Conforto & Wetzler on Golden Spikes Watch List

Conforto & Wetzler on Golden Spikes Watch List
Oregon State's Michael Conforto (8) is greeted by teammates after scoring on an RBI single by teammate Ryan Dunn in the third inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament regional game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, June 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State junior left-handed pitcher Ben Wetzler and sophomore outfielder Michael Conforto have each been named to the preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List, USA Baseball announced Thursday.

Fifty players are on the initial watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, which is given annually at the conclusion of the season to the nation's best collegiate player regardless of position.

Wetzler is on the list after posting a team-leading eight wins last season and finishing with a 3.10 earned run average. He is 14-5 in two seasons with the Beavers.

Conforto, meanwhile, was an All-American last season and the Pac-12 Conference's Freshman of the Year after batting a team-leading .349 with 13 home runs and a school-record 76 runs batted in.

The Beavers are one of 12 programs with multiple players named to the watch list. All told, 11 of the 50 players on the watch list hail from the Pac-12.

Wetzler, Conforto and the Beavers open the 2013 season Friday against Utah Valley at 1 p.m. in Palm Springs, Calif. Oregon State is hosting the Palm Springs Tournament and plays Gonzaga Saturday at 12:30 p.m., UC Riverside Sunday at 1 p.m. and UC Riverside again Monday at 8:30 a.m.

Passes for the tournament can be purchased by calling the Palm Springs Power ticket office at 760-778-4487. A full-day pass goes for $20 while those who wish to attend the entire tournament can purchase passes for $50.

After the trip to Palm Springs, the Beavers are headed further south to San Diego for a four-game series with San Diego State starting Thursday, Feb. 21. The series will be held at Tony Gwynn Stadium with ticket info available on