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May 4, 2010

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina senior right-hander Blake Cooper has been named to USA Baseball’s 2010 Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The Golden Spikes Award is given to the top amateur player in baseball. Cooper sits atop the SEC with an 8-0 record. He leads the SEC in innings pitched (77.0), is fourth in opponents batting average (.212), fifth in strikeouts (69) and eighth in earned run average (2.92). He is one of 60 players in the country to be on the current list for the award.

Cooper has also been strong in SEC games with five wins that is tied with Drew Smyly of Arkansas for most conference victories. Cooper has pitched a SEC-high 52.1 innings and is second in strikeouts (45), fifth in opponents batting average (.219) and seventh in earned run average (2.75) in conference contests.

Cooper is currently 10th on the school career list for wins. His 29 career victories is third highest among current players in Division I. Matt Ridings of Western Kentucky leads Division I with 33 career wins with Daniel Bibona of UC Irvine second with 30,

Cooper earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors in a 5-0 win over Ole Miss. Cooper struck out a career-high 10 batters in the victory, his fifth complete game of his career but his first career complete game shutout. He allowed just four hits and one walk in the victory. The complete game shutout was the first by a Gamecock pitcher since Aaron Rawl on May 13, 2005 in a 2-0 win at Ole Miss.

USA Baseball released an updated 60-man Golden Spikes Award Watch List on Tuesday, bringing the organization one step closer to identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, the 33rd annual Golden Spikes Award will be presented in 2010 on Tuesday, July 13, at the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest in Anaheim, Calif.

On the heels of the 50-man preseason list released in February, the updated version includes 23 new athletes who have played themselves into consideration, while there are 13 names that have been removed. The watch list will continue to be a “rolling list” up until June 1 when 30 semifinalists are announced. This will ensure that athletes can still play themselves into consideration over the course of the month of May.

“As with all sports and end-of-season awards there are athletes who perform above and beyond expectations and thus play their way into the conversation,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “It is our job to identify those players and make sure they are properly considered as we work toward crowning baseball’s top amateur talent in 2010.”

On Tuesday, June 1, USA Baseball officials will cut the watch list of players to 30 names. The final list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of select professional baseball personnel, past USA Baseball National Team coaches, select members of the media, former USA Baseball sports information directors, and current USA Baseball staff — close to 150 voters in total.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2010. June 1 will also mark the day when college baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player for the Golden Spikes Award on As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose five players from the list of 30 names. On Tuesday, June 8, USA Baseball will announce the five finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.

The 2010 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award will be presented nationally July 13 on an award show via live telecast from Anaheim on, and in conjunction with All-Star FanFest.

South Carolina has had one player in school history earn the award. In 2000, right-handed pitcher Kip Bouknight received the Golden Spikes after posting a 17-1 record and helping lead the Gamecocks to a SEC championship.

2010 Golden Spikes Award Watch ListTrevor Bauer, UCLA, RHP, SophomoreChad Bettis, Texas Tech, RHP, JuniorDaniel Bibona, UC Irvine, LHP, SeniorBryce Brentz, Middle Tennessee, OF/RHP, JuniorGary Brown, Cal State Fullerton, IF, JuniorMichael Choice, Texas-Arlington, OF, JuniorGerrit Cole, UCLA, RHP, SophomoreChristian Colon, Cal State Fullerton, IF, JuniorBlake Cooper, South Carolina, RHP, SeniorJordan Cooper, Wichita, RHP, SophomoreZack Cox, Arkansas, IF/RHP, SophomoreTodd Cunningham, Jacksonville State, OF, JuniorBlake Dean, Louisiana State, IF/OF, SeniorDerek Dietrich, Georgia Tech, IF, JuniorChris Duffy, Central Florida, IF/OF, SeniorBrett Eibner, Arkansas, RHP/OF, JuniorMicah Gibbs, Louisiana State, C, JuniorSean Gilmartin, Florida State, LHP, SophomorePhil Gosselin, Virginia, IF/OF, JuniorYasmani Grandal, Miami (Fla.), C, JuniorSonny Gray, Vanderbilt, RHP, SophomoreCole Green, Texas, RHP/OF, JuniorJedd Gyorko, West Virginia, IF, JuniorJesse Hahn, Virginia Tech, RHP, SophomoreBryce Harper, Southern Nevada, C/IF/OF, FreshmanPaul Hoilman, East Tennessee State, RHP/IF, SophomoreTyler Holt, Florida State, OF, JuniorDanny Hultzen, Virginia, LHP/IF, SophomoreTaylor Jungmann, Texas, RHP, SophomoreA.J. Kirby-Jones, Tennessee Tech, IF/RHP, JuniorJayson Langfels, Eastern Kentucky, IF, SophomoreBarret Loux, Texas A&M, RHP, JuniorZack MacPhee, Arizona State, IF, SophomoreMike McGee, Florida State, RHP/OF, JuniorDeck McGuire, Georgia Tech, RHP, JuniorHunter Morris, Auburn, IF/OF, JuniorKyle Parker, Clemson, OF/IF, JuniorTony Plagman, Georgia Tech, IF, SeniorDrew Pomeranz, Mississippi, LHP, JuniorAnthony Ranaudo, Louisiana State, RHP, JuniorAddison Reed, San Diego State, RHP, JuniorAnthony Rendon, Rice, IF, SophomoreKyle Roller, East Carolina, IF, SeniorChance Ruffin, Texas, RHP, JuniorCameron Rupp, Texas, C, JuniorChris Sale, Florida Gulf Coast, LHP, JuniorRob Segedin, Tulane, IF/RHP, RS SophomoreJohn Stilson, Texas A&M, RHP/IF, SophomorePreston Tucker, Florida, IF, SophomoreKolbrin Vitek, Ball State, IF/RHP, JuniorB.A. Vollmuth, Southern Mississippi, IF, SophomoreAustin Wates, Virginia Tech, OF, JuniorCody Wheeler, Coastal Carolina, LHP, JuniorAlex Wimmers, Ohio State, RHP, JuniorMickey Wiswall, Boston College, IF, JuniorAsher Wojciechowski, The Citadel, RHP, JuniorKolten Wong, Hawaii, IF, SophomoreScott Woodward, Coastal Carolina, IF, JuniorBrandon Workman, Texas, RHP, JuniorPhil Wunderlich, Louisville, IF/OF, Junior