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May 4, 2012

Cal Poly Shortstop Mike Miller a Quarterfinalist for Brooks Wallace Award

NATIONAL COLLEGE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME RELEASE

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Cal Poly senior shortstop Mike Miller is one of 50 NCAA Division I players named quarterfinalists for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award released Thursday by the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Brooks Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, recognizes the nation's top shortstop and will be presented on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas, as part of the College Baseball Hall of Fame's "Night of Champions".

Miller, a 2008 graduate of De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., is hitting .348 with 12 doubles, four triples, three home runs – two in last weekend's Pacific series – and as Cal Poly's leadoff hitter, has a .408 on-base percentage.

Miller leads the Big West with his 64 hits and 41 runs scored and has committed seven errors in 174 chances for a .960 fielding percentage. He had a 14-game hitting streak as well as a streak of reaching base safely in 25 consecutive contests earlier this season.

In conference games only, Miller is hitting .365 and has committed just two errors in 15 games. He has started all 43 games at shortstop and in the leadoff spot in the Mustang batting order.

Miller has 19 multiple-hit games this season, including a five-hit game against Pacific, a four-hit game against Loyola Marymount and six three-hit contests. Miller also has nine multiple-RBI games.

The Pac-12 and the Southeastern Conference lead the pack with seven players each on the first 2012 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award watch list.

The Big 12 has five players on the list and the ACC features four. Several other conferences also have multiple players on the watch list, including the Big West with two. Besides Miller, UC Irvine shortstop D.J. Crumlich also is on the watch list.

"It really says something about the high quality of play in many of these conferences that they have so many players on the watch list," said Wallace Award co-chair Tyler Young. "As conference play winds down, it will be interesting to see how these players finish the season and to see which conferences will still have multiple players on the list."

Kenton Parmley, a junior at Southeast Missouri State, leads the pack with a .410 batting average. Parmley, who has seven home runs and 12 doubles, saw his 47-game hitting streak that dated back to May 17, 2011, end on April 22.

Leading the way in fielding percentage is Pepperdine junior Zach Vincej at .989. Close behind is Tennessee senior Zach Osborne, who has compiled a .983 fielding percentage.

 "Of course, we look at all the statistics -- batting average, double, triples, home run, etc. -- when developing our watch lists, but for a shortstop award, fielding percentage has to be of huge importance," said Kevin Dunagan, Wallace Award co-chair. "Each of these young men has compiled statistics that justify their place on this lisy.