By Taylor Hodges
FHU Sports Information Director
Two-time NAIA All-American and 2019 AMC Player of the Year Josh Sears was named to the 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list, USA Baseball announced over the weekend.
This will be the 43rd year of the award, and it identifies the top amateur baseball player in the country, including all divisions in college as well as high school players. Sears is one of five players not from an NCAA Division I school and the only player representing the NAIA on the preseason list.
The All-American found out about this honor on Thursday afternoon in batting practice before the team left for New Orleans for a four-game weekend series from his teammate Connor Creasy.
“I was shock, honestly,” Sears said about when he found out about being named initially as one of the top 55 best amateur baseball players in the country.
“I didn’t even know it was coming out. I knew what the Golden Spikes Award is, due to some of my friends being on the watch list before me. It just caught me by surprise. I feel honored to be up there with the other 54 best amateur baseball players. It’s very honoring, but also very humbling at the same time.”
In his sophomore season, Sears broke the FHU all-time homerun record en route to being named the AMC Player of the Year as well as an NAIA All-American for the second year.
He finished the season with 21 home runs while bringing in 75 runs and batting .364.
“It’s a great honor for Josh and what he has accomplished over his last two seasons,” coach Jonathan Estes said. “He’s worked very hard to put himself in a position to continue to play this game for a long time.”
Currently, Sears has two home runs on the young season while boasting a massive OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.055.
“I take a lot of pride in my work ethic, but I don’t really care about the individual success,” Sears added. “I just want my team to win and compete. Individual success comes off of the team success. If the team is winning, I’m happy, and that’s all that matters.”
Fans are allowed to nominate their favorite players until the deadline of April 6 for the midseason watch list, and you can do that HERE. Once the midseason list is announced, fans will be able to vote starting on May 14 when the semifinalists are announced, and the winner will be announced on June 11 in Omaha, Nebraska.