Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Baseball: Sheldon Neuse Named to Golden Spikes Watch List

University of Oklahoma sophomore infielder Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) has been identified as one of 50 candidates for the Golden Spikes Award as USA Baseball announced its preseason watch list on Tuesday afternoon. The award has been annually presented for the last 37 years to the top amateur player in the country and is sponsored by Major League Baseball.

On May 22, the rolling watch list will be narrowed down to a list of semifinalists. In 2013, Oklahoma was represented on the watch list and semifinalists by pitcher Jonathan Gray and first baseman Matt Oberste. Neuse is one of four candidates from the Big 12, including TCU pitchers Riley Ferrell and Preston Morrison and Texas Tech first baseman Eric Gutierrez.

Following his Big 12 Freshman of the Year campaign in 2014, Neuse has picked up several Preseason All-America honors leading up to opening day. Playing primarily at third base, he hit .304 in the three-hole for the Sooners with a team-high .521 slugging percentage with 17 doubles, seven triples and seven home runs.

RELATED: 2015 OU Baseball Schedule

Neuse is the frontrunner to earn the starting shortstop job this year; a position he started at 11 times a year ago. He will also be featured more out of the bullpen as the OU closer. Equipped with a four-pitch mix and fastball in the 92-94 mile per hour range, Neuse held a 2.25 earned run average in 12 innings, across nine appearances, with 11 strikeouts, one win and one save.

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