Feb. 27, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State starting pitcher Jason Urquidez is part of a list of 40 hurlers who are included in the first Roger Clemens Award Watch List.
The list is comprised of all Division I pitchers who were named as pre-season All-Americans by either Baseball America or Collegiate Baseball, in addition to those pitchers who have been honored so far this season as National Pitchers of the Week by the National College Baseball Writers Association. Weekly winners of the writer's award will be added to the list until the close of the first round of voting at the end of April. Additional nominees will be added to the ballot based on notable performances and rankings in the NCAA statistical rankings.
Urquidez earned national POW honors from Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA, Sports Weekly and CollegeBaseballInsider.com. He was also named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after his complete-game three-hitter against No. 1 and defending national champion Rice Owls at Reckling Park in Houston last weekend
A junior college transfer from Central Arizona, Urquidez limited the top-ranked Owls to only one run on three hits, while striking out seven and walking only one. He gave up his only run in his 138-pitch effort with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning. With his third victory of the year, Urquidez went head-to-head with and beat the nation's top pitching prospect in Rice ace Jeff Niemann. Niemann, who is also on the initial Clemens Watch List, recorded his first loss since late in the 2002 season after going 17-0 as a sophomore in 2003.
For the season, the Simi Valley, Calif., native is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA. He has allowed only 12 hits and struck out a team-leading 23 in 20.0 IP. The honor marks the fourth straight year ASU has won a national pitcher of the week award in the month of February. He became ASU's 47th all-time Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week.
In its inaugural year, The Roger Clemens Award will be presented to the nation's top college pitcher at the conclusion of a gala dinner in Houston on July 15. All Division I head baseball coaches will take part in the voting for the honor, in addition to a selected panel of national media and all past winners of the Rotary Smith Award, which was retired after the 2003 dinner by the committee that is sponsoring the Clemens Award.
The award was named after future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, who began his march to stardom while leading the University of Texas to the College World Series title in 1983. As a professional, Clemens has won over 300 games, fanned over 4,000 hitters and won and six Cy Young Awards, emblematic as the top pitcher in his league. The Roger Clemens Award is the only award of its kind, honoring the finest pitchers in college baseball.
Net proceeds from The Roger Clemens Award gala dinner and auction will benefit amateur baseball. For media information on The Roger Clemens Award, please contact Chuck Pool (832) 244-6476 or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
THE ROGER CLEMENS AWARD WATCH LIST
(as of February 26, 2004)
Randy Beam, Florida Atlantic Eric Beattie, Tampa Jason Bolinski, Richmond Zane Carlson, Baylor Brent Carter, Alabama Steven Carter, Coastal Carolina Joey Charron, Tulane J.D. Cockroft, Miami (Fla.) Joey Devine, North Carolina St. Thomas Diamond, New Orleans Matt Durkin, San Jose State Will Fenton, Washington Adam Gold, California Stephen Head, Mississippi J.P. Howell, Texas Philip Humber, Rice Clayton Jerome, TCU Chris Lambert, Boston College Mark McCormick, Baylor Dustin Miller, Cal. St. Fullerton Jeff Niemann, Rice Chris Niesel, Notre Dame Justin Orenduff, Va. Commonwealth Micah Owings, Georgia Tech Mike Pelfrey, Wichita St. David Purcey, Oklahoma Glen Perkins, Minnesota Steven Register, Auburn Michael Rogers, North Carolina St. Mark Romanczuk, Stanford Ryan Schroyer, San Diego St. Jeremy Sowers, Vanderbilt Vern Sterry, North Carolina St. Huston Street, Texas Wade Townsend, Rice Jason Urquidez , Arizona State Justin Verlander, Old Dominion Jered Weaver, Long Beach State Wes Whisler, UCLA Jason Windsor, Cal. St. Fullerton