UCSB’s Ford a preseason favorite for player of year

UCSB’s starting pitcher Mike Ford has been named to the College Baseball Foundation’s Brooks Wallace Player of the Year watch list. The junior right-hander is making an appearance on the exclusive list for the second season in a row.
As a sophomore last season, Ford led the Gauchos in innings pitched and complete games while compiling a 6-4 record and 2.96 ERA. Striking out 76 hitters in 94.1 innings, the Scottsdale, Ariz. native allowed a mere .227 batting average against. Ford was named to the Big West’s Second Team last season, one year after being named a Freshman All-American by Lousville Slugger.

Ford is one of a dozen players making a consecutive appearance on the prestigious Wallace watch list. The Wallace Award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The winner will be announced on July 2, 2009.
The Wallace Award is dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace, who was a slick-fielding shortstop from 1977-80. A four-year starter, Wallace led the Red Raiders to their first-ever appearance in the Southwest Conference Tournament in 1980.
After playing two years in the Texas Rangers’ organization, Wallace returned to Texas Tech and served as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach. In the summer of 1984 he was diagnosed with cancer, before passing away in 1985 at the age of 27.
UCSB – a nationally recognized university in both academic and athletic excellence – is located on the central coast of California in a picturesque campus and community setting on the Pacific Ocean. Each year over 450 Division-I Gaucho student-athletes compete for national championships, succeed in the classroom and give back to the community.