JP Sears continues to impress nationally as he has been selected to the Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List, it was announced Wednesday by USA Baseball.
Sears is one of just 40 players across the country to be selected to the watch list and is the lone representative from the Southern Conference. Past winners of the award include MLB stars Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey and Kris Bryant.
The Bulldog southpaw enters the week tied for ninth in Division with 72 strikeouts. His average of 13.22 strikeouts per nine innings ranks 10th in the country and his strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.0 is tied for 14th.
Sears recorded the highest single-game strikeout total in Division I this season when he struck out 20 batters against VMI on March 24. The junior tied the program record in a two-hit, complete-game shutout, the first of his career.
Sears’ 20-strikeout game came 364 days after he struck out 19 batters at VMI last season. After the record performance, Sears owns two of the top-six strikeout totals in Southern Conference history.
The Sumter, South Carolina, native owns a 4-1 record in seven starts this season, posting a 2.02 earned run average with 72 strikeouts to just nine walks. In 49 innings pitched, Sears has allowed 36 hits, holding opponents to a .206 batting average against.
Sears has three double-digit strikeout performances this season including a 15-strikeout game at College of Charleston on March 3. He has allowed two or less runs in five of seven games and pitched at least six innings in six straight starts.
After a week off from action, Sears returns to the mound to face Samford when The Citadel begins a three-game road SoCon series on Thursday.
On May 31, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award. The winner of the award will be chosen by a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow amateur baseball closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 39 previous winners of the award.