Justin Smoak & Reese Havens Named Semifinalists For 2008 Golden Spikes Award

Gamecock Juniors Are Two of 50 Players to be Honored

Reese Havens is one of 50 players in the nation to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.

Reese Havens is one of 50 players in the nation to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.

May 20, 2008

Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina junior first baseman Justin Smoak and junior shortstop Reese Havens are two of 50 players in the nation to be named semifinalists for the 2008 Golden Spikes Award, presented by USA Baseball to the top amateur player in the country.

In 56 games this season, Justin Smoak is batting .389 with 20 homers and 61 RBI. Smoak earned first team All-SEC honores. Along with his conference honors, Smoak is one of 16 players in the nation to be named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy awarded to the top player in college baseball by the NCBWA. Smoak led all conference players in hitting in SEC games as he hit .407 in 30 league games. Smoak was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award also in 2007 as a sophomore.

Reese Havens has started in all 56 games as well and is batting .360 with 16 HR and 51 RBI including the dramatic walk off homer last Saturday that sent the Gamecocks to the SEC Tournament in a 10-8 win over Tennessee. The junior shortstop has led off every game this year for Carolina and he leads the conference in walks with 53 free passes on the year. Havens also received SEC All-Defensive team honors at shortstop as he fielded .977 in the 30 conference games with just two errors vs. SEC teams.

Today also marks the launch of GoldenSpikesAward.com, powered by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball. The new Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past-winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for 2008 semifinalists. Fans can follow online at GoldenSpikesAward.com as the list of 50 players is narrowed to five finalists on Tuesday, June 3, en route to the announcement of this year's winner on Wednesday, July 16.

The 2008 GSA will be awarded as part of a production by Major League Baseball and MLBAM that will be streamed live on the Internet exclusively at GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com. The annual event will be held in New York City following MLB All-Star Week with a time and location to be announced in early June.

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