Feb. 14, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A pair of University of San Diego baseball players, junior third baseman Kris Bryant and junior right-handed pitcher Michael Wagner, were both named to the Golden Spikes Preseason Award Watch List.
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 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.com.
Bryant has been tabbed a preseason All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game, and by the NCBWA. Bryant, a 6-5 junior from Las Vegas, Nev., finished the 2012 season with a .366 batting average after recording 78 hits, 17 doubles, three triples and 14 home runs. Bryant also recorded 57 RBI and was slugging at a .671 clip at season's end. Bryant was a first-team All-WCC selection for the second consecutive season and helped lead USD to the third best record in program history at 40-17, and he was a first-team All-America selection by Baseball America last season.
Wagner was tabbed a preseason All-America by the NCBWA, and by Louisville Slugger. Wagner, a 6-4 junior right-handed pitcher from Las Vegas, Nev., had a great season on the mound for the Toreros in 2012, as he recorded a 5-2 record, with a 2.58 ERA and he set both the USD and WCC single-season saves record with 19. In 59.1 innings of work, Wagner struck out 53 batters, while only issuing 20 walks, and opponents only hit .246 off of him. In conference action, Wagner was 2-0 with a 5.03 ERA, and five saves en route to a first-team All-WCC selection. He was a NCBWA second-team All-American selection last season as well.
Bryant, Wagner and the rest of the 12th-ranked Toreros open the season on Friday, when they open the doors to the new state of the art baseball facility, Fowler Park and Cunningham Field. The Toreros will host cross-town rival San Diego State University this weekend in a three game series, with Friday's first pitch at 7 p.m.