By Staff Report.
Rising junior righthander Mike Kent (Springfield, VA) was named one of five winners of the second-annual Tom Walter College Baseball Inspiration Award, announced on Tuesday by CollegeBaseballInsider. The award is named for Wake Forest Head Coach Tom Walter, who donated a kidney to outfielder Kevin Jordan prior to the 2011 season.
The other 2012 winners include Marty Gantt (College of Charleston), Alex Silver (Texas), Carter Smith (Tennessee-Martin), and Tanner Vavra (Valparaiso).
“We feel privileged to highlight and honor such an incredible group of student athletes,” said Sean Ryan, co-founder of CollegeBaseballInsider.com, which has covered Division I college baseball since 2002. “The five winners, as well as our five other finalists, epitomize what college athletics is all about, and we are inspired by all they have accomplished on and off the baseball diamond.”
Kent recorded a save at Maryland in the first game of a doubleheader on April 21, 2012. Two days later, he endured a six-hour bone marrow transplant for his ailing brother, Matt, who is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
On the season, Kent was 1-2 with two saves and a 3.76 ERA in 38.1 innings pitched over 21 appearances (one start). Kent was an ACC Academic Honor Roll member as well.
“I think about the pain he’s going through, pain he’s been through the last three years now,” Kent told The Post & Courier in May. “He’s a fighter, and that’s what I’m trying to be.”