2001 Rotary Smith Watch List Released

Feb. 2, 2001

HOUSTON - The 2001 Rotary Smith committee has released a preliminary watch list of over 160 Division 1 college baseball players who are under consideration to become the winner of the 14th annual Rotary Smith Award, which will be handed out in Houston, Texas, on June 28.

Representing Wake Forest on the preseason list are junior closer Dave Bush, senior right-handed pitcher Scott Siemon, senior third baseman Corey Slavik and senior outfield Cory Sullivan.

Bush was a Cape Cod League All-Star over the summer while pitching for the Chatham A's. The native of Devon, Pa., recorded seven saves last year for the Demon Decaons and will again assume the role of closer in 2001.

Siemon was a first-team All-ACC pitcher last season, returns as the ace of the Wake Forest pitching staff. The senior from West Palm Beach, Fla., posted a 11-2 record last year with a 2.76 ERA. He ranks fifth on the all-time win list and needs 11 wins to become the all-time leader in that category.

Slavik begins his fourth season at third base and is a former Freshman All-American. He is a career .315 hitter and has hit at least seven home runs in each of his first three seasons at Wake Forest.

In addition to being named to the Smith Award Watch List, Sullivan is a preseason second team All-American as voted by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He started all 62 games last year in centerfield, hit .374 and his 102 hits last season were the third-best single season total in Wake Forest history. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native was a third-team All-America selection by the NCBWA in 2000.

Voting to determine the list of 12 semifinalists will begin near the end of April and the list will be announced at the conclusion of the regular season. Three finalists will be announced prior to the start of NCAA Super Regional Action, the week of June 1-3.

Now in its 14th year, the Rotary Smith Award is awarded each summer to the nation's top college baseball player. Once again this year, the gala Award Dinner will be held at the Doubletree-Post Oak Hotel in Houston. The Award, a national project of the Rotary Club of Houston, raises money for Rotary national charities, Texas Children's Hospital and the Karl Young League.

Seven previous winners of the were active in major league baseball during the 2000 campaign 1988 winner Andy Benes of Evansville (St. Louis Cardinals), 1991 winner Bobby Jones of Fresno State (New York Mets), 1993 winner Darren Dreifort of Wichita State (Los Angeles Dodgers), 1994 winner Jason Varitek of Georgia Tech (Boston Red Sox), 1995 winner Mark Kotsay of Cal.-State Fullerton (Florida Marlins), 1996 winner Kris Benson of Clemson (Pittsburgh) and 1997 winner Tim Hudson of Auburn (Oakland Athletics).

For more information on this year's award, call Avatar Technology at (713) 659-5251 or check out the award's website at http://www.smithaward.com. For ticketing information, please call the Rotary Club of Houston at (713) 973-9936.



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