University of Louisville juniors Drew Ellis and Brendan McKay were named Wednesday among 25 semifinalists for the 40th USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. The Golden Spikes Award is given to the top amateur baseball player in the United States and is presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation.
McKay was chosen as a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist for the third time in as many collegiate seasons, while Ellis is a first-time semifinalist for the prestigious honor. Louisville, Oregon State and Virginia are the only schools with multiple Golden Spikes Award semifinalists in 2017 with two each. The Atlantic Coast Conference leads 10 different NCAA conferences represented on the list with six semifinalists.
USA Baseball officials will announce the finalists for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award on Wednesday, June 14. To select the finalists, the list of semifinalists is sent to a voting body consisting of past Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and select current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total. As part of the selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of semifinalists. Voting will be open until Friday, June 9.
Ellis leads the Cardinals with a .376 batting average to go with 17 home runs, 18 doubles, 53 RBI, .728 slugging percentage and .467 on-base percentage. The Jeffersonville, Indiana native has started all 57 games this season splitting his time between first base and third base. Ellis was an All-ACC First Team selection and was chosen as a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy. He was also selected as the National Player of the Month in April by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association after hitting .455 (30-for-66) in 19 games with five doubles, one triple and eight homers, 22 RBI and a .532 on-base percentage.
A native of Darlington, Pennsylvania, McKay enters the NCAA Championship with a .363 batting average, 17 home runs, 52 RBI, .705 slugging percentage and .481 on-base percentage. On the mound, McKay owns a 9-3 record with a 2.37 ERA and 124 strikeouts while opposing batters are hitting just .181 against him. Last week, McKay was named as the 2017 ACC Player of the Year, while earlier today, he was named as a finalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award. His other honors this season including being named National Player of the Month in February by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, the National Midseason Player of the Year by Perfect Game, the National Midseason Most Valuable Player by D1Baseball and selected as a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.
Fan voting will once again be part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2017. This announcement officially marks the opening of voting for amateur baseball fans from across the country on GoldenSpikesAward.com – the online home of the award, powered by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM).
The live presentation of the 2017 Golden Spikes Award will be announced exclusively on ESPN’s flagship program, SportsCenter, on Thursday, June 29. The announcement will take place in ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center at L.A. Live. The finalists and their families will be also honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Awards Dinner that evening at the Jonathan Club Los Angeles.
The Cardinals (47-10) open the 2017 NCAA Louisville Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium on Friday at 6 p.m., ET against Radford.
Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter (@UofLBaseball) at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.
2017 GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD SEMIFINALISTS
Name, Position, Class, School
Jake Adams, Jr., IF, Iowa
J.B. Bukauskas, Jr., RHP, North Carolina
Jake Burger, Jr., IF, Missouri State
Griffin Canning, Jr., RHP, UCLA
Morgan Cooper, Jr., RHP, Texas
Greg Deichmann, Jr., IF, LSU
Drew Ellis, Jr., IF, Louisville
Alex Faedo, Jr., RHP, Florida
Stuart Fairchild, Jr., OF, Wake Forest
Steven Gingery, So., LHP, Texas Tech
Nate Harris, Sr., RHP, Louisiana Tech
Adam Haseley, Jr., LHP/OF, Virginia
Luke Heimlich, Jr., LHP, Oregon State
Keston Hiura, Jr., INF/OF, UC Irvine
Gunner Leger, Jr., LHP, Louisiana Lafayette
Nick Madrigal, So., IF, Oregon State
J.J. Matijevic, Jr., IF, Arizona
Brendan McKay, Jr., LHP/1B, Louisville
Nate Pearson, So., RHP, College of Central Florida
David Peterson, Jr., LHP, Oregon
Brent Rooker, Jr., OF, Mississippi State
JP Sears, Jr., LHP, The Citadel
Brian Shaffer, Jr., RHP, Maryland
Pavin Smith, Jr., IF/OF, Virginia
Evan White, Jr., IF, Kentucky