Mark Prior Named As Golden Spikes Award Finalist

Sept. 27, 2001

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LOS ANGELES - Former USC pitcher Mark Prior, the 2001 National Player of the Year, was named today as one of the five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award.

The award, presented by USA Baseball in coordination with the Major League Baseball Players Association, is given to the nation's top amateur player and will be announced by USA Baseball in early December. Past winners of the award include Pat Burrell, J.D. Drew, Mark Kotsay, Jason Varitek, Darren Dreifort, Phil Nevin, Bob Horner, Will Clark and Robin Ventura.

Prior, who was 15-1 with a 1.69 ERA in his junior season with the Trojans, earned six Player of the Year honors in 2001 including the Smith Award and the Dick Howser Trophy (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association). He also was named as the top player in the nation by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, The Sporting News and the American Baseball Coaches' Association.

The 6-5, 220-pound native of Bonita, Calif., struck out a school and Pac-10 Conference record 202 batters last season and allowed only 18 walks in 138 2/3 innings of work. The Trojans finished the season with a 45-19 record and made their second consecutive trip to the College World Series.

Prior, who is currently attending classes at USC, signed with the Chicago Cubs in August after being selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the June draft.

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