Nov. 30, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas - Santa Clara closer Mark Willinsky was named to the 2007 preseason watch list for the fourth annual Roger Clemens award, which is given to the nation's best pitcher. Willinsky earned a spot on the list after becoming one of the nation's top closers as a freshman in 2006.
In his rookie campaign on the Mission Campus in 2006, the Las Vegas, Nev. native made 28 mound appearances for the Broncos, recording nine saves, just one short of the SCU freshman record held by Patrick Overholt. Along the way, Willinsky struck out 38 batters in just 39.1 innings of work.
The finalists for the 2007 Roger Clemens Award will be selected in voting by a national panel that includes: all Division 1 head baseball coaches, a selection of national media who cover collegiate baseball, the 16 winners of the R. E. "Bob" Smith Award, which was presented to the top player in the country in Houston in 1988-2003. In addition, the 10 previous finalists for the Clemens Award are also issued ballots. The 2007 award will be presented at a gala dinner next July.
The Roger Clemens Award is in its fourth year of existence, and was named after future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, who began his march to stardom while leading the University of Texas to the College World Series title in 1983. As a major leaguer, Clemens has won 348 games (eighth best in history), fanned more than 4,600 hitters and won seven Cy Young Awards, emblematic as the top pitcher in his league. The Roger Clemens Award is the only award of its kind, honoring the finest pitchers in college baseball. The event is administered by the Greater Houston Baseball Association, which has donated more than $300,000 to the charities from the net proceeds from the first three dinners. The GHBA is a non-profit 501.3 (C) organization dedicated to the growth of amateur baseball in the Houston area.