Louisville Baseball’s Kyle Funkhouser Named to Golden Spikes Watch List
Louisville junior righthander Kyle Funkhouser was named to the 50-player preseason USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list on Tuesday afternoon.
A native of Oak Forest, Ill., Funkhouser has also been selected as a preseason First Team All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball newspaper, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Perfect Game. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, 2015 marks the 38th year of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur player in the country.
The preseason watch list features 50 of the nation’s top amateur players, and will be a “rolling” list until May 22 — when the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists are announced — ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the collegiate and high school seasons.
In 2014, Funkhouser earned multiple All-American honors finishing 13-3 overall with a 1.94 ERA and 122 strikeouts (third most at Louisville) in 120.1 innings pitched (second most at Louisville) as the Cardinals’ ace. He was named First Team All-America by ABCA, a Second Team Louisville Slugger All-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, Second Team All-America by NCBWA and was Third Team All-American by both Baseball America and Perfect Game.
During his two collegiate seasons in Louisville, Funkhouser is 18-4 on the mound with a 2.01 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 175.0 innings and 24 total starts. Last summer, he was 1-2 with a 1.27 ERA (four earned runs in 28.1 innings) and a team-high 36 strikeouts in six appearances and five starts for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
On April 9, USA Baseball will release its 60-man midseason watch list, shaped by the Golden Spikes Award committee. On May 22, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2015 Golden Spikes Award. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow the amateur game closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 37 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2015. Friday, May 22, marks the day when amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list. On Tuesday, June 3, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
The 2015 Golden Spikes Award winner will be named on Tuesday, June 23, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner that evening at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.
The No. 7 Cardinals will begin the 2015 season on Friday at 3 p.m., ET against Alabama State at the Opening Weekend Challenge at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Louisville’s opening weekend slate will also feature games against USF (Saturday, 6 p.m.) and No. 17 Cal State Fullerton (Sunday, 11 a.m.) with all games at Bright House Field. The Cardinals’ 33-game home slate at Jim Patterson Stadium is set to begin on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m., ET against Eastern Kentucky.
Asia Durr Named High School Player of the Year National Semifinalist
University of Louisville women’s basketball signee Asia Durr is a national semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy Girl’s High School Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday afternoon.
Durr, a signee in the Cardinals’ 2015 class from St. Pius X Catholic High in Atlanta, is averaging 32.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in her senior campaign. Recently, the guard surpassed 2,500 career points and also boasts 650 rebounds, 233 assists, and 254 steals. Tabbed as the No. 1 prospect by multiple recruiting services, she is shooting 51 percent from the floor over her varsity career and 82 percent from the free throw line.
Durr is one of 10 semifinalists for the award. Finalists will be announced on Feb. 24, and the winner and high school All-America teams are scheduled to be released on March 10.
In late January, Durr was one of three Louisville signees named a McDonald’s All-American. Durr is part of the Cardinals’ five-member signing class that is ranked No. 1 nationally.
Two Football Cardinals Earn All-ACC Academic Accolades
The University of Louisville placed two student-athletes on the Atlantic Coast Conference’s All-Academic Football Team announced on Wednesday.
Louisville’s 2014 ACC All-Academic Football Team honorees are senior punter Ryan Johnson, who is a health and human performance major, and senior guard Jake Smith, who graduated with a degree in economics.
Johnson handled the punting duties for the last two seasons, but is coming off a career-best season in 2014. A native of Louisville, Ky., Johnson averaged 40.3 yards a punt and recorded 11 punts of over 50 yards.
A four-year starter on the offensive line, Smith tied a school record for most career starts with 52. An all-conference selection in 2013, Smith started all 13 games at center and guard in Louisville’s first season in the ACC.
To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade-point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career. A student-athlete in graduate school must maintain a 3.5 grade-point average.
The team was chosen from a pool of 128 eligible ACC football student-athletes who were nominated by their schools.
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