Miles, Thomasson chosen co-winners of Outstanding Male Athlete Award
Jun 29, 2014
Story by Thomas Corhern Cookeville Herald-Citizen
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- A hundred-and-seventy-two hits. 37 doubles. 33
home runs. 127 runs scored. 130 runs batted in. A combined .357
And that’s just the production for one season.
With the numbers that the Tennessee Tech baseball duo of Daniel
Miles and Brandon Thomasson put together, it’s no wonder to
see why the Golden Eagles put together arguably one of the best
seasons in program history as Tech finished 40-19, falling in the
championship game of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, just
shy of making the NCAA Tournament field for the first time since
the 2009 season.
The numbers those two alone put together is hard to
differentiate between them for this year’s Tennessee Tech
Male Athlete of the Year Award, leaving the selection committee no
choice but to make them co-recipients of the award, only the third
time since the awards inception that the award has been shared.
The previous times included Willie Jenkins (men’s
basketball) and Frank Omiyale (football) in 2005 and A.J.
Kirby-Jones and Chad Oberacker (both baseball) in 2010.
But this time is a little bit different when you consider who
else was also nominated as junior shortstop Dylan Bosheers (.368
batting average, 66 runs scored, 86 hits, 11 home runs, 56 runs
batted in) and junior pitcher David Hess (nine wins, 104
strikeouts, 3.24 earned run average) were also among the 11
finalists, which included Alex Arovin (tennis), Alberto Esteban
(tennis), Tra’Darius Goff (football), Marty Jones (football),
Dennis Ogbe (basketball), Mitch Thomas (golf) and Chad Zinchini
“I will say that it is very much deserved not only for
Daniel and Brandon,” said Tech baseball head coach Matt
Bragga, “but also those other guys nominated. Those four guys
are just great young men. They were not only a great force on the
field, but they have been fantastic off the field as well.
It’s neat to see.”
Miles added, “I figured with the season we had, there
would be a bunch of guys from the baseball team in the finalists.
There’s just so many guys that had fantastic years.
It’s just awesome because the guys on this team were just
Thomasson said, “Everyone on our team this year could have
won this award. This team was just amazing. The two years I was at
Tech, we had two record-breaking seasons with a lot of different
things. Daniel and I came in from the JUCO level and just did
Former winners of the award also include: Mike Jones (football,
1994), Greg Bibb (basketball, 1995), Michael Penix (football,
1996), Mark Maberry (baseball, 1997), Andre Caballero (football,
1998), Branon Vaughn (1999 and 2000, football), Chad Evitts
(football, 2001), Grant Swallows (football, 2002), Casey Benjamin
(baseball, 2003), Jenkins (basketball, 2004), Scott Stallings
(golf, 2006 and 2007), Larry Shipp (football, 2008), Kirby-Jones
(baseball, 2009), Zac Swansey (basketball, 2011), Tim Benford
(football, 2012) and Syrym Abduhkhalikov (tennis, 2013).
The resume material alone for Miles and Thomasson is just
“And it was capped with Miles getting drafted in the
eighth round (of the Major League Baseball entry draft) and
Thomasson in the ninth,” Bragga said. “That was really
fun to see those guys develop over their years at Tech. It’s
a testament to these guys and much deserving.”
Reciting Daniel Miles’ write-up from the TTU Sports
Information department on the nomination: “One of the best
players in both the league and nation all year, Miles backed up the
hype that saw him earn a spot on the USA Baseball Midseason Golden
Spikes Award Watch List.
“The third baseman put together an incredible year both
offensively and defensively on his way to earning Louisville
Slugger All-American First Team honors from Collegiate Baseball
newspaper. Joining teammate Brandon Thomasson as a First-Team
honoree, he became just one of four Ohio Valley Conference players
ever named a First-Team All-American.
“Thanks in large part to a ridiculous season at the plate,
Miles became the most decorated All-American in Golden Eagle
history. This season alone he also saw honors such as Rawlings/ABCA
South All-Region First Team, All-OVC First Team, College Sports
Madness Ohio Valley All-Conference First Team, OVC All-Tournament
Team, and was named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.
“He broke Tech’s single game record with eight RBI
in a huge victory over NYIT in February, leading to OVC Player of
the Week and NCAA National Player of the Week honors. He also took
home College Sports Madness OVC Player of the Week accolades in
March. The slugger manned the hot corner in 58 games, leading the
Golden Eagles to a record-tying 40 wins with a team-high .380
batting average and ranking second nationally with 67 runs
“He also finished the season in the top 10 in Division I
baseball with 90 hits on the year, the third highest single-season
total in Tech history. He wrapped up his 2014 campaign with 17
doubles, a triple, and 11 home runs, tallying 54 RBI while
recording an on base percentage of .481. He became the highest
drafted infielder in Tech history, going to the Tampa Bay Rays in
the eighth round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft with the
247th overall selection.”