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April 26, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina senior infielder Steve Pearce has been named to the 2005 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List. Pearce is one of 40 players from across the nation identitifed by USA Baseball as a potential recipient. USA Baseball, in parternship with the Major League Baseball Players Association, will hand out the 2005 Golden Spikes Award in July. The five finalists for the 2005 Golden Spikes Award will be announced by USA Baseball in early June.

Pearce is batting .343 on the year with a team-high 12 HR and 36 RBI, seven of the 12 home runs have come vs. SEC opponents as well as a .358 batting average in the conference. Former South Carolina pitcher Kip Bouknight earned the prestigious honor following the 2000 season when he posted a 17-1 record for the Gamecocks.

The 2005 Golden Spikes Award winner will be announced in July during the broadcast of the 28th Annual Golden Spikes Award show. The broadcast, presented in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association, will also highlight USA Baseball’s athlete programs as well as some of the various organizational youth baseball initiatives supported by USA Baseball and the MLBPA.

“USA Baseball is once again proud to recognize the inspiring performances of the nation’s top collegiate baseball players. We also appreciate our ongoing relationship with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the undying support Major Leaguers display in helping amateur baseball players, especially at the grassroots level,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director / CEO.

For the past 27 years, 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 in 1978, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship.

The 2004 Golden Spikes Award winner was Jered Weaver of Long Beach State University. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball stars such as Khalil Greene (’02), Mark Prior (’01), Jason Jennings (’00), Pat Burrell (’98), J.D. Drew (’97), Travis Lee (’96), Mark Kotsay (’95), Jason Varitek (’94), Darren Dreifort (’93), and Phil Nevin (’92). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Alex Fernandez (’90), Ben McDonald (’89), Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79), and Bob Horner (’78).

The MLBPA ( is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the National League and the American League and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and Players Choice events, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players.