Morache, Wood make Tino Martinez watch list

By Steve Johnson
Dixie State Trailblazers senior SS Tanner Morache has been named as a semifinalist on the 2016 D2 Baseball News Tino Martinez Player of the Year list. 

Morache is one of two Pacific West Conference players on the elite list of 40 players from across the country. The winner of the 2016 Tino Martinez Award will be announced on Monday, June 6, following the Division II World Series, which will be held May 28-June 4, in Cary, N.C. The finalists will be revealed prior to the beginning of the DII finals.

Also named a finalist was OF Corey Wood (Fredericton, N.B.) University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevils. Wood batted .353 with 13 doubles, two triples, 17 homers and 55 RBIs with a 1.257 OPS.

Morache (Vancouver, BC), who was a preseason all-PacWest and two-time conference player of the week selection, finished the 2016 regular season with a .401 batting average with three home runs, 38 RBIs and a team-high 52 runs scored out of the leadoff spot. He has hit safely in 45 of 50 games with 26 multi-hit games, including 16 two-hit games, eight three-hit games and two four-hit outings. He recorded hitting streaks of 18 and 16 games this season, while his career-high 18-game streak featured five-straight two-hit games and 12 multi-hit games overall.

In addition, Morache has reached base safely in 48 of 50 games, including 38-straight to finish the regular season. He is currently DSU’s single-season record holder in doubles with 22 (ranked No. 11 nationally) and is second all-time on the single-season list in hits with 82 (No. 19 nationally). Morache also became the first player in DSU’s NCAA era to hit a walk-off home run (grand slam vs. Saint Martin’s) and leadoff home run (at Point Loma) in the same season. He was a 2015 NCBWA Second Team All-West Region selection, the 2015 PacWest Newcomer of the Year and a 2015 First Team All-PacWest honoree.

No. 10/13 Dixie State (38-12/26-10 PacWest), which is currently ranked first in the NCAA Division II West Region, will find out this Sunday, May 15, if it will advance to its fifth-straight NCAA West Regional, which will be held May 19-22, at a site that has yet to be determined. 

SS Tanner Morache Dixie State
.407 49-49 204 51 83 22 2 3 37 118 .578 19 4 24 0 .459 4 4 11

OF Corey Wood Arkansas-Monticello
.353 41-41 153 44 54 13 2 17 55 122 .797 31 1 37 0 .460 2 1 9