OMAHA, Neb. – Columbia sophomore Joey Falcone has been named a semifinalist for the inaugural Gregg Olson Award presented by Toolshed Sports. The list of 46 semifinalists was released by College Baseball Lineup Wednesday.

The award, which honors college baseball’s “Breakout Player of the Year,” is named in honor of former Auburn pitcher Gregg Olson. After an initial season with the Tigers with only mixed results, Olson would go on to become a two-time All-American, first round draft pick, American League Rookie of the Year and MLB All-Star.

The 46 players on the semifinalist list have shown an elevation in their game throughout the season, which has often led to direct team success, which firmly describes Falcone.

In his first season with Columbia, Falcone began the year as a pinch-hitter before taking hold of the designated hitter position as conference play got underway. Filling the clean-up hole, Falcone has posted a .333 batting average and is slugging at a .535 clip. He is second on the team with five home runs and 27 RBI.

His success matched that of the team’s. The Lions captured their 11th Ivy League title over Dartmouth on May 4 after setting a conference record for wins with 16 this season. In the Ivy League Championship Series, Falcone batted 6-for-9.

Falcone found himself at Columbia following a six-year military career, followed by one year at the College of Staten Island. After taking a year off from baseball, he joined the Lions’ baseball program following a fall tryout.

Initial nominations for the Gregg Olson Award were made by sports information/media contacts and the semifinalists were determined by an independent panel. A list of finalists is scheduled to be announced on Monday, June 3rd in conjunction with the conclusion of NCAA Regional play. The winner of the 2013 Gregg Olson Award will be named in Omaha, Nebraska during the College World Series which is to be held this season at TD Ameritrade Park from June 15-June 25/26, 2013.