COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M's Tyler Naquin, Ross Stripling and Michael Wacha were honored this week as they were selected as semifinalists for the 2012 USA Baseball 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.
For the second year in a row, the GSA will be awarded live on MLB Network. On Friday, July 6, the three finalists for the award will be at MLB Network's studios for the presentation on The Rundown, which will feature interviews, video highlights and the announcement of the winner. The presentation will also be simulcast live on GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com.
Among conferences, the SEC leads with six players, while the ACC and Big 12 have five and the Pac-12 has four. Juniors are tops with 16 semifinalists, and they are joined by five sophomores and eight seniors.
Naquin has proved to be one of the most dangerous and versatile offensive players in the country again this season after joining both Stripling and Wacha in garnering All-America accolades a year ago. The Spring, Texas, native finished second in the Big12 this season with a .384 batting average to go along with team highs in runs (53), doubles (15) and triples (6). Additionally, the rifle-armed right fielder drove in 46 runs while stealing a career-best 21 bases.
Stripling has again been one of the nation's most consistent and dominant starting pitchers this season, owning a 10-3 record with a team-best 110 strikeouts in 118 innings of work. Opponents are hitting a paltry .221 this season against the Southlake, Texas, native. The right-hander made national news earlier this season as he tossed the 11th no-hitter in Texas A&M history on May against San Diego State.
Texas A&M's other co-ace on the mound, Wacha is also enjoying a standout campaign as the right-hander has been the Aggies' series-opening starter all season, compiling an 8-1 record. Additionally the Texarkana, Texas, product leads the Aggie starting staff with a 2.21 ERA while recording 107 strikeouts in 106 innings of work.
Earlier this month both Stripling and Wacha were also selected as semifinalists for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy.
All three players and the rest of their Aggie teammates are back in action this weekend when they host the NCAA College Station Regional on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. Texas A&M will begin the tournament by facing Dayton on Friday night at 6:35 p.m.