Lavarnway Among Golden Spikes Award Semifinalists

Fans Can Vote Online Until June 3

Ryan Lavarnway

Ryan Lavarnway

May 21, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn.--Yale junior catcher Ryan Lavarnway, a second team All-Ivy selection, is on the list of 50 semifinalists for the 2008 Golden Spikes Award. Now in its 31st season, the Golden Spikes Award is presented annually by USA Baseball to the nation's top amateur player. Lavarnway, who is also a candidate for the Brooks Wallace Award and Johnny Bench Award, is the only Ivy Leaguer among the top 50.

Despite missing the final 11 games with an injury, Lavarnway still led the Ivy League with 13 home runs, 42 RBIs, 29 walks, an .824 slugging percentage and a .541 on-base percentage. He also led the Bulldogs with a .398 batting average and became the Ivy League's all-time leader with 33 career home runs. Lavarnway was named Ivy League Player of the Week three times in the first four weeks of the season. Last season, he was named third team All-American after leading the NCAA in batting average (.467) and slugging percentage (.873) and setting Yale records in home runs (14) and RBIs (55).

Photos and video highlights of all 50 semifinalists are available on goldenspikesaward.com. In addition, fans are eligible to vote for the first time in the award's history. Fans can vote as often as they want at goldenspikesaward.com. The fan vote, combined with the votes of USA Baseball's 125-member panel will narrow the field to five finalists, who will be announced on June 3. After that, fan voting will be reopened.

The Golden Spikes Award will be presented in New York on July 16, the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. The awards show will be broadcast live online at goldenspikesaward.com and mlb.com. Past winners include current Major Leaguers Pat Burrell, J.D. Drew, Alex Gordon and Jason Varitek. Last year's winner was Vanderbilt pitcher David Price, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft.

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