Bama's Matthes In Golden Spikes Semis

Alabama right fielder Kent Matthes was named one of the 30 semifinalists for the coveted Golden Spikes Award in an announcement by USA Baseball on Tuesday afternoon. The award is presented to the top player in college baseball and is the equivalent to the Heisman Trophy in football.

"This is a great honor for Kent and the special year that he has had this season," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said. "He has had an amazing year and he deserves all the honors coming his way."

The senior was named the 2009 Southeastern Conference Player of the Week last week and a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, presented to the college baseball player of the year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

The Orlando, Fla., native was the unanimous SEC Player of the Year, after hitting .365 with a 28 home runs and 81 RBI for the Crimson Tide this season. He led the SEC in home runs, RBI, total bases (174) and slugging percentage (.883). He was also third in runs scored (65) and sixth in hitting this season.

Matthes set the Alabama single-season record with 28 home runs, which ties him for the national home run lead with Middle Tennessee State's Bryce Brentz. Matthes broke the school record with his 28th home run against South Carolina on May 20 at the SEC Tournament. He slugged his 27th home run of the season in the Tide's regular season finale at Auburn on May 16 to tie Doug Duke's single-season home run record set in 1986.

He has four multi-home run games and one walk-off home run this season. In addition, 16 of his 28 home runs have tied the game or given Alabama the lead, including 10 go-ahead home runs. He also has nine game-winning RBI.

In March, he set the Alabama record with a home run in six straight games and was twice named National and SEC Player of the Week. He hit for the cycle on Feb. 24 against Nicholls State and followed that up with a walk-off 10th inning home run the next day.

Matthes will lead Alabama into the Clemson Regional this weekend. The Crimson Tide will take on Oklahoma State in a first-round game Friday at 2:06 p.m. (CDT). The game will be televised live by CSS Sports.

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