University of Arizona baseball players Johnny Field and Konner Wade represent two of the 50 players from across the nation named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List announced on Thursday. The preseason announcement marks the organizations first step toward identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country.
The Watch List features 50 of the nation's top amateur players, and it will be a "rolling" list to ensure that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the Golden Spikes Award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live on MLB Network for the third year in a row, with a live presentation scheduled during The Rundown on Friday, July 19. Through USA Baseball's partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the presentation will also be simulcast with a live stream available from GoldenSpikesAward.com and USABaseball.com.
Wade, who was 11-3 as a sophomore, returns following a spectacular postseason run to help the Wildcats win the 2012 national championship. In four postseason starts, Wade went a perfect 4-0 with a 1.29 earned run average as he allowed just five earned runs in 35 innings. The right-hander struck out 14 and limited opponents to a .209 batting average.
In his first two seasons with the Wildcats, Wade boasts a 14-3 record and a 3.73 earned run average. In 2012, he posted career-highs for wins (11), innings pitched (136.1) and strikeouts (105). He threw six complete games on the season, including two at the College World Series. Despite walking a team-high 37 batters on the season, Wade walked just three in his four postseason starts, including a stretch of 31-consecutive innings without a walk.
Field enters his junior campaign as the club's top returning offensive player. A Pac-12 all-academic and all-conference team selection as a sophomore, Field batted .370 with a team-leading 72 runs scored in 2012. He was sensational during the three-game sweep of the Tucson Regional to open postseason play, batting .533 with 10 runs batted in and eight runs scored, including a grand slam. On the season, Field collected 18 doubles, seven triples and three home runs to go with 11 stolen bases and 44 runs batted in. The Las Vegas, Nev., native drew 43 walks and was hit by a pitch 11 times, while striking out just 28 times all season. His .476 on base percentage led all Pac-12 players.
Arizona opens its 2013 campaign on Friday night at 6 p.m. against Coppin State. The Wildcats will honor the 2012 national championship team before the game and the first 3,000 fans will receive commemorative championship rally towels. There will be a postgame fireworks show immediately following the game.
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