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April 10, 2014

Miles named to USA Baseball midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

Complete USA Baseball midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – It's been a heckuva season so far for Tennessee Tech third baseman Daniel Miles, who has led the nation in hits and runs scored while also sitting atop several Ohio Valley Conference statistical categories. And now the Pascagoula, Miss. native can add one more exemplary accomplishment to his already stunning resume as Miles was named to the USA Baseball midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list.

The watch list will continue to be a "rolling" list until May 27 -- when the semifinalists for the award are announced -- ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award.  The Golden Spikes Award trophy, given to the top amateur baseball player in the nation, will be awarded live in Los Angeles on July 17.

So far this season, Miles has batted a team-high .419 in 34 games, ranking second in the league. He has led the nation for two weeks in hits, currently sitting in third with 57 on the year. He also has held the top spot in the nation in runs scored and currently ranks second with 47 scores.

His .521 on base percentage leads the OVC, as Miles has walked 24 times while striking out in just 15 at bats. He has crushed seven home runs, ranking third on the Tech squad, and smacked 11 doubles while raking in 33 RBI for the second highest mark among Golden Eagles. He is slugging .669 this season after 136 at bats.

Miles is familar with being recognized for his achievements on the diamond after earning adidas® OVC Co-Player of the Week and NCAA National Player of the Week honors earlier this season. A preseason All-OVC first team selection this year, Miles was named CollegeBaseballInsider.com/Louisville Slugger All-American Honorable Mention and Daniel Miles, All-OVC first team after his first season in a Tech uniform after transferring from Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College.

Twenty-three new players were added to the list since its initial release on February 14, joining 27 others from the preseason watch list. The Southeastern Conference led all conferences in watch list players, placing nine on the midseason update, while 17 different NCAA conferences had at least one athlete on the list. The Atlantic Coast Conference had six athletes on the list.

Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Louisiana State, Oregon State, Pepperdine and Virginia each had two athletes on the midseason watch list. Vanderbilt junior right-handed pitcher, Tyler Beede, is featured on the 2014 Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list after being one of three finalist for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award.

In addition to Beede, Thomas Eshelman (Cal State Fullerton) and Aaron Nola (Louisiana State) were both semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award in 2013.

USA Baseball officials will announce the 30-man watch list for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Thursday, May 8. USA Baseball will then release the semifinalists on Tuesday, May 27. The list of athletes will then be sent to a voting body consisting of Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.  

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014.  Tuesday, May 27, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com.  As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names. 

Last year, University of San Diego infielder, Kris Bryant, took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).

Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).