Gonzaga University pitcher Darin Blood was named the Pac-10 North’s player of the year on Wednesday. But as he sat in his parents’ home in Post Falls, one of his first thoughts was: “Man, I’d trade this award for the Pac-10 North Conference Championship.”
But Washington State coach Steve Farrington, whose Cougars won the division this year, certainly wouldn’t accommodate Blood if he made such a request to the first-year coach. Farrington doesn’t need another award - he was named the Pac-10 coach of the year.
“With the talent that we had,” Blood said, “it was just unfortunate that we let the title slip away.”
Blood, a junior, finished the season with a GU-record 13-3 mark while posting an earnedrun average of 2.57. In addition to registering 145 strikeouts to set the Pac-10 North and school record, Blood topped the league in strike-outs per nine innings with 10.97 while sharing the league lead for innings pitched (GU-record 119) and complete games (8). His 13 wins tied for fourth in the nation.
The question now is whether Blood will be a Bulldog next year. The Major League Baseball draft is June 1-3.
“I really still haven’t thought about whether or not I’ll sign,” he said. “But now that the season is over, I might get a better feeling for what might be there.”
If he returns to GU, Blood said he will either play two months of summer baseball in the Alaska League or the Cape Cod League.