May 21, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced today the names of the 50 semifinalists for the 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA) and the University of San Diego's Josh Romanski and Brian Matusz headline these semifinalists. This year will mark the 31st consecutive year that the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award has been presented to the nation's premier amateur baseball player.
Romanski has been named a semifinalist as a utility player, as he is a two-way star for the Toreros. On the mound, Romanski is undefeated with a 9-0 record, has a 3.47 ERA and 69 strikeouts. Romanski season has been highlighted by his first collegiate no-hitter against Harvard back on Mar. 24, in which he faced one batter above the minimum. Romanski's bat has also been a weapon for the Toreros offense as he is hitting .317 with 64 hits, 14 doubles, one triple, six home runs and 45 RBI.
Matusz is currently 10-2 overall with as 2.05 ERA and leads the team in strikeouts with 122. Matusz has been named the WCC Pitcher of the Month twice this season and is second all-time in career strikeouts at USD with 378, only trailing the all-time leader Gary Myron (1968-71) by 16 for the all-time lead.
The 2008 GSA will be awarded as part of a production by Major League Baseball and MLBAM that will be streamed live on the Internet exclusively at GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com. The annual event will be held in New York City following MLB All-Star Week with a time and location to be announced in early June.
In total, 40 colleges and universities are represented on the 2008 semifinalist list. Among conferences, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is tops with nine players on the list, and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Pacific-10 Conference (PAC-10) have eight and seven players, respectively.
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 2008. After accepting nominations from sports information directors across the country, a committee voted to determine the 50 semifinalists. The names of the 50 semifinalists will now be forwarded to a voting body of 125 who will select the five finalists and the eventual 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award winner.
"USA Baseball is proud to recognize these 50 athletes and their respective baseball programs as semifinalists for the 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. "As in 2007, we see 40 different schools represented on this year's semifinalist list - this again speaks to the level of baseball talent among college programs across the country."