DALLAS (NCBWA) For the seventh time since 2000, the National
Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) has selected its nine
NCAA Division I District Baseball Players of the Year. This all-star
squad includes three of the finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy - James
Madison's Kellen Kulbacki, Houston's Brad Lincoln and Cal State Fullerton's
Pittsburgh junior second baseman Jim Negrych was named as the
District I winner. Negrych hit .396 this season with 11 home runs and 60
RBI. He ranked among the Big East Conference and national leaders in batting
average, slugging percentage and RBI. Negrych also became the first Panther
to be named a semifinalist for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy, awarded
to the nation's top collegiate baseball player. He is just one of five Panthers
to record 200 hits in a career, and one of just two to do it in three seasons.
He is also the school's all-time leader in walks (117) and ranks second
in home runs (34), RBIs (164), doubles (48) and total bases (367).
In District II, Monmouth University senior shortstop Nick Massari
was selected as the winner. A unanimous selection as the Northeast Conference
Player of the Year, he led the league in slugging percentage (.632), runs
scored (48), hits (73), runs batted in (51) and total bases (117). Massari
was second in the conference in batting average (.395), on-base percentage
(.475), home runs (8), hit by pitch (10) and stolen bases (21).
Kentucky junior first baseman Ryan Strieby was chosen as the District
III winner. The Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, he led the Wildcats
to a 44-17 record and to an appearance in the NCAA Tournament this year.
He led Kentucky in nearly every offensive category during the year, while
setting a school record by driving in 77 runs. Strieby led the league in
RBI, doubles, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
In District IV, James Madison University sophomore outfielder Kellen
Kulbacki was selected as the winner. The 2006 Player of the Year in
the Colonial Athletic Association, Kulbacki led the Dukes to a 38-21 overall
record and to a first-place finish in the CAA with 22-8 league record. He
ranked among the nation's leader in home runs (24) and slugging (.943),
while his season batting average of .464 ranks second nationally and his
1.42 RBIs per game (75 total) stands tied for fourth across the nation.
He set JMU season records for homers, batting average, slugging percentage,
total bases (183) and tied the record for RBIs. Kulbacki is a semifinalist
for the Dick Howser Trophy by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Ohio State junior third baseman Ronnie Bourquin was selected as
the recipient of the NCBWA's District V award. Bourquin led the Big 10 Conference
with a .416 batting average, .612 slugging percentage, .492 on-base percentage,
91 hits, 66 RBI and 134 total bases. He came within one hit of tying the
school record, had a hit in all but 11 of the 58 games he played and reached
base in all but seven games. Bourquin, a semifinalist for the Dick Howser
Trophy and the Brooks Wallace Award, had a career-long 14-game hit streak
and led the Buckeyes with 27 multiple-hit games, including four contests
with four hits.
District VI featured its usual array of national caliber teams and the
NCBWA recognized Nebraska junior outfielder Luke Gorsett. A transfer
from Garden City (Kan.) Community College, Gorsett enjoyed a strong first
season at Nebraska, earning All-America honors from the College Baseball
Foundation and consensus first-team All-Big 12 honors. He batted .348 with
15 homers and 48 RBI, ranking among the Big 12 leaders in homers (second),
slugging percentage (second), total bases (133, eighth) and batting average
(15th). A first-team All-Big 12 selection, Gorsett was a semifinalist for
both the Dick Howser Trophy and the Brooks Wallace Award and reached safely
in 52 of 56 contests.
University of Houston junior pitcher/designated hitter Brad Lincoln
was selected as the winner in District VII. In 2006, Lincoln emerged as
one of the nation's finest all-around players. He compiled a sparkling 12-2
record with a 1.69 earned run average and 152 strikeouts in 127.2 innings
of work. In Conference USA action, The Conference USA Pitcher of the Year
posted a 7-0 record with a sparkling 1.28 ERA. Lincoln was also a key member
of the Cougar lineup, batting .295 with 14 home runs and a team-best 53
Utah senior shortstop Ryan Khoury was the NCBWA's choice as District
VIII Player of the Year. Khoury was the Mountain West Conference Player
of the Year in 2006. He led the Utes in virtually every offensive category
this past season. Khoury's .438 batting average was the fifth-best mark
in NCAA Division I last week. He was also ranked among the top 50 in the
nation in runs per game (No. 6), slugging percentage (No. 14) and hit by
pitch (No. 31).
In District IX, Cal State Fullerton sophomore pitcher Wes Roemer
was tabbed as the NCBWA Player of the Year. A two-time All-American selection,
Roemer started the 2006 season in spectacular fashion, throwing 65.2 innings
without giving up a walk. The Titans, who are 46-13 overall and advanced
to host an NCAA Super Regional, have been led by Roemer, who is 12-1 with
a 2.02 earned run average. He has struck out 125 batters in 133.2 innings
overall, with only six walks.
California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai'i, Arizona, Alaska