Senior first baseman Nathan Minnich (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro Area Sr.) of the Shepherd University baseball team has been named one of six finalists for the 2012 Tino Martinez Award as the most outstanding player in DII college baseball. The annual honor is named after the former University of Tampa Spartan, United States Olympian, first round draft pick and MLB All-Star, Tino Martinez.
Minnich was a unanimous Regional Player of the Year by Daktronics, NCBWA, and ABCA/Rawlings. He recorded a .487 batting average with 74 hits in 152 at-bats. Minnich led the Rams in hits (74), runs batted in (72), runs (69), total bases (149), walks (62), home runs (21), slugging percentage (.980) on base percentage (.645) and batting average (.487). Minnich leads NCAA II in on base percentage, slugging percentage, runs batted in and base on balls per game, while ranking second in batting average, home runs, home runs per game and base on balls in the latest rankings. He is ranked in the top five nationally in four other categories. Minnich has set numerous career and season records for the Rams this year.
Joining Minnich as the six finalists are Anthony Boza of the Lynn Fighting Knights, Tim Flight of the Southern New Hampshire Penmen, Bryan Lippincott of the Concordia (St. Paul) Golden Bears, Rene Solis of the St. Mary's (TX) Rattlers and Grady Wood of the Western Oregon Wolves. Each of the remaining players helped their teams reach the NCAA postseason and Flight and Solis were each substantial contributors in leading their teams to this year's DII Baseball Championship held in Cary, N.C.
Initial nominations for the award were made by baseball sports information contacts and media members. A panel of media, coaches and sports information officers narrowed down the The six finalists were narrowed down from a list of 55 semi-finalists.
The group will once again vote to determine the winner, with a fan Internet vote also contributing to the crowning of the winner. The Internet fan vote was to slated to begin on Wednesday, May 23.
The winner will be announced after the conclusion of the DII Baseball Championship.