Choice, Purke Named Howard Green SABR Metroplex College Co-Players of Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 2, 2010

UTA's Choice, TCU's Purke Named 18th annual Howard Green SABR Metroplex College Co-Players of Year; 2nd Time in History For Co-Recipients

DALLAS - For the second time in the 18-year history of the award, the 2010 Howard Green Metroplex Collegiate Player of the Year Award presented by the DFW Hall-Ruggles Chapter for Society of American Baseball Research goes to co-winners: UT Arlington's Michael Choice and TCU's Matt Purke.

In 2000 pitcher Jon Browder of Dallas Baptist and OF Pat Hannon of Texas Wesleyan shared the honor for the initial time since TCU great Scott Malone received the initial 2010 Howard Green Metroplex Collegiate Player of the Year Award.

The prestigious award is named in memory of SABR Hall-Ruggles Chapter founder and original president Howard Green, who was a legend in Texas professional and college circles for over six decades and also served in several elected capacities in Tarrant County.

Choice, a centerfielder from Arlington, Texas, via Mansfield Timberview High School, followed up his 2009 Team USA performance with a season to remember for the Mavericks in 2010.

He was the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft with the Oakland Athletics, received a $2 million signing bonus and became the highest college outfielder drafted since current Cincinnati Reds star Drew Stubbs was the eighth selection from the University of Texas in 2006.

The 6-0, 215-pound junior set UTA and Southland Conference marks that will stand for several seasons during his stellar '10 campaign. A consensus All-America "choice" in June 2010, he became the highest drafted player in Mavericks' history and the SLC's co-highest selection along with Ben Sheets, a first-rounder from Louisiana-Monroe in 1999. Choice played for Mavericks' head coach Darin Thomas.

Choice hit a sizzling .392 (242-for-618) for his three-year collegiate career in Arlington with 170 runs, 33 doubles, eight triples, a school-career-most 34 home runs, 162 RBI, a .636 slugging percentage, and a .505 on-base percentage in 166 contests from 2008-10.

Also the consensus 2010 Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year, he paced the SLC with a .383 batting average to complement 16 homers and 59 RBI in 60 games. He is the first student-athlete in UTA annals to lead the squad in homers and better 50 RBI in three consecutive seasons. He also topped the squad in round-trippers and walks in consecutive years - a record for a Mavs' hitter.

Choice shattered UTA and SLC records with a NCAA Division I-most 76 walks bases on balls, was second in the nation and tops in the SLC with a .568 on-base percentage (another school standard) and won several leadership kudos.

Purke, the consensus 2010 NCAA Division I Freshman Pitcher of the Year, is a 6-4, 180-pound ace from Spring, Texas, and Klein HS. He enjoyed the greatest single-season performance by a TCU pitcher on school worksheets and established a truckload of marks as a true freshman.

He led the nation in wins at 16-0 and capped the campaign with NCAA World Series pitching wins over Florida State and eventual NCAA runnerup (to South Carolina) UCLA. His CWS record-tying two triumphs helped the Frogs become the first team since Georgia Tech in 1994 to win a game in their first trek to Omaha, their third-place finish was the best for an inaugural squad since Tech in '94, and his 16 triumphs were the most in DI since current Reds' and Arizona State star Mike Leake wwon 16 in 2004.

Purke started 18 times, had a 3.02 earned run average, tossed 116 1/3 innings and struck out a record 142 strikeouts. He also held opposing hitters to a .212 batting average.

Among a list of some four dozen honors and accomplishments by the svelte lefty in 2010 were Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America and Pitcher of the Year, NCBWA Pitcher of the Year, Baseball America Freshman of the Year, first team ABCA/Rawlings All-America, NCBWA Pitcher of the Year Finalist, Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, first team All-MWC, and ABCA All-Midwest Region team.

The fabulous freshman also averaged 11 strikeouts every nine innings - 17th nationally in Division I, walked on 34 hitters in 116-plus innings, helped the Frogs go 18-2 in the 20 outings in which he pitched, had a complete game triumph over longtime Horned Frogs' rival Texas Tech, and is the first freshman in NCAA annals to open his career with a 16-0 record (all in one year).

Purke, who became the ace of 2010 National Coach of the Year Jim Schlossnagle's staff, fanned a career-high 14 hitters against defending MWC tourney winner Utah in the '10 conference joust and earned All-MWC Tournament team laurels.

Previous winners of the Howard Green SABR Metroplex College Baseball Player of the Year have been - Scott Malone, TCU, 1993; Jason Parsons, Dallas Baptist, 1994; Johnny Issom, Texas Wesleyan, 1995; Karl Chatman, Dallas Baptist, 1996; Brandon Harper, Dallas Baptist, 1997; Royce Huffman, TCU, 1998; Cody Sundbeck, Dallas Baptist, 1999; (co) Jon Browder, Dallas Baptist; Pat Hannon, Texas Wesleyan, 2000; Mike Hall, Texas Wesleyan, 2001; Terry Trofholz, TCU, 2002; Clayton Jerome, TCU, 2003; Hunter Pence, Texas-Arlington, 2004; Lance Broadway, TCU, 2005; Drew Holder, Dallas Baptist, 2006; Sam Demel, TCU, 2007; Evan Bigley, Dallas Baptist, 2008; Matt Otteman, Texas-Arlington, 2009.

For more informationm, Contact: Bo Carter,(214-418-6132, Scarter5@twu.edu)

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