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Merch Madness
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:05/31/2011
Courtesy: JMUSports.com

HARRISONBURG, Va., May 31, 2011 - James Madison junior catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) was among the narrowed down list of 30 semifinalists for the 2011 Golden Spikes Award for the nation's top amateur baseball player as announced Tuesday by USA Baseball.  Fan voting counts towards the final ballot and has commenced at GoldenSpikesAward.com

GoldenSpikesAward.com -- powered by MLB.com -- will once again be the online home for the award.  The Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for the 2011 semifinalists.  Fans can follow online at GoldenSpikesAward.com as the list of 30 players is narrowed to three finalists on Monday, June 6.

In 2007, USA Baseball instituted a new selection and balloting procedure for the most prestigious award in amateur baseball, and it will follow the same model again in 2011.  After working closely with sports information directors and amateur baseball media across the country to determine watch lists and the top-performing athletes, a committee voted to determine the 30 semifinalists.  A ballot featuring the names and accomplishments of the 30 semifinalists will now be sent to a group of nearly 200 voters which will select the three finalists and eventual winner.  Beginning today, May 31, fans will also be able to vote on the 2011 GSA by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com and selecting their favorite amateur player.

For the first time ever, the GSA will be awarded live on MLB Network.  The presentation will begin at 6:00 p.m. ET on MLB Tonight, Friday, July 15.  The three finalists for the award will be at MLB Network's studios for the presentation, which will feature interviews, video highlights and the announcement of the winner.  Online footage of the event also will be available via GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com.

Lowery is also on the list of 36 semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy presented by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association as well as the list of 13 for the Johnny Bench Award given to the nation's best catcher by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission.  On May 25 he was honored as the CAA Player of the Year and followed that by collecting All-Tournament honors after hitting .500 (7-for-14) with a pair of doubles to help lead JMU to a CAA Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

Entering the NCAA Tournament, Lowery leads the nation in runs scored (76), runs driven in (83) and total bases (187).  He is also fourth in triples (8), second in home runs (22) and second in slugging percentage (.796).  His 83 RBIs, 187 total bases, 51 extra-base hits and eight triples (tied) have already established JMU season records.  During the CAA Championship, he became the second player in JMU history to reach 20 doubles (21) and 20 home runs (22) in the same season.

JMU (40-17), which is ranked 28th by Collegiate Baseball and holds the nation's longest winning streak at nine games, will be the No. 3 seed in the Chapel Hill Regional on Friday.  The Dukes open against No. 2 Florida International at 1 p.m. 

30 Semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award

Name, Position, Class, School, Conference
Daniel Aldrich, OF, RS-Freshman, College of Charleston, SoCon
Tyler Anderson, LHP, Junior, Oregon, Pac-10
Matt Barnes, RHP, Junior, Connecticut, Big East
Trevor Bauer, RHP, Junior, UCLA, Pac-10
DJ Baxendale, RHP, Sophomore, Arkansas, SEC
C.J. Cron, C/IF, Junior, Utah, Mountain West
Grayson Garvin, LHP, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Sam Gaviglio, RHP, Junior, Oregon State, Pac-10
Sean Gilmartin, LHP/OF, Junior, Florida State, ACC
Greg Gonzalez, RHP, Senior, Fresno State, WAC
Sonny Gray, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Danny Hultzen, LHP/IF, Junior, Virginia, ACC
Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Junior, Texas, Big 12
Jason Krizan, OF, Senior, Dallas Baptist, Independent
Jake Lowery, C, Junior, James Madison, CAA
Mikie Mahtook, OF, Junior, Louisiana State, SEC
Brad Miller, IF, Junior, Clemson, ACC
Chris O'Brien, C/IF, Junior, Wichita State, Missouri Valley
Joe Panik, IF, Junior, St. John's, Big East
Mark Pope, RHP, Junior, Georgia Tech, ACC
Nick Ramirez, IF/LHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton, Big West
Anthony Rendon, IF, Junior, Rice, C-USA
Victor Roache, OF, Sophomore, Georgia Southern, SoCon
Michael Rocha, RHP, Senior, Oklahoma, Big 12
Michael Roth, LHP/IF, Junior, South Carolina, SEC
George Springer, OF, Junior, Connecticut, Big East
Adam Brett Walker, IF/OF, Sophomore, Jacksonville, Atlantic Sun
Kyle Winkler, RHP, Junior, Texas Christian, Mountain West
Mike Zunino, C, Sophomore, Florida, SEC
Chad Zurcher, IF, RS-Junior, Memphis, C-USA

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