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Brian Matusz Named Semi Finalist for Roger Clemens Award

May 17, 2007

HOUSTON, Tex. - The University of San Diego's sophomore left-hander Brian Matusz has been named a semifinalist for the Roger Clemens Award. This year's award will be presented July 11 at the Inter-Continental Hotel Houston.

The other 10 2007 semifinalists are Adrian Alaniz of Texas, Barry Enright of Pepperdine, Preston Guilmet of Arizona, Bryan Henry of Florida State, Adam Mills of Charlotte, Kyle Nicholson of Texas A&M, David Price of Vanderbilt, Nick Schmidt of Arkansas, and Jacob Thompson of Virginia. This group includes three seniors, four juniors and three sophomores. Six of the 10 throw right-handed.

Matusz, a native of Cave Creek, Ariz., just became the new single-season leader in strikeouts with 152 after posting 11 strikeouts in picking up his 10th win of the season this past weekend against Santa Clara University. On the season, Matusz is 10-2 with a team-leading 2.43 ERA. Matusz has also been named a semi finalist for the Golden Spikes award, presented to the nation's top collegiate player.

The 10 were selected during the first round of voting, which ended on May 14. Voters include all Division 1 head baseball coaches, a selection of national media who cover collegiate baseball, the 16 winners of the R. E. "Bob" Smith Award, which was presented to the top player in the country here in Houston in 1988-2003, and the 10 previous finalists for the Clemens Award. The second round of voting will begin on May 28, with the announcement of the three finalists set for June 7. Jered Weaver of Long Beach State (2004), Luke Hochevar of Tennessee (2005) and Andrew Miller (North Carolina) were the first three winners of the Clemens Award.

All 10 pitchers are among the leaders statistically in college baseball. All have won at least nine games during the current season, topped by Henry's 13-0 mark for the Seminoles. Mills is second nationally in earned run average at 1.13 for Charlotte, Price ranks third in strikeouts per nine innings (12.7) for the top-ranked Commodores, and Matusz leads the nation with 152 strikeouts in 111.0 innings.

Among the semifinalists, Alaniz is 12-2 with a 2.37 ERA, Enright is 11-4 and 1.78, Guilmet is 10-1 and 1.70, Henry is 13-0 and 2.37, Matusz is 10-2 and 2.43, Mills is 11-2 and 1.13, Nicholson is 11-1 and 1.74, Price is 9-0 and 2.91, Schmidt is 9-2 and 2.95, and Thompson is 10-0 and 1.48.

Six of the nation's top baseball conferences are represented in the group. There are two players each from the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big West and Southeastern conferences, and one each from the Atlantic-10 and Pac-10 conferences.

The Roger Clemens Award was named after future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, who began his march to stardom while leading the University of Texas to the College World Series title in 1983. As a professional, Clemens has won 348 games (eighth best in history), fanned more than 4,600 batters and won and 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, who has donated more than $300,000 to the charities from the net proceeds from the first three dinners. The GHBA is a non-profit 501.3 (C) organization dedicated to the growth of amateur baseball in the Houston area.