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USA Baseball Announces 30 Semifinalists for 2011 Golden Spikes Award

FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced Tuesday the names of the 30 semifinalists for the 2011 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA). This marks the 34th consecutive year that the award has been presented to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.

GoldenSpikesAward.com — powered by MLB.com — will once again be the online home for the award. The Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for the 2011 semifinalists. Fans can follow online at GoldenSpikesAward.com as the list of 30 players is narrowed to three finalists on Monday, June 6.

For the first time ever, the GSA will be awarded live on MLB Network. The presentation will begin at 6:00 p.m. ET on MLB Tonight, Friday, July 15. The three finalists for the award will be at MLB Network’s studios for the presentation, which will feature interviews, video highlights and the announcement of the winner. Online footage of the event also will be available via GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com.

Trevor Bauer (UCLA), Danny Hultzen (Virginia), Taylor Jungmann (Texas), and Anthony Rendon (Rice) were semifinalists for the 2010 GSA and return to the list for 2011. Connecticut and Vanderbilt top all schools with two semifinalists each, and in total 28 college and universities are represented on the list. Among conferences, the SEC leads with five players, while the ACC has four and the Pac-10 and Big East each have three. Juniors are tops with 22 semifinalists and they are joined by four sophomores and three seniors. Daniel Alrdich is the only freshman (RS) on the list.

In 2007, USA Baseball instituted a new selection and balloting procedure for the most prestigious award in amateur baseball, and it will follow the same model again in 2011. After working closely with sports information directors and amateur baseball media across the country to determine watch lists and the top-performing athletes, a committee voted to determine the 30 semifinalists. A ballot featuring the names and accomplishments of the 30 semifinalists will now be sent to a group of nearly 200 voters which will select the three finalists and eventual winner. Beginning today fans will also be able to vote on the 2011 GSA by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com and selecting their favorite amateur player.

“USA Baseball congratulates each of the 30 student-athletes and their respective baseball programs,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “With the increased exposure we are bringing to the Golden Spikes Award through the MLB Network this year, there is added excitement surrounding the voting process and live presentation. We wish all of the semifinalists the best of luck.”

A list of the 30 semifinalists is as follows:

Name, Position, Class, School, Conference
Daniel Aldrich, OF, RS-Freshman, College of Charleston, SoCon
Tyler Anderson, LHP, Junior, Oregon, Pac-10
Matt Barnes, RHP, Junior, Connecticut, Big East
Trevor Bauer, RHP, Junior, UCLA, Pac-10
DJ Baxendale, RHP, Sophomore, Arkansas, SEC
C.J. Cron, C/IF, Junior, Utah, Mountain West
Grayson Garvin, LHP, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Sam Gaviglio, RHP, Junior, Oregon State, Pac-10
Sean Gilmartin, LHP/OF, Junior, Florida State, ACC
Greg Gonzalez, RHP, Senior, Fresno State, WAC
Sonny Gray, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Danny Hultzen, LHP/IF, Junior, Virginia, ACC
Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Junior, Texas, Big 12
Jason Krizan, OF, Senior, Dallas Baptist, Independent
Jake Lowery, C, Junior, James Madison, CAA
Mikie Mahtook, OF, Junior, Louisiana State, SEC
Brad Miller, IF, Junior, Clemson, ACC
Chris O’Brien, C/IF, Junior, Wichita State, Missouri Valley
Joe Panik, IF, Junior, St. John’s, Big East
Mark Pope, RHP, Junior, Georgia Tech, ACC
Nick Ramirez, IF/LHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton, Big West
Anthony Rendon, IF, Junior, Rice, C-USA
Victor Roache, OF, Sophomore, Georgia Southern, SoCon
Michael Rocha, RHP, Senior, Oklahoma, Big 12
Michael Roth, LHP/IF, Junior, South Carolina, SEC
George Springer, OF, Junior, Connecticut, Big East
Adam Brett Walker, IF/OF, Sophomore, Jacksonville, Atlantic Sun
Kyle Winkler, RHP, Junior, Texas Christian, Mountain West
Mike Zunino, C, Sophomore, Florida, SEC
Chad Zurcher, IF, RS-Junior, Memphis, C-USA

About the Golden Spikes Award
Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first ever presentation of the Award to Bob Horner of Arizona State, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2010 Golden Spikes Award winner was Bryce Harper of Southern Nevada. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Stephen Strasburg (’09), Buster Posey (’08), David Price (’07), Tim Lincecum (’06), Alex Gordon (’05), Jered Weaver (’04), Rickie Weeks (’03), Pat Burrell (‘98), J.D. Drew (’97), Mark Kotsay (’95), and Jason Varitek (’94). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79), and Bob Horner (’78). For more information, please visit GoldenSpikesAward.com.

About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic Team and World Cup Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit USABaseball.com and GoldenSpikesAward.com.