Tallahassee, Fla. – Bryan Henry and Tony Thomas, Jr., were recognized on Tuesday, May 1 for their outstanding play thus far in 2007 as they were named semifinalists for both the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy.
Thomas ranks in the top five nationally in three offensive categories, while leading the ACC in a total of eight offensive categories. Through 46 games this season, Thomas has already surpassed his previous season-highs during his freshman and sophomore seasons in runs scored (70), hits (86), doubles (25), triples (6), home runs (8), total bases (147) and stolen bases (21). The junior second baseman has reached base safely in 45 of 46 games this season, while six of his team-leading eight home runs in 2007 have come on the road. Thomas, a native of Valrico, Fla., has been named ACC Player of the Week three times this season, while earning National Player of the Week recognition from Louisville Slugger and the NCBWA.
“It is just a big accomplishment to be named a semifinalist,” said Thomas. “It’s a great achievement; hopefully I can continue doing what I have been doing throughout the season and to help this team achieve our ultimate goals.”
As Florida State’s Friday starter all season long, Henry has led the Seminoles on the mound posting a perfect 11-0 mark in 13 starts. He ranks first in the ACC and is tied for second nationally in wins. The senior right-hander currently leads Florida State in games started (13), wins, innings pitched (84.1) and strikeouts (88) while holding opponents to a .227 batting average. The Tallahassee, Fla., native has given up a run or less in eight of his 13 starts, while posting seven or more strikeouts in four straight games and in nine of his 13 starts. Henry has earned ACC Pitcher of the Week and Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors once this season.
“It’s an honor,” said Henry. “These are the top players in the country and to have my name associated with them is definitely special. This has been something that I’ve worked hard for, so hopefully I can continue to get better and help our team win.”
This year marks the 30th consecutive year that the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award has been presented to the nation’s premier amateur baseball player. The winner will be announced on June 29 during the 2007 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Show presented by Major League Baseball. Past Florida State winners of the Golden Spike Award include J.D. Drew (1997), Mike Loynd (1986) and Mike Fuentes (1984).
In total, 40 college and universities are represented on the 2007 semifinalists list. Among the conferences, the Atlantic Coast Conference landed 10 players on the list to lead the nation. Florida State was one of nine schools with multiple players selected to the semifinalists list including three schools from the ACC in North Carolina (Josh Horton and Robert Woodard), Virginia (Sean Doolittle and Jacob Thompson) and Georgia Tech (Danny Payne and Matt Wieters).
The Howser Trophy, regarded by many as college baseball’s most prestigious award, was created in memory of the former Florida State All-America shortstop, major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987. The winner will be announced at the College World Series in Omaha on Friday, June 15. J.D. Drew is the lone Florida State recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy winning the award in 1997.
The Seminoles are one of seven college and universities to have two or more semifinalists in the running for the Howser Trophy. Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.