Former Collinsville High star right-hander Tanner Houck, now a sophomore at Missouri, was honored Tuesday by USA Baseball International for its International Performance of the Year.
Houck recently was named the top sophomore player in the nation and a third-team preseason All-American by PerfectGame.com. He also was a preseason All-American selection by D1Baseball.com.
The hard-throwing 6-foot-5 right-hander was part of a combined no-hitter against Cuba last summer as part of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team’s five-game series against Cuba.
Houck started the game and threw four perfect innings before Ryan Hendrix from Texas A&M and Florida pitcher A.J. Puk finished off the combined no-hitter. The win ended a five-game winning streak by Cuba against the USA Collegiate National Team and was the first time Cuba had been no-hit in international competitions.
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Houck shared the Performance of the Year award with Hendrix, Puk and Clemson’s Chris Okey.
Houck led the USA Collegiate Team in strikeouts, starts and innings pitched, holding opponents to a .159 batting average.
As a freshman All-American at Mizzou last season, he racked up eight wins and his 100 2/3 innings were the most ever by a Tigers’ freshman pitcher under coach Tim Jamieson. Houck’s innings’s total was the highest by any freshman in the country and he struck out 91 against just 12 walks, compiling a 3.49 ERA.
Houck made the All-Southeastern Conference freshman team and was part of Mizzou victories over three top-five teams.
Missouri’s 2016 season opener is Feb. 19 against Seton Hall in Fort Myers, Fla.
Houck was drafted in the 12th round by the Toronto Blue Jays following his senior year at Collinsville, but opted to play for Missouri instead. He will be eligible for the draft again following his junior season at Mizzou and being projected as a potential first-round pick.