Byler and Howell Named to Golden Spikes Watch List - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Byler and Howell Named to Golden Spikes Watch List

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Nevada Release

Senior Austin Byler and junior Ryan Howell have been named to the midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list, USA Baseball announced on Tuesday. The 19th-ranked Nevada baseball team is one of just 12 teams with multiple student-athletes on the 60-player watch list.

The Golden Spikes Award – in its 38th season - is given to the top amateur baseball player in the country. The semifinalists will be announced on May 27 while the final presentation is set for June 23 in Los Angeles.

Byler is one of 23 players to remain on the midseason list after being named to the preseason watch list on February 10. Meanwhile, Howell is one of 37 new players added to the list since its initial release. The Wolf Pack is the lone school from the Mountain West to be represented on the midseason watch list.

A preseason consensus All-American, Byler has lived up to the hype this season with the fourth-best on base percentage (.543) in Division I. The 6-foot-3 slugger from Peoria, Ariz., boasts a .345 batting average while ranking second in walks and seventh in hit by pitch nationally. Byler has hit 14 doubles, two triples and eight home runs with a .727 slugging percentage. He leads the MW in runs scored with 40.

In his first season of Division I baseball, Howell has taken the nation by storm. The second basemen ranks third in RBI (46), fourth in home runs (10) and seventh in slugging percentage (.754) in Division I. The 6-foot-2 power hitter leads Nevada with a .373 average at the plate and a team-high 95 total bases. The Brentwood, Calif., native leads the MW in four offensive categories.

With Byler and Howell in the lineup, the Wolf Pack is off its best start in program history and is ranked 19th by Collegiate Baseball.  Nevada boasts a 26-7 overall record and is tied for first in the MW with a 12-3 league mark.

The 2015 Golden Spikes Award winner will be named on Tuesday, June 23, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner that evening at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.

Byler and Howell will look to join the likes of Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008) as winners of the prestigious award.

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