DURHAM, N.C. (April 10, 2014) – USA Baseball released its 50-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, and ETSU two-way standout Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) was one of the players to be among the prestigious group.
Freeman was one of 23 new players added to the list since its initial release on February 14, joining 27 others from the preseason watch list. The Southeastern Conference led all conferences in watch list players, placing nine on the midseason update, while 17 different NCAA conferences had at least one athlete on the list. Freeman is one of three players from the Atlantic Sun Conference to make the list as he joins Kennesaw State’s Max Pentecost and Florida Gulf Coast’s Michael Murray.
This season, Freeman leads ETSU offensively in average (.352), hits (45), doubles (11), home runs (7), RBI (37), slugging percentage (.617) and on-base percentage (.376). On the mound, the Buccaneer southpaw has recorded all seven of ETSU’s saves and has struck out 27 hitters in 31.1 innings. Freeman also leads the club in multi-hit (12) and multi-RBI games (10).
Prior to the season, Freeman received Preseason All-America honors from Louisville Slugger (First Team) and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (Third Team), while also being tabbed A-Sun Pitcher of the Year by Collegiate Baseball. During the year, Freeman received National Player of the Week honors from Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA.
For his career, the Jonesborough, Tenn. native has played in 163 games (156 starts) and has tallied 214 hits, 46 doubles, eight triples, 25 home runs and 149 RBI. The left-hander has also made 71 career appearances on the mound (14 starts) and has totaled 11 wins and 17 saves. The Buccaneer leader has started in 147 consecutive games and is three saves shy of breaking the all-time school-record. Freeman is also among active NCAA career leaders as he ranks fourth in sacrifice flies (16), sixth in total bases (350), eighth in RBI, 24th in doubles, 27th in saves, and 31st in hits.
USA Baseball officials will announce the 30-man watch list for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Thursday, May 8. USA Baseball will then release the semifinalists on Tuesday, May 27. The list of athletes will then be sent to a voting body consisting of 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. Tuesday, May 27, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names.
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
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