TAMPA, Fla. – University of South Florida outfielder Ryan Lockwood was tabbed as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's 2008 Freshman Player of the Year, and was selected to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team, the organization announced on Wednesday.
“Ryan Lockwood had one of the best freshman years I have ever seen," said USF head coach Lelo Prado. "He played the game the right way and we are very happy he is a part of our baseball program. He is one of the guys we are counting on to get us to Omaha.”
Lockwood is the first USF baseball player to be selected as the national freshman player of the year, and along with teammate Stephen Hunt, the duo increases USF's all-time freshman All-American total to 12.
“This was so unexpected; to be recognized nationally is a great honor," said Lockwood. "This award is truly a testament to my coaches, teammates and family. I could not have done this without them.”
As of May 29, Lockwood's .415 batting average is the 20th-best in the NCAA and he is 47th in the country in on base percentage with his .493 mark.
His .415 batting average is second among freshman in the nation in batting, trailing only Cory Harrilchak of Elon, who has a .428 average in 59 games. Lockwood is also tops among freshman in the state of Florida, boasting a season average of .415, the only freshman above the .400 mark. He has earned the distinction of being named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on three separate occasions: April 7, April 21 and May 11.
A first team All-BIG EAST player, Lockwood was the first freshman in BIG EAST history to lead the conference in batting average during conference play, posting a .454 mark. In conference games, he also led all BIG EAST players with a .523 OBP, was tied for the lead with a 1.000 fielding percentage and was fourth in hits with 44. In 23 league games, he had 14 multiple-hit games, including seven three-hit outings. He had at least one hit in each of his conference outings, and has no errors in center field. In his last five BIG EAST games, he was 12-for-23 with a double, triple, three walks, three RBI, six runs scored and an outfield assist. Throughout the season, the native of Tampa earned three BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll awards, including April 7, April 21 and May 11.
Lockwood, who missed the final nine games of the season with a broken finger, ended the season on a 30-game hitting streak, which began March 19 against Oklahoma. In those 30 games, he batted .464 with 58 hits, including 11 doubles and two triples. Lockwood scored 27 runs and collected 24 RBI while drawing 16 walks and being hit by three pitches. He had eight three-hit outings, as well one four-hit game against UCF and seven two-hit games during that stretch. The Tampa native made 89 putouts in the field, including three diving catches, with no errors during his streak.
A Jesuit High School grad, Lockwood was second on the USF team with 26 multiple-hit games – once he had four, 10 times he had three hits and he collected a pair of hits in 15 games. He was also tops in on base percentage with a .493 clip and third on the team with nine multiple-RBI games. He posted a .513 slugging percentage and made only one fielding error while compiling 122 put outs and three outfield assists in his 47 starts in center field.