(Press release from UofL Athletics)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville junior lefthanded pitcher and first baseman Brendan McKay was named Wednesday as one of four finalists for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur baseball player in the United States and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation.
McKay was joined as a finalist for the prestigious award by J.B. Bukauskas (North Carolina), Adam Haseley (Virginia) and Brent Rooker (Mississippi State). Each of the four 2017 finalists received the most votes among the 25 semifinalists, which were announced on May 31. The 2017 season marks the 40th consecutive year the Golden Spikes Award has been awarded to the nation’s top amateur baseball player based on their athletic ability, sportsmanship, character and overall contribution to the sport. This marks the second consecutive season a Louisville player has been among the finalists for the Golden Spikes Award as Corey Ray earned that honor in 2016.
A native of Darlington, Pennsylvania, McKay has been tabbed as the 2017 National Player of the Year by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball newspaper while also earning his third straight John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award. On the mound, he has a 10-3 record with a 2.34 ERA and a school record 140 strikeouts in 104.0 innings pitched. During his three-year collegiate career, McKay has accumulated a 31-10 record with a 2.15 ERA and 385 strikeouts, the most ever for a Louisville pitcher.
At the plate, the 2017 ACC Player of the Year has a .343 batting average, 17 home runs, 13 doubles, 56 RBIs and a .464 on-base percentage in 60 starts as a hitter this season. In 179 career starts and 186 total appearances as a hitter, McKay has a .328 career batting average with 27 home runs, 46 doubles and 131 RBIs. On Monday night, McKay became the highest MLB Draft selection in school history going fourth overall to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Golden Spikes Award voting committee, which selects the finalists and the Golden Spikes Award winner, is comprised of over 200 voters, consisting of past Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media highly attuned within the amateur baseball landscape, select professional baseball personnel and select current USA Baseball staff members. The voting committee will have the opportunity to vote for the winner from today until Friday, June 23.
Fans will also be able to vote for the 2017 award winner by visiting the online home for the award, GoldenSpikesAward.com; which is powered by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM). Voting for fans ends at 5 p.m. EST on Friday, June 23, and the finalist with the most fan votes will receive one overall vote.
Following the nationally televised announcement of the winner on June 29, all four finalists and their families will be celebrated at the Jonathan Club Los Angeles as part of the 2017 Rod Dedeaux Foundation Awards Dinner. Hosted by the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the dinner will honor the Golden Spikes Award finalists, the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award winner, former USA Baseball assistant coach, Augie Garrido, and the 2016 Rod Dedeaux USA Baseball Coach of the Year award winner, George Horton (Oregon).
For more information on the Golden Spikes Award and the four 2017 finalists, follow along on social media @USAGoldenSpikes on Instagram and Twitter.
The No. 7 national seed Cardinals (52-10) will continue their season at the 2017 College World Series against Texas A&M on Sunday at 2 p.m., ET at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. The game will be televised on ESPN.