By: Rick Bender
HANOVER, N.H. — Thirty NCAA baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the diamond were selected as candidates today for the 2019 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate baseball, and Dartmouth pitcher Cole O’Connor was among those listed. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition.
A native of Beford, Massachusetts, O’Connor has been a part of the Dartmouth weekend rotation since his freshman year. Entering the conference portion of the schedule, O’Connor has a career ERA of 4.48 over 174.2 innings while posting a record of 10-10. A control specialist, the right-hander has issued just 1.80 walks per nine innings during his four seasons with the Big Green. Last year he was named an All-Ivy League honorable mention after going 5-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 11 starts and 70.0 innings, tying for third in the Ivy League in victories while ranking fourth in both innings and fewest walks per nine.
One of the two captains for the Big Green this spring, O’Connor is a government major with a 3.26 GPA. He also volunteers with his teammates annually at the Special Olympics as well as the CHaD Hero half marathon and 5K races, which raise money for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four C’s of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2019 College World Series in June.
Notes: O’Connor is the only Ivy League player among the 30 candidates … he is also the fifth Big Green player in the last six years to be a candidate, joining Dustin Shirley (2018), Duncan Robinson (2016), Nick Lombardi (2015) and Jeff Keller (2014), the last of whom went on to be one of 10 finalists.