May 13, 2014
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech senior right-handed pitcher Richie Navari is one of eighty collegiate baseball players that have been named to the watch list for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award, which is presented by Toolshed Sports.
As Navari continues to impress on the mound this season for the Bulldogs, the senior is up for the annual award, which honors college baseball's "Breakout Player of the Year". The award is given to players that have elevated their game through hard work, strength of mind and determination throughout the 2014 season.
The Gregg Olson Award is named after former Auburn Tiger star pitcher Gregg Olson, who became one of the top collegiate players in the nation after an initial season filled with only mixed success. Olson went on to become a two-time All American, first round draft pick, American League Rookie of the Year and MLB All Star.
After posting a 1-6 record in his first season with the Bulldogs in 2013, Navari spent his offseason rehabbing from arm surgery and came back for his senior season better than ever. The senior right-hander made 11 appearances in 2013 and began the season as the Sunday starter in LA Tech's weekend rotation. After struggling in his first seven starts, Navari was relegated to the bullpen and saw action in just four games the remainder of the season.
Leading up to this season, Navari rehabbed until the start of practice in January and was quickly entered back into the Bulldogs' 2014 rotation, where he has been a mainstay for the entirety of his senior season. The Pittsburgh native has started 12 of the 13 appearances he has made on the mound, including three complete games to add to his impressive senior campaign.
In the first complete-game performance of his career, Navari threw a four-hitter to help lead Louisiana Tech to a 5-2 victory over Conference USA opponent Tulane for the team's inaugural win as a first-year member of the league. His second complete game was even more impressive, as Navari gave up one run and walked just two batters to lead LA Tech to a 5-1 road victory over No. 25-ranked Texas A&M in College Station.
Navari is currently ranked 10th in Conference USA with a 2.16 ERA, while he also ranks third in the league and 48th in the nation with three complete games. His 2.16 ERA is ranked in the Top 100 among all Division I pitchers in the country.
Semifinalists are slated to be named on Friday, May 20 at the start of NCAA Regional play and the finalists are scheduled to be announced on Friday, June 6 at the beginning of Super Regional action.
The winner of the 2014 Gregg Olson Award will be named in Omaha, Nebraska during the College World Series, which is to be held this season at TD Ameritrade Park from June 14-June 25.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.