Two University of Oklahoma baseball team players were named to the Golden Spikes Awards watch list as announced by USA Baseball on Tuesday afternoon. Junior right-handed pitcher Alec Hansen and junior shortstop Sheldon Neuse were each recognized on the 50-player watch list entering the season. For Neuse, he is one of six players on the list to appear for the second year in a row.
The award has been presented annually for the last 38 years to the top amateur player in the country and is sponsored by Major League Baseball. In 2013, Oklahoma was represented on the watch list and semifinalist group by pitcher Jonathan Gray and first baseman Matt Oberste. The midseason watch list will come out on April 20 and semifinalists will be named on June 1.
Hansen and Neuse are two of the four candidates recognized from the Big 12 conference. They are joined by TCU pitcher Mitchell Traver and Oklahoma State infielder Donnie Walton.
Hansen, a preseason All-American by numerous outlets entering the season, posted a 5-6 record as the Sooners’ Saturday starter in 2015. He posted a 3.95 earned run average and 94 strikeouts in 82.0 innings of work on his way to earning All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
Like Hansen, Neuse has earned several preseason All-America nods. A year ago, he made the move to shortstop for OU and hit .275 and slugging .424, while being named All-Big 12 First Team for the second year in a row. In the middle of the Sooner lineup, he drove in 43 runs on 10 doubles, three triples and six home runs.
Oklahoma opens the season at home on Friday against Northeastern. First pitch is set for 4:00 pm. The game will be streamed on SoonerSports.tv and can be heard locally on KREF 1400 AM.