Story courtesy of Buffalo Sports Information
BUFFALO, NY - Outfielder Jason Kanzler has set a new national standard for defensive excellence, earning his second Rawlings Gold Glove Award earlier this month. Honoring the nine best and brightest defensive players in Division I, this is the second straight year that the Buffalo centerfielder has been honored. He now becomes the very first player in the seven-year history of the award to be recognized twice.
The 2013 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year will have to make some room in his trophy case after another stellar year as the team's defensive coordinator. Though he did have one error credited to him, he finished his collegiate career locked in, committing just that lone error over the final 142 games of his career, dating back to his sophomore season. In 2012 he went all 55 games without an error, and pieced together 95 straight games without a defensive miscue in centerfield from March 12, 2011 to March 2 of this season.
This season, he made 168 putouts to rank third overall on the team while adding in seven outfield assists, including a memorable 4-3 extra-inning win over Bowling Green in the final weekend of the regular season that saw him gun down two potential runs at home to help secure a critical win for the team. It wasn't just his arm, though, as his collection of diving catches drew national attention, including a catch against Akron in late April.
Offensively, he batted .330 with 12 home runs, 53 runs batted in, and numerous other marks that put him in the top ten in nine different offensive categories. Notably, he now owns single-season records for at bats (227), games played (57), and runs batted in (53). He was named to the 2013 ABCA/Rawlings Mideast Regional team earlier this month and will soon sign a professional contact with the Minnesota Twins, who drafted him in the 20th round of the June amateur draft.
The Rawlings Gold Glove has been the standard for outstanding defensive play in the Major Leagues for the past 56 years. This year marks the seventh season for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award with the American Baseball Coaches Association. The ABCA All-American Committees select the Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners in their respective divisions. Every college and high school coach in the country has the opportunity to participate through his respective regional chair.
Nine Players from each division (NCAA l, ll and lll, NAIA and Junior College l, ll and lll) are announced at the respective site of each division's national championship. Each winner receives the Rawlings Gold Glove Award similar to the MLB award. Each recipient's school also receives the award for permanent display.
2013 Rawlings Division l Gold Glove Winners
C - Stuart Turner, JR, Mississippi
1B - Carlos Lopez, SR, Cal State Fullerton
2B - Kyle Overstreet, FR, Alabama
SS - Pat Valaika, JR, UCLA
3B - Taylor Sparks, FR, Cal-Irvine
OF - Austin Cousino, SO, Kentucky
OF - Jason Kanzler, SR, Buffalo
OF - Brett Williams, SR, North Carolina State
P - Nick Petree, JR, Missouri State