Two 'Hoos on Golden Spikes Midseason Watch List

The 50-man midseason watch list for Golden Spikes Award includes a pair of players from the Virginia baseball team.

Sophomore pitcher Nathan Kirby was among 23 players added to the preliminary watch list released by USA Baseball in February. Kirby joins junior outfielder/first baseman Mike Papi on the watch list.

The Golden Spikes Award is considered college baseball's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. UVa is one of nine teams with two players on the midseason watch list.

Papi enters this weekend's series against Clemson leading UVa in several offensive categories, including batting average (.330), homers (six), and RBI (30). His 33 runs scored and 31 walks both lead the ACC, and he ranks in the top five in the conference in both on-base percentage (.487) and slugging percentage (.545).

Kirby has emerged as the ace of the UVa pitching staff this season, highlighted by last Friday's 18-strikeout no-hitter in a win at Pittsburgh. The left-hander is 6-1 with an ACC-best 1.03 ERA this season, and a team-high 55 strikeouts.

USA Baseball will announce the three semifinalists for the Golden Spikes on May 27, and the trophy will be awarded on July 17.


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