LUBBOCK, Texas – Lipscomb baseball’s Grant Massey is one of 47 shortstops across the nation to be named to the initial watch list for the 2015 Brooks Wallace Award, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
The award, sponsored by Mizuno, recognizes the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented during the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 29 in Lubbock.
“This is a very prestigious list to be on and for Grant to be recognized in that group, you know you have to be a pretty special player to be considered one of the best shortstops in the country,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “Grant obviously won’t say much about it because he feels like he just goes about his business every day, but everyone else recognizes what he has done and the kind of season he is putting together.”
Massey has started all 38 games at shortstop for the Bisons this season. He currently leads the team and stands 29th nationally with a .386 batting average. That is the highest clip among all members on the watch list.
The Auburn, Alabama native has collected 56 hits on the year with eight doubles, one triple and two home runs. He has also knocked in 34 RBI and scored 30 runs. Massey has drawn 12 walks and leads the team with a .445 on-base percentage.
“He has always been a polished defensive player, but now his offense is really coming around and turning him into just a solid player all the way around,” Forehand said. “You don’t want to say he is quietly putting up a great season, but you really don’t ever notice him. He just goes out and does his job every day and when he gets the opportunity to make a big play in a game, he does. “
The senior has also shown speed on the base paths, swiping a team-leading 13 stolen bases in 16 attempts.
As good as Massey has been at the plate, he has been even better in the field. The ease with which he moves around the infield and makes the almost-impossible plays look easy, is a quality that sets him apart from even the best fielders in the nation.
He has lived up to the Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year billing, making just one error in 174 total chances (47 putouts, 126 assists) and topping the watch list with a .994 fielding percentage. He has been a part of 24 of the 31 double plays turned by the Bisons this season.
Massey’s wizardry at shortstop has led to a streak of 21 consecutive error-free games and helped stake the Bisons as one of the top defensive teams in America, ranking 19th with a .977 team fielding percentage.
Massey continues to climb the Lipscomb career charts in just two years in Nashville where he has started all 99 games at shortstop. The veteran has a .346 batting average, with five home runs, 27 doubles, four triples, 58 RBI, 52 walks, 77 runs scored and 27 stolen bases while posting a .475 slugging percentage and a .433 on-base percentage. Defensively he has a career-fielding percentage of .971, making just 14 errors in 477 chances.
He has accounted for two game-winning hits this season, including a big go-ahead two-RBI double in the 11th inning on Tuesday to lead the Bisons over Austin Peay.
Several conferences have multiple players on the watch list, led by the SEC and PAC-12 with five, but Massey represents the lone nominee from the A-Sun.
Lipscomb is 25-13 overall and 5-4 in league play this season. It will begin a key conference series Friday night when the reigning 2014 A-Sun Tournament champion Kennesaw State visits Music City. Friday’s first pitch is tentatively slated for 6 p.m.
For more information on the 2015 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions, click HERE.
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