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Bortles Named Senior CLASS Award Candidate

Colby Bortles steps to the plate, Photo by Steven Gagliano

Ole Miss senior Colby Bortles was recognized as one of 30 candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® in college baseball Monday afternoon. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
Not only is Bortles representing Ole Miss on the list, but he is also the only player from the Southeastern Conference to be selected as a candidate for the prestigious award.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. 
Displaying leadership on and off the field, Bortles is a two-time team captain. He was chosen by his teammates to be team captain for the 2016 season before getting re-elected again this year. While often soft spoken, he knows when to speak up and give his teammates a boost. He primarily leads by example, focusing on the task at hand and putting 100-percent effort into making himself better. He also welcomes the fans with a friendly smile, taking time after each game to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
From playing in 40 games and earning a start in the 2014 College World Series as a freshman to starting all 62 games last year, Bortles has made his mark on the program. The Oviedo, Florida, native has appeared in 180 games as a Rebel, making 151 starts. As a .272 career hitter, Bortles has been known for his power at the dish with 38 doubles and 21 home runs.
Bortles entered his senior season as a Preseason All-American and Preseason All-SEC honoree. After getting off to a slow start, he has become one of the most dangerous hitters at the plate in 2017. He is hitting .333 throughout the last 19 games to increase his season batting average to .274 while leading the team in home runs (4), RBI (17), slugging percentage (.493) and on-base percentage (.380). Moreover, he has produced four multi-hit games over the past five contests.
Since he arrived on campus, Bortles has been active in the Oxford community. For the past four years, he has participated in the Reading with the Rebels program, through which he reads children’s books to local elementary students. Bortles also has been an active participant of putting together the famous Love Packs that go out to those in the community. Last fall, Bortles helped welcome a Shriners Hospitals patient to campus as the team threw a surprise birthday party for her; he was one of the first to welcome her to the field. Looking towards life after baseball, Bortles is currently interning with the Batesville Police Department as he pursues a degree in criminal justice.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four C’s of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2017 College World Series in June.
Bortles and the Rebels return to Swayze Field tomorrow (March 28), hosting Little Rock for the annual School Day Game as 6,000 local elementary school students plan to arrive for the 11 a.m. first pitch. The game will be streamed on SECN+ with Richard Cross and David Dellucci on the call.
For the latest news and updates involving Ole Miss Baseball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
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