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Tuesday May 31, 2011UF's Mike Zunino Named Semifinalist For Golden Spikes Award

Durham, N.C.

University of Florida sophomore catcher Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) was named as one of 30 semifinalists for the 2011 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA) on Tuesday. This marks the 34th-consecutive year that the award has been presented to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.

 

Chosen as the SEC Player of the Year last week, Zunino is a member of the 2011 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and is also a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award and the Dick Howser Trophy. The first-team All-SEC selection leads the top-ranked Gators and is among the league leaders in batting average (.367), total bases (145), hits (81), runs (63), RBI (59), doubles (19), homers (15), slugging percentage (.656) and on-base percentage (.439). He has registered a .996 fielding percentage, with two errors in 486 chances, and has thrown out almost a third of the runners who have attempted to steal on him.

 

Zunino batted .422 in conference games, second behind LSU’s Mikie Mahtook (.425), and had 36 runs, 33 RBI, 14 doubles and eight homers in the 30 league outings. He became the first Florida catcher to earn first-team All-SEC since Mario Linares in 1991 and was a two-time SEC Player of the Week recipient.


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 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 from the College of Charleston 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, LSU, 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, TCU, Mountain West

Mike Zunino, C, Sophomore, FLORIDA, SEC

Chad Zurcher, IF, RS-Junior, Memphis, C-USA

 

Florida (45-16) opens the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Friday at 4 p.m. by hosting fourth-seeded Manhattan (34-17) in the second game of the double-elimination Gainesville Regional to be held at McKethan Stadium. Second-seeded Miami (Fla.) (36-21) meets third-seeded Jacksonville (36-22) at noon.

 

For all of the latest information on Florida baseball, log on to http://www.gatorzone.com/baseball/ or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team’s Twitter account @GatorZoneBB at ww.twitter.com/GatorZoneBB

 

 

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