Four Aggies Named Semifinalists for Dick Howser Trophy


DALLAS – Texas A&M’s Evan Aschenbeck, Jace LaViolette, Braden Montgomery and Ryan Prager have been named semifinalists for the 2024 Dick Howser Trophy, as announced by the Dick Howser Trophy Committee in conjunction with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Thursday. The prestigious award in college baseball is given to the top player based on two rounds of national voting by NCBWA members

The Aggies’ four selections are tied for the most in the country with Wake Forest. This year’s 68 candidates come from 18 different conferences and 48 different schools. The SEC led the way with 16 semifinalists followed by the ACC with 13.

Aschenbeck has been brilliant in relief for the Maroon & White this season as the senior holds a 4-1 record to go along with a 1.94 ERA and an SEC-best seven saves. The lefty has struck out 60 batters in 51 innings of work and has only allowed seven walks. Twenty of his 23 appearances have been for multiple innings and 15 of them have been scoreless.

LaViolette is in the midst of a monster sophomore campaign that has seen him belt 27 homers and drive in 69 RBI, while batting .320. The Aggie center fielder’s 27 long balls are the second most in program history and upped his career total to 48, which is third all-time in the Texas A&M record books. Nationally, LaViolette ranks fourth in homers, sixth in homers per game (0.52), seventh in total bases (165), seventh in runs (73), 10th in runs per game (1.40), 10th in slugging percentage (.825) and 16th in RBI.

In 52 games, the sophomore has registered 18 multi-hit, 18 multi-RBI and six multi-homer performances.

This marks the second straight season Montgomery has been named a semifinalist for the award. The junior is batting .333 in 52 games to go along with 24 homers and an SEC-best 77 RBI. Among the nation, Montgomery ranks fifth in RBI, eighth in homers, ninth in RBI per game (1.48), 11th in walks (51) and 17th in total bases. The junior also leads the Maroon & White with 22 multi-hit and 23 multi-RBI performances.

Prager has developed into one of the top pitchers in the country in 2024 as the redshirt sophomore holds an 8-1 record and a 2.71 ERA in 13 starts. The left-hander has punched out 95 in 69.2 innings of work and allowed only 12 walks on the year. Prager has been the starter in three of team’s nine shutouts this season, including a seven-inning complete game shutout of No. 6 Vanderbilt. The lefty has also totaled six quality starts and has not allowed an earned run in six of his 13 outings.

Nationally, Prager ranks fifth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.92), 11th in WHIP (0.95), 15th in wins, 18th in walks allowed per nine (1.55) and 20th in strikeouts (95).

The 2024 award will be presented at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, the home of the College World Series, for the 12th year. The winner will be unveiled on MLB Network on Thursday, June 13 during the 9 a.m. (CDT) highlight show hour. A news conference with the winner will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 14 prior to the first game of the 77th NCAA College World Series, in the Schwab Stadium Media Room.