Senior Chris Slater began this semester with a 3.98 cumulative GPA, and he will graduate in just a couple of weeks with his degree in finance. I could stop right there, and his achievements would be worthy of recognition — but that’s not all. The Plano native also is a four-year letterman on the Baylor baseball team, and for his achievements both on and off the field, Slater is one of 10 finalists for the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in baseball.
After playing in just 35 games and making four starts in his first two years with the Bears, Slater made 22 starts and appeared in 42 games in 2010 and has appeared in nearly every game again this season (37 games played, 25 starts). Last year, Slater led all regular contributors in average (.341) and slugging (.557); this spring, he ranks second on the team in average (.311) and third in slugging (.462).
Slater’s work in the classroom made him one of five Baylor student-athletes to be named Academic All-Americans last year, and he has been named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of his seven semesters at Baylor. Among his many community activities, Slater helped coordinate a blood drive benefiting the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and worked with Christians Organized for Relief Efforts gutting houses following Hurricane Ike.
Now here’s where you come in: Fan voting for the award counts for one-third of the total (the remainder is decided by coaches and members of the media). Voting is now open; fans can vote once each day between now and June 5; the winner of the award will be announced June 24 at the College World Series. So go vote!
Sic ’em, Chris!
[Worth noting: Slater is not the first Bear to be up for a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in the honor's short history. Men's basketball's Curtis Jerrells was a finalist in 2009, while football's Joe Pawelek (2009) and Derek Epperson (2010) were each named candidates (semi-finalists).]