Thu June 06, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Sports Razorbacks

Smith Named Finalist for Golden Spikes Award

Hagen Smith Arkansas Baseball
Smith Named Finalist for Golden Spikes Award
Oliver Grigg

CARY, N.C. – Arkansas’ Hagen Smith has been named a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which annually honors the top amateur baseball player in the nation who best exhibits exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship.


The Razorback ace is one of three finalists, along with Oregon State infielder Travis Bazzana and Georgia outfielder Charlie Condon, and the only pitcher in consideration for college baseball’s most prestigious award. The 46th Golden Spikes Award will be presented at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22, on ESPN ahead of game one of the College World Series.


Smith made his case as the best pitcher in all of college baseball, completing the 2024 campaign with a 9-2 record, 2.04 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 84.0 innings over 16 starts. The junior left-hander, named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year after going 7-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 60.0 innings over 10 SEC starts on the mound, led the country with an NCAA-record 17.3 strikeouts per nine innings on the season and finished ranked first nationally in hits allowed per nine innings (4.4), second in strikeouts (161), fourth in ERA (2.04) and seventh in WHIP (0.89).


The Bullard, Texas, native posted a team-leading 11 quality starts and logged a program-record 11 double-digit strikeout games on the year, becoming the program’s all-time career strikeout king and single-season strikeout leader during his historic 2024 campaign. Smith, who raised his career strikeout total to 360, overtook Razorback great Nick Schmidt (345) for sole possession of Arkansas’ career strikeout mark in addition to surpassing Razorback great David Walling’s single-season strikeout record of 155 set in 1999 to move atop the program’s single-season strikeout leaderboard (161).


In one of the greatest pitching performances in program history, Smith tied Arkansas’ single-game record with his 17-strikeout gem on 78 pitches over six shutout innings against Oregon State on Feb. 23 in the Kubota College Baseball Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Smith matched Razorback great Jess Todd’s single-game strikeout record (17), doing so in 40 fewer pitches than Todd threw against South Carolina on May 24, 2007, in the SEC Tournament.


Smith, who is the fourth Golden Spikes Award finalist in program history, would be the third Razorback to win the award, joining outfielder Andrew Benintendi (2015) and pitcher Kevin Kopps (2021). Pitcher Phil Stidham was the first Golden Spikes Award finalist in program history when he finished as one of nine finalists for the award in 1991.


Arkansas is one of only six schools, along with Florida State (4), Arizona State (3), Cal State Fullerton (3), LSU (2) and San Diego State (2), to boast multiple Golden Spikes Award winners.


A final ballot will be sent to the Golden Spikes Award voting body consisting of national baseball media, select professional baseball personnel and USA Baseball staff, and the previous winners of the award, totaling a group of more than 100 voters. From Wednesday, June 5, to Monday, June 10, the voting body will cast their final vote for the Golden Spikes Award winner and fan voting will simultaneously be open on