Smith Named to Olerud Watch List

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2010 John Olerud Watch List Get Acrobat Reader

LUBBOCK, Texas - Alabama senior third baseman and right-hand pitcher Jake Smith has been named to the 2010 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award Watch List, the College Baseball Foundation and Hall of Fame announced Monday.

The Olerud Award, which recognizes a player who makes an impact both on the mound and at the plate, will be presented in Lubbock, Texas, on July 2 as part of the College Baseball Awards Show. The Southeastern Conference placed four players on the 25-man watch list to lead all conferences. Joining Smith on the list are Arkansas' Brett Eibner, Florida's Brian Johnson and Kentucky's Braden Kapteyn.

"Jake has been a real leader on this year's team and has had some big games for us this season," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "He has hit some big home runs, been a very solid defender at third base and has given us some quality outings on the mound."

Smith has started 45 games and is hitting .246 (42-for-171) with seven home runs and 31 RBI. On the mound, he has made eight appearances and compiled a 0-1 record with three saves and 0.84 ERA for the Crimson Tide. A two-time SEC All-Defensive Team selection, Smith is fielding .958 this season and has committed only five errors at third base this season.

The Shannon, Ala., native has recorded nine multi-hit games this season, including a season-high four hits in the Tide's season-opening win over South Alabama on Feb. 20. He has added six multi-RBI games, with a season-high four RBI against Kentucky (April 11), Mississippi State (April 25) and Florida (May 8). He posted a career-high 16-game hitting streak from April 9-May 8.

Smith has two grand slams this season against Kentucky (April 11) and Mississippi State (April 25) and both home runs led to improbable comeback wins by the Tide. Alabama trailed 9-0 at Kentucky before Smith launched a sixth-inning grand slam to pull the Tide to within 9-5. Alabama won the game 11-9. Two weeks later, Alabama trailed Mississippi State 7-0 in the fourth inning before Smith hit a third-inning grand slam as part of an eight-run inning that gave the Tide an 8-7 lead en route to an 9-8 win.

Smith has turned in six scoreless relief appearances this season and has recorded saves against South Alabama (Feb. 20), South Carolina (May 1) and Florida (May 9). He had a season-high four strikeouts against Mississippi Valley State (April 28) and South Carolina (May 1).