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Beckham, Posey among finalists for Golden Spikes

DURHAM, N.C. -- Five college players expected to go in the top of the major league baseball draft were chosen Tuesday as finalists for the Golden Spikes award, which goes to the nation's best amateur player.

The five are Gordon Beckham, a shortstop from Georgia; pitchers Aaron Crow of Missouri and Brian Matusz of San Diego; catcher Buster Posey of Florida State and third baseman Brett Wallace of Arizona State.

The winner will be announced July 16.

Beckham set the single-season home run record (24) at Georgia this year and was voted the SEC player of the year. He hit .398, second in the conference, and led it in home runs.

Crow set a Missouri record with 13 wins, most in the nation, and had 43 consecutive scoreless inning, unofficially the fourth-longest streak in Division 1.

Matusz led the NCAA in strikeouts (141) and had 12 victories. The junior lefty was selected West Coast Conference pitcher of the year and finished the season as the all-time career leader at San Diego in strikeouts with 396.

Posey hit .472 to lead the NCAA. He also was a relief pitcher who had six saves to lead Florida State.

Wallace was the Pac-10 player of the year for the second straight season. He led the conference with a .414 average; 94 hits, 83 runs; 81 RBIs, 21 home runs and 173 total bases.