LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Reigning John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Brendan McKay was included among the top 18 players for this season’s honor as announced by the National College Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday evening.
A sophomore lefty pitcher and first baseman, McKay has a 9-2 record with a 2.22 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 12 starts and 77.0 innings pitched this season. At the plate, McKay has a .333 batting average, three home runs, 15 doubles, two triples and 28 RBI while starting 47 games as a hitter. McKay works as the No. 1 starter in the weekend pitching rotation while hitting either third or fourth in the batting order throughout the season for the fifth-ranked Cardinals.
“Paring down to 18 of the top two-way players in the nation from our initial watch list proved to be a daunting task given the tremendous amount of talent across the country,” Olerud Award co-chair George Watson said. “I can only imagine how tough it’s going to be trying to get down to a list of semifinalists, finalists and picking a winner in the coming weeks.”
Last season, the Darlington, Pennsylvania native became the first freshman to win the prestigious award finishing with a 9-3 record, 1.77 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 96.2 innings and 20 appearances on the mound, including 13 straight weekend starts for the Cardinals. Occupying the fourth spot in Louisville’s lineup for the final 32 games of the season, McKay hit .308 with four home runs, 34 RBI, 38 walks and 32 runs scored in 58 starts as a hitter.
The award is named for the former Washington State University standout who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s and who was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The award will be presented as part of the Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions celebration July 2 in Lubbock.
Up next, No. 5 Louisville returns home to begin a weekend series at Jim Patterson Stadium against No. 10 NC State on Friday at 6 p.m., ET. The Cardinals and Wolfpack are also slate for 1 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday and admission is free throughout the weekend.