April 10, 2014
DURHAM, N.C. - Houston Baseball junior Aaron Garza was one of just 50 collegiate players named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Midseason Award Watch List, which honors the nation's top player, announced Thursday afternoon.
Garza, the Cougars' right-handed Friday night standout, is in the midst of his best year yet, as he owns a 1.83 ERA and a 6-2 record through his first eight starts this season. In a team-high 59.0 innings pitched, Garza has fanned 32 and walked just two. He has managed to hold opponents to a .214 average.
He opened the season at 6-0 pulling big wins over Michigan, Texas Tech, College of Charleston, USC, Nicholls State, and Towson. He has one complete game to his name and has been a part of two combined shutouts thus far.
Garza was one of just 12 pitchers nationally to record a quality start in his first seven starts and was the last Cougar to win his first six starts since Keith Whatley accomplished that feat in 2002.
The Galveston, Texas native, is the veteran of the nation's leading pitching staff that owns a nation's best ERA at 1.76 and WHIP at 0.91. Individually, Garza is third in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio with a 16.00 and fourth in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings at 0.81.
He was named American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week on March 3 and to the Weekly Honor Roll twice on Feb. 17 and March 10, while also being honored as the Houston College Classic Tournament MVP for his dominating shutout effort vs. then-No. 26 Texas Tech.
Garza is an integral part of the Houston Baseball team that currently ranks as high as No. 7 in the nation with a record of 26-6.
Garza joins 49 other baseball student-athletes on this Award Watch List and three others that are among the American Athletic Conference.
USA BASEBALL GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST
Brady Aiken, LHP, Senior, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) HS
Brian Anderson, IF, Junior, Arkansas
Brett Austin, C, Junior, NC State
Tyler Beede, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt
Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine
Nick Burdi, RHP, Junior, Louisville
Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State
Austin Cousino, OF, Junior, Kentucky
J.D. Davis, OF/RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton
Tyler Davis, RHP, Junior, Washington
Chris Ellis, RHP, Junior, Mississippi
Joey Epperson, OF/IF, RS-Senior, UC Santa Barbara
Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Sophomore, Cal State Fullerton
Erick Fedde, RHP, Junior, UNLV
Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Junior, TCU
Blake Fox, LHP, Sophomore, Rice
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville
Clinton Freeman, OF, Sophomore, East Tennessee State
Jeff Gardner, OF, Senior, Louisville
Aaron Garza, RHP, Junior, Houston
Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State
Grayson Greiner, C, Junior, South Carolina
Chris Haddeland, RHP, Junior, Linfield
Ian Happ, IF, Sophomore, Cincinnati
Seth Harrison, OF, Senior, Louisiana Lafayette
Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly
Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia
Ross Kivett, IF, Senior, Kansas State
Ryan McBroom, OF, Senior, West Virginia
Daniel Miles, IF, Junior, Tennessee Tech
DJ Miller, IF, Senior, Delaware State
Corey Miller, RHP, Senior, Pepperdine
Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine
Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast
Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, LSU
Mike Papi, OF, Junior, Virginia
Mark Payton, OF, Senior, Texas
Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State
A.J. Reed, LHP/IF, Junior, Kentucky
Kyle Schwarber, C, Junior, Indiana
Kade Scivicque, C, Junior, LSU
Austen Smith, IF, Senior, Alabama
D.J. Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State
Ryan Thompson, RHP, Senior, Campbell
Trent Thornton, RHP, Sophomore, North Carolina
Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana
Luke Weaver, RHP, Sophomore, Florida State
Ben Wetzler, LHP, Senior, Oregon State
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Junior, San Francisco
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.
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 2013 Golden Spikes Award winner was Kris Bryant of the University of San Diego. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Mike Zunino ('12), 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.
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.
By visiting UHCougars.com, clicking the Tickets link, and then Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page or by clicking here, fans can begin purchasing tickets for single games at Cougar Field this season.
COUGAR SPRING FLING vs. LOUISVILLE TICKETS - APRIL 11 to benefit Generation One
Tickets for the Cougar Spring Fling, good for general admission to both events, are just $5 prior to April 11 and $10 on April 11. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE COUGAR SPRING FLING.
Tickets can be purchased in advance through UHCougars.com or by calling the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at 713-462-6647. Tickets on the day of the event can be purchased at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office, located in the Athletics/Alumni Center at 3100 Cullen Blvd., or at the event's entrances beginning at 5 p.m.
All Houston Baseball season ticket holders and single game reserved seat ticket holders ($12-15) will be admitted into Cougar Spring Fling with their previously purchased tickets. All seating at the Houston Football Spring Game will be general admission.
Cash parking for the Spring Fling will be available in the Houston Football Stadium parking garage and in lot 16C located across from Cougar Field on Cullen Blvd.
KIDS (8th grade & younger) with CAMP T-SHIRT GET IN FREE
Kids who show up to Cougar Field in a UH Baseball Camp T-Shirt and are in the eighth grade or younger will receive FREE ADMISSION to any Houston Baseball home game.
No. 7 Houston Baseball welcomes No. 10 Louisville to Cougar Field this weekend for a three-game series. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Friday. The series will continue on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and wrap up on Sunday at 1 p.m.