Bling, Bling: Ewell Earns Preseason Golden Spikes Honors
All that glitters is gold.
Kentucky junior outfielder Kendal Ewell has been named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List, it was announced Friday. Ewell was a semifinalist for the honor, which goes to the top amateur player in baseball, in 2022.
Ewell is in his first season at Kentucky after transferring from Eastern Kentucky. He was outstanding in 2022, batting .361 with a 1.089 OPS in 58 games. He had 10 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs and 51 runs batted in for the Colonels. He was named First Team All-Atlantic Sun.
The 2023 preseason list includes 55 athletes from the ranks of high school and college baseball. Moving forward, the Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain the award’s watchlist on a rolling basis, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award based on their performances throughout the season.
Kentucky has had 10 previous nominees: Collin Cowgill (2008), Sean Green (2008), Austin Cousino (2013 and 2014), Kyle Cody (2014), AJ Reed (2014), Evan White (2017), Sean Hjelle (2018), Tristan Pompey (2018), Zack Thompson (2019) and Ryan Ritter (2022). Reed won the award in 2014.
Kentucky opens its baseball season on Friday afternoon in North Carolina with eyes on building upon the momentum it ended the 2022 campaign, with a rousing run to the conference tournament semifinals and narrow miss of a NCAA bid.
The Cats take on Elon in a three-game series before returning to Kentucky Proud Park for the home opener on February 21.