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April 27, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina senior infielder Neil Giesler has been named to the watch list for the Dick Howser Trophy presented to the nation’s top college baseball player by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Giesler is one of 64 players in the country to be named to the watch list. Giesler leads Carolina in hitting with a .377 batting average and a team-high 19 multi-hit games. Giesler owned a 20-game hitting streak earlier in the year and has hit safely in 30 of 38 games played this year.

The membership of the NCBWA will choose the Dick Howser Trophy based on three rounds of voting. The 2006 winner will be announced at the College World Series in Omaha on Friday, June 16, at 9:30 a.m. CDT. The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987.

Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.

A Florida native, Howser was a two-time All-America shortstop at Florida State University (1957-58), then coached the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser.

The winner’s name is inscribed on the permanent trophy, a bronze bust of Howser permanently displayed at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the 1999 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep.

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce is in its 107th year of existence in 2006. The organization has long been a vital force in the baseball affairs of the city, both in spring training and during the pursuit of a major league baseball franchise for the Tampa Bay area, and continues its solid role in the 21st Century. NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport’s only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.

The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser’s death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, RHP, Long Beach State, 2004; and Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005.

2006 DICK HOWSER TROPHY WATCH LIST1B  Danny Hamblin, Arkansas1B  Charlie Yarbrough, Eastern Kentucky1B  Ryan Strieby, Kentucky1B  Luke Hopkins, New Mexico State1B  Craig Cooper, Notre Dame1B  Chad Huffman, TCU1B  Allan Dykstra, Wake Forest2B  Scott Campbell, Gonzaga2B  Ramon Corona, N.C. State2B  Johnny Giavotella, New Orleans2B  David Adams, Virginia2B  Jim Negrych, Pittsburgh3B  Zach Daeges, Creighton3B  Wes Hodges, Georgia Tech3B  Matt Mangini, N.C. State3B  Ronnie Bourquin, Ohio State3B  Neil Giesler, South Carolina3B  Pedro Alvarez, Vanderbilt3B  Kelly Sweppenhiser, VMI3B  Matt Antonelli, Wake ForestSS  Christian Vitters, Fresno StateSS  Joaquin Rodriguez, Jackson StateSS  Thomas Berkey, Mississippi StateSS  Tom King, TroySS  Ryan Khoury, UtahC   Alex Garabedian, Coll. of CharlestonC   Michael McKenry, Middle TennesseeC   Chris Hatcher, UNC WilmingtonC   Blake Murphy, Western CarolinaOF  Tyler Colvin, ClemsonOF  Shane Robinson, Florida StateOF  Kellen Kulbacki, James MadisonOF  Joe Roundy, Kansas StateOF  Quinn Stewart, LSUOF  Shawn Scobee, NevadaOF  Jay Cox, North CarolinaOF  Cyle Hankerd, Southern CaliforniaOF  Carson Kainer, TexasDH/ATH  Brad Lincoln, HoustonDH/ATH  Nate Schill, James MadisonDH/ATH  J.B. Shuck, Ohio StateDH/ATH  Joe Savery, RiceDH/ATH  Sean Doolittle, VirginiaDH/ATH  Jared Prince, Washington StateDH/ATH  Damon Sublett, Wichita StateSP  Wes Roemer, Cal State FullertonSP  Bryan Henry, Florida StateSP  Eddie Romero, Fresno StateSP  Danny Ray Herrera, New MexicoSP  Johnny Dorn, NebraskaSP  Andrew Miller, North CarolinaSP  Jason Godin, Old DominionSP  Dan Hudson, Old DominionSP  Eddie Degerman, RiceSP  Tim Bascom, UCFSP  David Price, VanderbiltSP  Tim Lincecum, WashingtonRP  Vinnie Pestano, Cal State FullertonRP  Don Czyz, KansasRP  Andrew Urena, MercerRP  Cole St.Clair, RiceRP  Brett Jensen, NebraskaRP  Daniel Best, Southern MissRP  Ben Hunter, Wake Forest