Cal baseball player is best college player in U.S.

-  A baseball player for the University of California at Berkeley is the nation's top college player this year.

Andrew Vaughn won the Golden Spikes Award, placing him among the elite players to play baseball at the amateur level, the athletics department at UC Berkeley said Thursday. 

Vaughn is the first Cal player ever to win the award. Other finalists were Texas infielder Kody Clemens, Auburn pitcher Casey Mize and Florida pitcher Brady Singer. 

Lance Blankenship was the only other player for Cal to be a finalist.  

Vaughn said in a statement, "I'm incredibly humbled and honored to receive an award like the Golden Spikes. I'm proud to represent Cal and thankful for all the support I've gotten from my coaches, family and friends."

 Cal head coach Mike Neu said, "We couldn't be prouder of the way in which Andrew represents our team and the University of California. It's an incredibly exciting day for Cal and Cal Baseball."

Vaughn is a Santa Rosa native. As a sophomore first baseman, Vaughn started all 54 games, hit 23 home runs, batted .402 and had a slugging percentage of .819, the best in school history. He drove in 63 runs, walked 44 times and struck out only 18 times. 

His fielding percentage was .992, earning him a place among the top defensive players in the conference. 

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