Former Murrieta Mesa baseball standout and current Baylor Bear, Andy Thomas, not only had an impressive series against Kansas State, earning the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Week status, but the fifth-year senior was also selected as a finalist for the 2021 Senior CLASS Award. Thomas is one of 10 student-athletes to be considered for the award.
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
Thomas led the Big 12 last week after hitting an impressive .727/.800/1.636 in the series win over Kansas State. He also led the conference with three home runs, nine RBI and 18 total bases as he had multiple hits in all three games. Thomas also tied for the Big 12 lead with eight hits (8-for-11), while coming in tied for second with six runs scored as the Bears outscored K-State 43-15 on their way to their fourth-straight Big 12 series win.
In what was an impressive win, Thomas was a triple short of the cycle in the Bears 17-2 thrashing of the Wildcats on Friday, while picking up two hits in the Saturday game. The Murrieta native had his first multi-home run game of his career after smacking two two-run home runs and set a new career-high with six RBI in the Bears record-setting 23-3 win in seven innings over KSU on Sunday.
On the season, Thomas is hitting a career-best .350/.408/.595, to go along with a career-high 10 home runs and 53 RBI. Thomas leads the team in home runs and RBI, he is also second on the team in hits (57), batting average, slugging percentage and total bases (97). His 53 RBI are third-most in the Big 12.
Not only is Thomas a stellar athlete on the field, but he is also a great student in the classroom. The fifth-year senior graduated with a degree in marketing with a 3.44 GPA in May 2020. Last year he was awarded the 2020 Dr. Prentice Gautt Big 12 Postgraduate Scholarship. In addition, he has made the First Team Big 12 All-Academic Team all four years at BU. He is currently working on his MBA and has a perfect 4.0 GPA.
To be eligible for the CLASS 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.
The finalists were chosen by a selection committee from the list of 30 candidates announced earlier in the season. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through June 7. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner.
2021 Senior CLASS Award Baseball Finalists
Darren Baker, California; Jake Mulholland, Oregon State; T.J. Collett, Kentucky; Zach Pettway, UCLA; Scotty Dubrule, Mississippi State; Evan Russell, Tennessee; Brett Harris, Gonzaga; Andy Thomas, Baylor; Alex Kachler, North Florida; Rankin Woley, Auburn. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2021 College World Series in June.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.