Ian Kennedy Named To 2006 Clemens Award Watch List

Jan. 22, 2006

HOUSTON -- USC junior right-hander Ian Kennedy highlights the list of 40 college pitchers who have been named to the initial Watch List for the 2006 Roger Clemens Award, which honors the top pitcher in college baseball.

Kennedy, who was a semifinalist for the award last year, joins the list which is comprised of all Division I pitchers who were named as pre-season All-Americans by either Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball or the National College Baseball Writers Association. Additional pitchers will be added each week when honored as National Pitchers of the Week by the NCBW and after the NCAA releases its statistical rankings during the college baseball season.

He went 12-3 last season with a 2.54 ERA for the Trojans, recording 158 strikeouts in 117 innings against just 38 walks and was a 2005 All-America first team selection, as well as the Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year. Kennedy led USC to its fifth NCAA Super Regional in seven years and also pitched with the U.S. National Team for the second consecutive summer.

The Pac 10 leads conferences with eight pitchers, followed by the Big XII and ACC with seven each.

The Roger Clemens Award was named after future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, who began his march to stardom while leading the University of Texas to the College World Series title in 1983. As a professional, Clemens has won 341 games (9th best in history), fanned 4,502 hitters and won and seven Cy Young Awards, emblematic as the top pitcher in his league. The Roger Clemens Award is the only award of its kind, honoring the finest pitchers in college baseball.

The third Clemens Award will be presented to the nation's top college pitcher at the conclusion of a gala dinner in Houston in July. All Division I head baseball coaches will take part in the voting for the honor, in addition to a selected panel of national media and all past winners of the Rotary Smith Award, which was retired after the 2003 dinner by the committee that is sponsoring the Clemens Award.

The event is administered by the Greater Houston Baseball Association, who has donated $200,000 to the designated beneficiaries (The Roger Clemens Foundation, The Karl Young Summer College Baseball League and Baseball USA) from the net proceeds from the first two dinners. The GHBA is a non-profit 501.3 (C) organization dedicated to the growth of amateur baseball in the Houston area.

USC starts its 2006 season on Friday (Feb. 3) at Long Beach State with the home opener against the 49ers on Saturday (Feb. 4) at 1 p.m. at Dedeaux Field.

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