton, P, Mississippi State
Ross Stripling, P, Texas A&M
Michael Wacha, P, Texas A&M
Michael Wagner, RP, San Diego
Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Ole Miss
Mike Zunino, C, Florida