Casey Harford named to 2021 Brooks Wallace Award watch list highlighting nation’s top shortstop

 Casey Harford named to 2021 Brooks Wallace Award watch list highlighting nation’s top shortstop

Casey Harford

Casey Harford, a junior on the UT Martin baseball squad, has been chosen as one of 100 players on the first edition of the 2021 Brooks Wallace Award watch list, announced by the College Baseball Foundation.

The Brooks Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, honors the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented this summer. It’s named for former Texas Tech shortstop Brooks Wallace, who played for the Red Raiders from 1977 to 1980 before passing away of leukemia at age 27.

Harford is one of five OVC shortstops to make the prestigious list, joining Eastern Illinois’ Trey Sweeney, Jacksonville State’s Cole Frederick, Southeast Missouri’s Tyler Wilbur, and Tennessee Tech’s Ed Johnson.

A 6-0, 185-pound right-handed hitter, Harford has been a team leader on the diamond all season long, starting in 27 games for head coach Ryan Jenkins. He leads the squad in doubles (seven) while ranking second in batting average (.292), second in hits (31), second in RBI’s (25) and third in runs scored (21). He has struck out only 12 times in 106 at-bats and sports a .462 slugging percentage as the team’s primary No. 3 hitter in the lineup.

Harford leads the Skyhawks with seven multi-RBI games in 2021 and ranks second on the team with eight multi-hit performances. He is responsible for the longest hitting streak by any UT Martin player this spring – stringing together a hit in 13 consecutive games from Feb. 24 through March 27.

Defensively, Harford is as reliable as they come up the middle as he has committed just three errors in 95 chances, equating for a slick .968 fielding percentage.

In his career, the Cordova, Tennessee native ranks fifth all-time in assists (302) and seventh in RBI’s (96). Harford has hit .276 with 27 doubles, three triples, 12 home runs and 70 runs scored in 130 games (128 starts) in a Skyhawk uniform. Over the last three seasons alone, he has upped his batting average to .305 – securing 100 of his 135 career hits during that span.