LSU baseball season in review: How the Tigers graded out _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Former LSU ace Aaron Nola threw 345 strikeouts in his career.

LSU pitcher Aaron Nola is one of three finalists for USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.

Nola, a Baton Rouge native, joins Kentucky pitcher A.J. Reed and Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto as finalists for the award, which will be presented July 17 in Los Angeles.

The three received the most votes among 21 semifinalists from a more than 200-person committee.

Nola, expected to forgo his senior season and make the leap to the pros, finished his junior season with an 11-1 record and 1.47 ERA. He struck out 134 and walked 27 in 116.1 innings on the mound.

But Nola has stiff competition for the honor.

Reed, a pitcher and infielder, was named the SEC Player of the Year. He leads the nation in home runs and slugging percentage and led the SEC in pitching victories in the regular season.

Conforto, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, batted .348 this season and led the conference in runs scored. He drew 50 walks, the most in school history.

As well as the committee, fans can vote for the 2014 award by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com and selecting their favorite finalist. Voting for fans and the voting body ends at 4 p.m. June 13.

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