FAYETTEVILLE – Zack Cox, a member of the No. 15 University of Arkansas baseball team, has been named a semifinalist for the 2010 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, it was announced Tuesday by the organization. Cox is one of 30 student-athletes in the running for the prestigious award which is presented to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
The names of the 30 semifinalists will now be forwarded to a group of nearly 200 voters which will select the five finalists and the eventual winner. Beginning Tuesday, fans will also be able to vote for their favorite amateur player in the running by visiting www.GoldenSpikesAward.com.
Heading into the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, Cox leads the Southeastern Conference with a career-best .432 batting average and is third in the league with 92 hits; the school records for batting average and hits are .425 (Jeremy Jackson, 1997) and 97 (Matt Erickson, 1996), respectively. Following an outstanding regular season, the Louisville, Ky., native earned a spot on the All-SEC First Team, the 13th player in program history to garner first-team accolades. Cox is also second in the SEC with a .514 on-base percentage and fifth with 60 runs scored.
Cox opened his sophomore campaign with a 24-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 49 of the 53 games he played in during the 2010 season with 32 multi-hit performances. Already with 92 hits to his credit, he is the first Razorback player to eclipse the 90-hit mark since the 1997 season. During the year, Cox set Arkansas’ single-season record with 69 singles. The Razorback infielder earned his first career SEC Player of the Week honor following standout performances against McNeese State and Alabama, including a career-best six-RBI effort in the opener against the Crimson Tide.
The five finalists will be named Tuesday, June 8, with the winner announced Tuesday, July 13, and awarded live at Major League Baseball’s All-Star FanFest in Anaheim.
Cox is one of nine sophomores on the list. Among conferences, the SEC, Big West and Conference USA each have three semifinalists. The ACC and Big 12 lead the way with five players each.
The Razorbacks are the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Fayetteville Regional to be played at Baum Stadium this weekend. Arkansas will play fourth-seeded Grambling at 2:05 p.m. to open play Friday, June 4.