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Senior Steve Kleen Added To Brooks Wallace Award Watch List


March 8, 2005

Senior utility player Steve Kleen was one of seven players added to the revised 2005 Wallace Watch Tuesday by the College Baseball Foundation in Lubbock, TX. The Brooks Wallace Award is presented annually to the national college baseball player of the year.

Others added to the list were Miami's Ryan Braun, Auburn's Karl Amonite, Louisiana's Kevin Ardoin, Oregon State's Jacoby Ellsbury, Georgia Tech's Wes Hodges and UCLA pitcher Hector Ambriz.

Kurt Suzuki of Cal State Fullerton was the winner of the 2004 Brooks Wallace Award.

Kleen currently leads Pepperdine with a .391 average and a .461 on-base percentage while tying for the team-lead in hits (25), home runs (3) and RBI (20). As the Waves' closer, Kleen is 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA and three saves.

The Wallace Watch will be trimmed to 12 semi-finalists by Tuesday, May 24, 2005. The selection committee will narrow the list to three finalists following the NCAA Super Regionals at a press conference in Omaha on Thursday, June 16, 2005. The finalists, their head coaches, and their parents will be invited to Lubbock, TX, for a golf tournament, a welcome dinner and the award banquet.

Dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech shortstop and assistant coach, Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Texas Tech from 1977 to 1980. A 4-year starter, he was named All-Southwest Conference and All-District Six his senior year when he lead the Red Raiders to their first-ever appearance in the Southwest Conference Tournament.

After playing two years in the Texas Rangers organization, he returned to Texas Tech and served as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach. In the summer of 1984 he was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27. The Plano, Texas, native was married to the former Sandy Arnold and they had one daughter, Lindsay Ryan.

The selection committee for the Wallace Award is comprised of a national panel of preeminent coaches, sports information directors, former winners and beat media who most closely follow the sport. Screening Committee members will evaluate the candidates and will continue their review throughout the entire baseball season.

Additional Wallace Watch candidates may be added as the season progresses. Voting for the three finalists and the Wallace Award winner will be conducted by confidential balloting, with totals tabulated by the J.W.Anderson & Associates accounting firm in Lubbock, TX.



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