Nov. 28, 2006
Houston, Texas - Six West Coast Conference pitchers were named to the 2007 Roger Clemens Award Watch List, as announced by the Greater Houston Baseball Association on Tuesday. The WCC is one of only three conferences with six or more hurlers on the list, trailing only the ACC and the SEC, which placed 10 pitchers apiece on the preseason compilation. The Roger Clemens Award is presented annually to the top pitcher in collegiate baseball.
Two Pepperdine pitchers were named to the Clemens Award Watch List, with Brett Hunter joining Barry Enright, who was named to the list for the second straight season. LMU's Brad Meyers, San Diego's Brian Matusz, San Francisco's Aaron Poreda, and Santa Clara's Mark Willinsky join the Wave duo on the 62-player list.
Enright brings impressive credentials into the 2007 season after posting a 23-3 record and 4.30 earned-run average in two seasons for the Waves. The junior right-hander is coming off of a sophomore campaign in which he went 13-2 and posted a 4.05 ERA in 21 appearances en route to tying for third in the nation in victories. He was tabbed the West Coast Conference's Co-Pitcher of the Year and selected first team all-conference.
Hunter played a pivotal role for Pepperdine during his rookie season a year ago as he went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 11 saves while making 29 appearances as the Waves' closer. He tied for 22nd in the nation in saves and was tabbed a Freshman All-American, named first team All-WCC and selected to the conference's all-freshman team.
Matusz was also named a Freshman All-American following an outstanding 2006 season in which he helped San Diego earn an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament. Matusz appeared in 15 games on the mound for the Toreros, starting 13 contests and posting a 4-3 mark with a 4.25 ERA. The Cave Creek, AZ native fanned 93 opposing batters in just 89 innings of work during his first season as a Torero.
Meyers was a second-team All-West Coast Conference selection in 2006, earning the recognition after going 4-2 with a 3.25 ERA in WCC play. He worked 52 2/3 innings with a strikeout to walk ratio of 35 to 16. He spent the summer of 2005 in the Cape Cod League, earning MVP honors in the playoffs as his Orleans Cardinals won the title. Following the title run, Meyers was named one of the Cape Cod League's top-10 prospects.
Poreda led the WCC with a 2.49 ERA last season and helped San Francisco to a program record 39 wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The left-hander went 8-5 in 18 appearances and 17 starts, while striking out 75 batters en route to first team All-WCC honors. The Moraga, CA native tossed 6.2 innings to earn the victory in USF's historic 5-1 win over No. 6 national seed Nebraska at the Lincoln, NE Regional last June.
Willinsky enjoyed an outstanding freshman season in 2006, finishing second in the WCC and leading the Broncos with nine saves in his first campaign on the Mission Campus. The Las Vegas, NV native made 28 appearances last year, striking out 38 batters in 39.1 innings of work and posting a 5.48 ERA with a 2-4 record.
The finalists for the 2007 Roger Clemens Award will be selected in voting by a national panel that includes: all Division I head baseball coaches, a selection of national media who cover collegiate baseball, and the 16 winners of the R. E. "Bob" Smith Award, which was presented to the top player in the country in Houston in 1988-2003.
In addition, the 10 previous finalists for the Clemens Award are also issued ballots. The 2007 award will be presented at a gala dinner next July.
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 major leaguer, Clemens has won 348 games (eighth best in history), fanned more than 4,600 hitters and won seven Cy Young Awards, emblematic as the top pitcher in his league. The Roger Clemens Award is the only one 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 of 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.