Zarbnisky Named Two-Way Player of the Year Finalist - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Zarbnisky Named Two-Way Player of the Year Finalist

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Braden Zarbnisky heads to first on a single in the fourth inning that led to West Virginia's first run of the game. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle) Braden Zarbnisky heads to first on a single in the fourth inning that led to West Virginia's first run of the game. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

MORGANTOWN - West Virginia University sophomore designated hitter/right-handed pitcher Braden Zarbnisky has been named one of five finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, announced today by the College Baseball Foundation.

Zarbnisky has been a key part of the Mountaineers’ success this season, consistently contributing both at the plate and on the mound. While leading the team with six wins and six saves, he has played in 42 games, with a team-best .339 batting average with 12 stolen bases.

“It’s pretty rare that you can find a guy that’s equally as valuable as an offensive player as he is a pitcher,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “He’s hitting .339 with six wins and six saves. I can’t imagine anybody on any team being more valuable than Braden is to us. He’s just had a tremendous year, and will continue to have a tremendous career as a hitter and a pitcher.”
 

Zarbnisky is the only Big 12 player to be named a finalist for the award. He is joined on the list by Brendan McKay from Louisville, Adam Haseley from Virginia, Alex Troop from Michigan State and Jake Meyers from Nebraska.

On the mound, Zarbnisky has appeared in 22 games, second-most on the team. In 37.2 innings pitched, he owns a 2.63 ERA, second-best on the team amongst pitchers with at least 15 innings pitched. Zarbnisky has 44 strikeouts and has allowed 11 earned runs on 31 hits.

Along with his .339 batting average, Zarbnisky has 37 hits in 109 at-bats, with 10 RBIs, 42 total bases and a .430 on-base percentage. He is a perfect 12-for-12 on the basepaths.

The award is the latest in an impressive list for the Marietta, Georgia, native. Last week, he was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and the Big 12 All-Tournament Team. He was also named the Big 12 Player of the Week on May 8.

The John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year 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 by the College Baseball Foundation later this summer.

The Mountaineers have earned an NCAA Regional bid for the first time since 1996. WVU will open NCAA action in the Winston-Salem Regional. Seeded second in the regional, the Mountaineers will face third-seeded Maryland on Friday, June 2, at 2 p.m. ET at the David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. No. 1-seeded Wake Forest, ranked 14th nationally, and fourth-seeded UMBC round out the regional.

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