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Former Vanderbilt star Price named nation's top amateur player

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Former Vanderbilt pitcher David Price
won the Golden Spikes Award on Saturday as the nation's best
amateur baseball player.

Taken first in the draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Price was
a finalist in 2006 for the award, given out annually by USA
Baseball.

Price, the first Golden Spikes Award winner from Vanderbilt,
finished his junior season with an 11-1 record, a 2.63 ERA and 194
strikeouts. He broke the school's career strikeout record with 441
in just three seasons and 313 innings of work.

The pinch-hit homer he gave up to Michigan's Alan Oaks in an
NCAA regional knocked the Commodores out of the tournament and kept
them from reaching the College World Series.

"It's always great to get an award like this," he said. "I
would have loved to go to Omaha and win that, but this is a good
personal accomplishment."

The four other finalists were Price's Vanderbilt teammate Pedro
Alvarez, Florida's Matt LaPorta, Florida State's Tony Thomas and
Texas' Kyle Russell.

Price also won the Dick Howser Trophy for athletic and
scholastic achievements and was named collegiate player of the year
by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball America.

Some notable former winners of the Golden Spikes include Bob
Horner (1978), Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin
Ventura (1988), Ben McDonald (1989), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D.
Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001) and Jered Weaver (2004).2004