DURHAM, N.C. – Oregon State left-handed pitcher Ben Wetzler and outfielder Michael Conforto have been named to the Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, USA Baseball announced on Thursday.
The Golden Spikes Award is given annually in July to the nation’s top amateur player. Wetzler and Conforto are two of the 50 players named to the list, which includes just three players from the Pac-12 Conference overall.
Wetzler, who is starting Friday night’s opener at Washington State, has been dominant this season. His 0.38 earned run average ranks him second nationally and he has a 6-0 record in six starts. The senior is allowing just 3.06 hits per nine innings, which is the best in the country, as is his 0.62 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched).
Conforto, meanwhile, leads the Pac-12 with 35 runs batted in – is tied with teammate Dylan Davis – and his 30 walks also tops the league, while ranking fifth in the nation. His .383 batting average is fourth, while his .531 on-base percentage is first and fourth nationally.
Both were part of the preseason 60-man watch list, which was pared down on Thursday. The list will be further dwindled to 30 on May 8 with semifinalists announced on May 27 with finalists announced June 3. The 2014 presentation to the winner will be done on July 17.
Past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).
The Beavers return to action at 6 p.m. Friday in the opener of a three-game series with Washington State at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman. Game 2 is set for 2 p.m. Saturday; the series concludes at noon Sunday.
For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball or by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball.