Murray Chosen as Semifinalist for USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
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MURRAY BIO | 2014 SEASON STATS

DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced the semifinalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday and FGCU ace Mike Murray is one of the twenty-one athletes from around the country who were named semifinalists for the 37th Golden Spikes Award, presented to the top amateur baseball player in the U.S.

Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) worked through 6.1 innings, gave up eight hits, struck out one and allowed three runs bringing his Atlantic Sun-best ERA to 1.85 and increasing his nation-leading win total to 13 in his final start of 2014 in the A-Sun Tournament last Wednesday.

“Mike had a tremendous season for us and this is a great honor for him,” FGCU head coach Dave Tollett added. “He had one of the greatest seasons a pitcher in this program has ever had. He is truly one of the best pitchers in the country and he proved it with every start.”

Murray had arguably the greatest season of any FGCU pitcher has ever had with a program record 13 wins and an A-Sun best 1.85 ERA to go with 79 strikeouts which also led the league. Murray became the fourth A-Sun Pitcher of the Year that FGCU has had. He joined the group of Richard Bleier (2008), Chris Sale (2010) and Ricky Knapp (2012), all of which are now playing professional baseball.  

Murray is one of just nine pitchers in the A-Sun in the last 10 years to win double-digit games in a season. The sophomore has also been named to the 18-Man College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year watch list and is an NCBWA All-American nominee in recognition of the stellar season he put together. His name is mentioned alongside players from all of the power conferences including in-state rivals and perennial college baseball powers, Florida State, Miami and Florida. He is the only player on the College Baseball Hall of Fame watch list that comes from the A-Sun.

Earlier this season Murray became just the second pitcher in FGCU history to throw back-to-back complete games. Ricky Knapp did so in March of 2012 when he went the distance against North Florida and East Tennessee State in consecutive outings. During his streak of 43.1 innings without allowing an earned run that was snapped at Stetson, Murray’s ERA dropped as low as 0.18 at one point.

GoldenSpikesAward.com -- powered by MLB Advanced Media -- will once again be the online home for the award.  The website features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past winner photo galleries, and photographs and biographical information for the 2014 semifinalists.  Fans can follow online at GoldenSpikesAward.com as the list of 21 players is narrowed to a group of finalists on Tuesday, June 3.

Each of the 21 semifinalists represent different schools from across the country. Louisiana State's Aaron Nola makes an appearance on the 2014 Golden Spikes Award semifinalist list after also being named a semifinalist for the award in 2013.

USA Baseball officials will announce the list of finalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, June 3. 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 media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014. This announcement officially marks the opening of voting for amateur baseball fans from across the country on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names. Voting will be open until Friday, May 30.

Last year, University of San Diego infielder, Kris Bryant, took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).

Other 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).

Important 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:

Friday, Feb. 14: 60-man preseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, April 10: 50-man midseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, May 8: 30-man watch list, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Tuesday, May 27: Semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three
Friday, May 30: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
Tuesday, June 3: Finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one
Friday, June 13: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 17: Golden Spikes Award presentation

The complete 2014 Golden Spikes Award semifinalist list is as follows:

Name, Position, Class, School (in order of last name, new players bolded)
Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine
Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State
Tyler Davis, RHP, Junior, Washington
Chris Ellis, RHP, Junior, Mississippi
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville
Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State
Daniel Gossett, RHP, Senior, Clemson
Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly
Connor Joe, IF, Junior, San Diego
Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia
Jordan Luplow, OF, Junior, Fresno State
Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine
Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, FGCU
Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, Louisiana State
Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State
Josh Prevost, RHP, Senior, Seton Hall
A.J. Reed, LHP/IF, Junior, Kentucky
DJ Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State
Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana
Drew Weeks, OF/IF, Junior, North Florida

About the Golden Spikes Award
Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first-ever presentation of the Award to Bob Horner of Arizona State, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2012 Golden Spikes Award winner was Mike Zunino of the University of Florida.  Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Bryce Harper (’10), Stephen Strasburg ('09), Buster Posey ('08), David Price (’07), Tim Lincecum (’06), Alex Gordon (’05), Jered Weaver (’04), Rickie Weeks (’03) and Mark Kotsay (’95). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Pat Burrell (’98), Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79), and Horner (’78).  For more information, please visit GoldenSpikesAward.com.  Fans can follow the Golden Spikes Award on Twitter @USAGoldenSpikes.

About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation.  The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, World Cup and Pan Am teams (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year.  USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country.  For more information, please visit USABaseball.com.