OMAHA, Neb. - For the fourth time since the inception of the award in 2007, a Creighton Bluejay has earned a Rawlings Gold Glove, an award bestowed upon the best defensive players at each position at the college level. Creighton senior Nick Judkins joins former Bluejays Darin Ruf (two time) and Vicente Cafaro as Creighton award winners, as the four Gold Gloves give Creighton the most for a single school in the awards history.
UC Irvine and Florida State have each had three players to win Gold Gloves, with Georgia, Kentucky and Pepperdine each holding a pair of awards.
Judkins earned the award at first base this season, his second career Gold Glove, as he was also honored with one at the junior college level (in 2010 as a third baseman at Iowa Central Community College).
Creighton's defense has ranked among the nations best in the nine seasons under Ed Servais, including sitting eighth entering the 2012 College World Series with a .978 fielding percentage.
Judkins led the squad this season, committing just one error in 651 chances at first base. He leaves Creighton with the second and fifth highest putouts in a single season, with 602 this season and 554 last season. The number combined, 1,156, places him fifth on the career charts at Creighton, even though he just played a pair of seasons with the Bluejays.
The Lakeville, Minn., native also led the Bluejays offensively this season, finishing with a .313 batting average in 58 starts. He led the team with 71 hits, finishing second on the squad with 38 runs scored and a .408 on-base percentage. Judkins was named to the 2012 Los Angeles Regional All-Tournament Team, the 2012 MVC All-Tournament team and earned All-MVC Defensive Team honors this season.
The Rawlings Gold Glove has been the standard for outstanding defensive play in the Major Leagues for the past 55 years. This year marks the sixth season for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award with the American Baseball Coaches Association.
The ABCA All-American Committees select the Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners in their respective divisions. Every college and high school coach in the country has the opportunity to participate through his respective regional chair.
Nine Players from each division (NCAA l, ll and lll, NAIA and Junior College l, ll and lll) are announced at the respective site of each division's national championship. Each winner receives the Rawlings Gold Glove Award similar to the MLB award. Each recipient's school also receives the award for permanent display.
2012 Rawlings Division l Gold Glove Winners
C - Spencer Kieboom, Jr., Clemson
1B - Nick Judkins, Sr., Creighton
2B - Zach Price, Sr., Army
SS - Zach Vincej - Jr., Pepperdine
3B - Sherman Johnson, Sr., Florida State
OF - Beau Amaral, Jr., UCLA
OF - Travis Jankowski, Jr., Stony Brook
OF - Jason Kanzler, Jr., Buffalo
P - Corey Littrell, So., Kentucky