Baylor baseball senior designated hitter Matt Menard was named one of 30 candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award, Premier Sports Management announced Monday.
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. 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.
One of three candidates from the Big 12, Menard excels in the classroom as he’s a three-time Academic All-Big 12 first team selection and 2013 Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team choice. He’s also a six-time Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll member.
Additionally, the Bridge City, Texas native is the leader of the Bears because of his great attitude, work ethic, personality and leadership skills. He leads both by voice and by show and is a huge reason for Baylor having great team chemistry. He also leads in the community as he gives baseball lessons to kids, reads books to children at elementary schools, serves as an ambassador on the team’s yearly trip to Houston’s Shriners Hospital for Children, helped lead the team to restore 10 houses from the Louisiana flood in the fall and helped build a baseball field from scratch for the Waco Boys and Girls Club.
On the field, Menard has broken out in his last two seasons at Baylor. As a junior he was named 2016 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention after posting careers highs across the board with a .309 average, 28 runs, 47 hits, 11 doubles, six home runs, 25 RBI and 16 walks. In 2017, he’s off to a great start, hitting .325 with 15 runs, 27 hits, four doubles, one home run, 11 RBI, 13 walks and one steal through 24 games.
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 2017 College World Series® in June.