Casey Mize named finalist for Dick Howser Trophy
OMAHA, Neb. – The big week continues for Casey Mize as the Auburn junior-right hander was named a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Thursday afternoon.
Mize is one of five finalists and joins Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart, Texas second baseman Kody Clemens, Florida pitcher Brady Singer and Illinois first basemen Bren Spillane on the ballot.
The announcement comes a day after also being named a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and three days after becoming the first No. 1 overall draft pick in program history.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, June 16, at a 10 a.m. CT during a national news conference at TD Ameritrade Park.
Each finalist embodies the major principles of character, leadership, desire, and competitive spirit exhibited by Dick Howser, the All-America shortstop and later head coach at Florida State before managing the Kansas City Royals to the world championship in 1985.
In 16 starts this season, Mize has posted a 10-5 record and a 2.95 ERA and recently became just the second two-time All-American in program history. His 151 strikeouts not only lead the SEC and rank second in the country, but are also tied for the third most in a single-season in program history. Dating back to the beginning of last season, the Springville, Ala., native has struck out 260 batters and issued only 21 walks.
Along with his strikeout total, Mize also leads the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio (12.58), strikeouts per nine innings (12.39) and WHIP (0.81). His strikeout-to-walk ratio and WHIP are good for second and third in the country, respectively.
Mize has turned in a quality start in 10 of his 16 trips to the mound and has gone the distance in three games this season. He took the mound on Mar. 9 vs. Northeastern and turned in the ninth no-hitter in program history while totaling 13 strikeouts without issuing a walk. The 13-strikeout performance against the Huskies was one of six outings with 10 or more strikeouts this season, including a record-matching 15 strikeouts vs. Vanderbilt on May 4. Mize joined former Auburn pitchers Mark Chapman, John Powell, Tim Hudson and Chris Bootcheck in the 15-strikeout club and was the first SEC pitcher to accomplish the feat in a conference game since 2012.
Heading into this weekend's Super Regional in Gainesville, Florida, Mize ranks fourth in program history with 319 career strikeouts and needs nine more punchouts to move into sole possession of third.