South Dakota State University third baseman Jesse Sawyer was selected as the top Canadian college baseball player by the CanadianBaseballNetwork.com website in its year-end awards.
A native of Calgary, Alberta, and a product of the Prairie Baseball Academy, Sawyer received 33 first-place ballots and was named on 43 of 49 ballots. He was selected as the top player out of 711 Canadians playing collegiate baseball in the United States during the 2009 season.
In his first season with the Jackrabbits, Sawyer earned first-team all-Summit League honors after setting SDSU single-season records with 19 home runs and 148 total bases. He also led the team with 61 runs scored and 58 runs batted in, while hitting .346. In one stretch, Sawyer hit a home run in 11 of 13 games.
Teammate Joel Blake, who split time between catcher, outfield and designated hitter, was named to the all-Canadian Third Team. A native of Langely, B.C., and another alumnus of the Prairie Baseball Academy, Blake batted .351 with 13 home runs and 38 runs batted in during the 2009 campaign. Blake's 21 doubles set a Jackrabbit single-season record and his 80 hits tied the team standard.
South Dakota State, coached by Ritchie Price, ended the 2009 season with a 26-30 overall record. The Jackrabbits posted a 17-10 record in Summit League play, advancing to the championship of the league postseason tournament.
SDSU is scheduled to open the 2010 season with a three-game series Feb. 26-28 at Murray State (Ky.).