BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State senior pitcher Tristan Helms has been selected as one of 30 candidates nationally for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award in Division I baseball, which has nearly 300 teams.
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.
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 his or her platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in the community.
Helms (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest HS) is the only candidate from a North Carolina college program and one of only three candidates from the Sun Belt Conference. He walked on to the App State baseball team and, despite being cut two different times, has developed into a valuable relief pitcher for the Mountaineers.
A left-handed submarine pitcher who learned a new delivery early in college because he was told the velocity from his standard delivery wasn’t high enough, Helms had a 1-0 record in 22 appearances last season. Through the first 17 appearances, he had a 0.82 ERA with one run and seven hits (all singles) allowed over 11 innings, and he didn’t give up a run in 17 of the 22 appearances.
Helms has a 3.86 ERA through five appearances this season, as he’s allowed only two hits (both singles) and no runs while retiring seven of nine batters in his last four appearances.
Academically, Helms has a cumulative GPA of 3.53 as a finance major who plans to become a financial advisor, and he’s on the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List as a student-athlete with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. He has made the dean’s list every semester and is regularly a member of the Appalachian State Athletics’ Academic Honor Roll.
Helms is the vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for Appalachian State, and he was the university’s representative when the Sun Belt Conference held its on-campus winter meeting in Arlington, Texas.
In the local community, when heavy rain caused severe flooding in Boone in October, Helms and his App State teammates dug trenches and built a roof to protect the porch of a woman’s house that had been affected. Helms also gathered boxes for the Operation Christmas Child project and volunteered time at a Salvation Army during the trip to Arlington.
In addition to those efforts, Helms works with young children at the Blowing Rock School, teaches baseball to children at App State’s youth clinics and works with the Baptist Campus Ministries, as he’s also started a Bible study for members of the App State baseball team.
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. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2018 College World Series in June.
Here’s the complete list of candidates (in alphabetical order):
|Taylor Allum||Infield/Outfield||Kennesaw State|
|Jack Anderson||Outfielder||Oregon State|
|Stephen Born||Outfielder||United States Naval Academy|
|Kaylor Chafin||Pitcher||Texas A&M|
|Justin Garcia||Pitcher||Arkansas at Little Rock|
|Will Golsan||Outfielder||Ole Miss|
|Ryan Hall||Outfield||William & Mary|
|Tristan Helms||Relief pitcher||Appalachian State|
|Connor Hollis||Infield – Second Base||Houston|
|Kel Johnson||Outfield/First Base||Georgia Tech|
|Jake Johnson||Outfielder||Notre Dame|
|Kyle Kasser||Second Base||Oregon|
|Seth Kinker||Pitcher||Ohio State|
|Mark Osis||Outfield||George Washington|
|Jordan Powell||Centerfield||Rhode Island|
|Chad Roberts||Infielder||Northern Kentucky|
|Cason Sherrod||Pitcher||Texas A&M|
|Jamey Smart||OF||Loyola Marymount|
|John Valente||Utility||St. John’s|
|Trey Vickers||SS||Wichita State|