Crow, Fields, Hernandez and Matusz Named Clemens Finalists

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
HOUSTON — Aaron Crow of Missouri, Joshua Fields of Georgia, Chris Hernandez of Miami (Fla.) and Brian Matusz of San Diego have been selected as finalists for The Roger Clemens Award, which honors the top pitcher in college baseball. The winner will be announced this summer in Houston.

The four pitchers were selected from a field of 10 semifinalists in a national vote of all Division 1 head baseball coaches, selected national college baseball media, previous winners of the R. E. “Bob” Smith Award, which was presented to the top player in college baseball in 1988-2003, and the 13 previous finalists for the Clemens Award.

Crow, whose season ended in the NCAA Coral Gables Regional, was 13-0 with a 2.35 earned run average in 2008. The junior from Wakarusa, Kan. (Washburn Rural HS) was the Big XII pitcher of the year and a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award. He struck out 127 opponents in 107.1 innings.

Fields, who will be pitching in the NCAA Athens Super Regional against North Carolina State this weekend, is 2-2 with a 2.27 ERA. His 16 saves ranks second nationally and helped him earned pitcher of the year honors in the Southeastern Conference. The Southeastern Conference’s pitcher of the year is a senior from Hull, Ga. (Prince Ave. Christian School).

Hernandez, the first freshman to be named a Clemens Award finalist, will lead his top-ranked Hurricanes into the NCAA Coral Gables Super Regional series this weekend against Arizona. He is 11-0 with a 2.55 ERA so far this season. Hernandez, the Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year, is from Miami, Fla. (Monsignor Pace HS).

Matusz, who was a Clemens Award semifinalist in 2007, was 12-2 with a 1.71 ERA for the Torreros in ’08. The junior from Cave Creek, Ariz. (St. Mary’s HS) saw his season end in the finals of the NCAA Long Beach Regional. The West Coast Conference pitcher of the year is also a finalist for the ’08 Golden Spikes Award.

Final voting for the 2008 Clemens Award will begin on June 16. David Price of Vanderbilt won the fourth Clemens Award last July, joining Andrew Miller of North Carolina (2006), Luke Hochevar of Tennessee (2005) and Jered Weaver of Long Beach State (2004) in being honored with college baseball’s version of the Cy Young Award.

The Clemens Award was named after pitching legend Roger Clemens, who began his march to stardom while leading the University of Texas to the College World Series title in 1983. As a major-leaguer, Clemens won 354 games (eighth best in history), fanned 4,672 hitters and won seven Cy Young Awards, emblematic as the top pitcher in his league. The Roger Clemens Award is the only award of its kind, honoring the finest pitchers in college baseball.

The event is administered by the Greater Houston Baseball Association, which has donated more than $300,000 to the charities from the net proceeds from the first four dinners. The GHBA is a non-profit 501.3 (C) organization dedicated to the growth of amateur baseball in the Houston area.

For media information on The Roger Clemens Award, please contact Bill Cousins at 281-924-8938 or by email [email protected]