Morris, who became the first Wildcat since Craig Wilson in 1992 to earn first team All-American status, is the first Wildcat to be named a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award.
Dustin Ackley (North Carolina), Mike Leake (Arizona State), Kent Matthes (Alabama) and Stephen Strasburg (San Diego State) joined Morris as the finalists that were selected from a list of 30 by a voting body of 125 individuals.
“As is the case each year, the voting committee was faced with a difficult task in narrowing the list of Golden Spikes Award candidates from 30 players to five,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “Dustin Ackley, Mike Leake, Kent Matthes, A.J. Morris, and Stephen Strasburg have each had an exceptional year, and they are more than deserving finalists.”
Morris finished the season as the school’s single-season record holder for wins (14), strikeouts (100), innings pitched (116.1) and games started (16). His 14 wins were also tied for the third most in Big 12 history, while his 2.09 ERA was the seventh lowest in school history.
The 2009 Golden Spikes Award will be awarded live on July 14 at All-Star FanFest in St. Louis as part of a production by Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM). Immediately following the presentation, footage will be streamed on the Internet exclusively at GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com. This year marks the first time that the award will be presented live at All-Star FanFest.
Fans can continue to stay up to date on the award by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com, powered by MLBAM, the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball. The new web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for 2009 finalists.