DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball released its 60-man preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Friday, launching the organization's journey to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country on July 17. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, the Golden Spikes Award will be presented in 2014 for the 37th time. St. Edward's ace BRANNON EASTERLING is one of those players on the watch list.
Easterling had an outstanding 2013 campaign, going a national-best 14-3 with a 2.10 ERA. He led the country in complete games (14) and innings pitched (132.2), while helping lead his team to the NCAA DII World Series for the first time in school history. He was named to two different all-America teams and was also named the Josh Willingham National Most Valuable Player by College Baseball Lineup. Easterling has excellent numbers early on in the 2014 season with three complete games and an 0.86 ERA, but has been a hard-luck loser, compiling a 1-2 record. Opposing batters are only hitting .158 off of him.
"To be named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List is a tremendous honor," head coach Rob Penders said. "There are only 60 players in all of amateur baseball nominated for this award. Brannon is very deserving of this nomination. He is the best competitor I have ever coached and an outstanding teammate. If you look at previous winners of this award, you will see players that have compiled incredible accomplishments in the game of baseball. Brannon is capable of these achievements as well and someone that is a great representative of St. Edward's University."
The watch list features 60 of the nation's top amateur players, and will be a "rolling" list until May 27 -- when the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists are announced -- ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the collegiate and high school seasons.
Easterling is one of only three Division II players on the list.
Former standout for Coach Chase McMann at A&M Consolidated.