Cowan's Justin O'Conner wins Hoosier Diamond Mr. Baseball Award

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Cowan's Justin O'Conner rewrote the Indiana High School baseball record books during his Blackhawk career.

He finished with a state record-tying 51 career home runs and a state record 198 RBI's. O'Conner also was drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. Saturday night, O'Conner capped off a spectacular prep career by being named the Hoosier Diamond Mr. Baseball.

"Nominees begin to be identified to us in the first week of the baseball season. We start identifying those players' information, sending out to the coaches that will later vote on Mr. Baseball and it ends tonight (Sunday) with the presentation of the award," said Hoosier Diamond's Jeff Jellison prior to announcing Justin O'Conner's name.

Jellison made the announcement during Fox 59's live taping of Indysportsnation Overtime Sunday night. O'Conner's parents accepted the award on Justin's behalf as the 2010 Mr. Baseball has already begun his professional career, currently playing in the Florida Gulf Coast League.

"He has been down in Port Charlotte, Florida for about a month. Six days a week he is doing what he loves, baseball," said Justin's father Randy O'Conner Sunday night.

"It's been a great year for Justin and our family. We're very proud of him, the hard work he has put into it and all the people that helped him get to where he is today," added Justin's mother, Kim O'Conner.

Hoosier Diamond released the names of the top five vote-getters for the Mr. Baseball award, in alphabetical order.

Justin Glass Carroll HS Outfield
Ken Mahala Andrean 3B,RHP
Justin O'Conner Cowan C, SS, P
Steven Rice Crawfordsville Pitcher
Nolan Sanburn Kokomo High School Pitcher/Catcher/Outfield

This is the 19th year of the Hoosier Diamond Mr. Baseball Award. The list of former winners reads like a who's who for Indiana High School Baseball over the last 19 years.

1992 Chip Pettit Crown Point
1993 Scott RolenJasper
1994 Allen Stunkel Gibson Southern
1995 Brad Weber DeKalb
1996 A.J. Zapp Center Grove
1997 Matt Mauck Jasper
1998 J.D. Closser Alexandria
1999 Bryan Bullington Madison
2000 Jim Brauer Carmel
2001 Wes Whisler Noblesville
2002 Adam Lind Anderson Highland
2003 Clayton Richards McCutcheon
2004 Tim LeMasters Perry Meridian
2005 Lance Lynn Brownsburg
2006 Josh Phegley Terre Haute North
2007 Jared Parker Norwell
2008 Alex Meyer Greensburg
2009 Tucker Barnhart Brownsburg
2010 Justin O'Conner Cowan

Be sure to watch the video player to watch the award presentation and check back later Monday night for comments from Justin about the honor. The award is the third top-honor for O'Conner since the conclusion of the IHSAA season. He was previously named the Gatorade Player of the Year and the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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