It is the second straight national honor for Price as he received the Dick Howser Trophy, the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association’s Player of the Year award, two weeks ago in Omaha .
“Wow, it’s certainly a great honor to receive the Golden Spikes Award,” said Price. “To have my name mentioned with some of the greats who have won the award before is something I will always cherish. I spent two summers with the USA Baseball National Team and to receive this award from the organization is really special to me and my family.”
Price was one of five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award along with teammate Pedro Alvarez, Florida ’s Matt LaPorta, Florida State ’s Tony Thomas and Texas ’ Kyle Russell. He was named the award winner at the end of a 30 minute pre-taped show that was televised on ESPNU.
Price is the first Commodore to ever receive the award and the first player from the SEC to pick up the honor since former South Carolina hurler Kip Bouknight won it in 2000.
Some of the notable former winners of the Golden Spikes include Bob Horner (1978), Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Ben McDonald (1989), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001) and Jered Weaver (2004).
Price was chosen as the first player in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (VU’s first-ever initial draft selection) and ended the year at 11-1 overall with 194 strikeouts in 133 1/3 innings pitched (13.1 strikeouts every nine frames). He did not lose a decision in his 17 starts and struck out 10 or more batters in 12 of those first 17 appearances. Price tied a career-high with 17 strikeouts in the opening round of the NCAA Nashville Regional in nine innings against Austin Peay.
The 2007 Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year finished with a 2.63 earned run and also broke the school’s career strikeout record with 441 in just three seasons and 313 innings of work. Price’s 194 strikeouts this year was second in SEC season history to LSU’s Ben McDonald (1989).
He notched a 22-10 record during his three-year career, and averaged 12.7 strikeouts and just 2.99 walks every nine frames, while working as VU’s “ace” in each of the last two years.
Price is ranked in almost every major NCAA pitching category with his 194 total whiffs (most in nation), 11 victories (top 15) and 13.1 game strikeouts’ average (second).
In addition to this award, Price is in the running for two more awards, the Brooks Wallace Award (College Baseball Foundation’s Player of the Year- July 3) and the Roger Clemens Award (Nation’s Top College Pitcher- July 11). Both of these awards will be presented at formal banquets next month.