FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas junior pitcher DJ Baxendale is one of 50 players on the preseason watch list for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award, as announced on Thursday by USA Baseball.
The Golden Spikes Award is given to the top amateur baseball player in the country. Last season, Baxendale was among the 30 semifinalists for the award and is one of only six players on this year’s watch list that was also a semifinalist for the award last season.
Baxendale, who has earned preseason All-America honors leading up to the start of the 2012 season, finished his sophomore campaign with a 10-2 record, three saves and a 1.58 ERA in 19 appearances, including 12 starts. A second-team All-SEC selection in 2011, Baxendale became the first Razorback to record double digit wins in a season since Nick Schmidt in 2007 and his 1.58 ERA was the fifth-best single-season ERA in program history. Baxendale finished the year strong, winning five of his last six starts, including throwing eight shutout innings in a win over New Mexico in the Tempe Regional of the NCAA Tournament. Baxendale was named to the Tempe Regional All-Tournament Team after his performance against the Lobos.
Entering his junior season, Baxendale has a 10-4 career record with 10 saves and a 2.41 ERA in 48 appearances, including 15 starts. Baxendale’s career ERA currently ranks him fifth in school history, while his 10 saves is tied for seventh in school annals. Baxendale has thrown 145.2 innings as a collegian, striking out 121 and holding opposing hitters to a .248 batting average.
Arkansas opens the 2012 season on Friday at 3:05 p.m. when it faces Villanova at Baum Stadium. Season tickets for Arkansas’ 36-game home schedule are on sale. Season tickets are $190 for adults and $140 for University of Arkansas staff, youth and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-982-HOGS (4647) or by visiting the online ticket center at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.