Arkansas Tech and Southern Arkansas players on NCBWA All-South Region team - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas Tech and Southern Arkansas players on NCBWA All-South Region team

Pensacola, FL (ATU) - Arkansas Tech junior centerfielder Matt Johnson and senior pitcher Josh Floriani were named Second-Team National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-South Region selections on Tuesday one day after the conclusion of the NCAA D-II South Regional in Tampa, Fla.

The NCBWA All-South Region team is voted on by member writers, broadcasters and publicists that cover Division II baseball in the South Region. All first-team selections will be eligible for selection to the All-America team, which will be released on Monday, May 24.

Johnson, who is a native of Grand Saline, Texas, and a transfer from Tyler Junior College and Floriani, who is a four-year lettermen for the Wonder Boys from Malvern, Ark., are two of 13 players named to the one of the two NCBWA South Region teams and two of the five players selected to the second team from the GSC.

Southern Arkansas, the NCAA D-II South Region runners-up, led the way with five selections, all of which were on the first team. Nova Southeastern, Valdosta State and Rollins each had three overall selections, including a combined six first team honorees, while Tech, Florida Southern, Barry and Tampa, the 2010 NCAA D-II South Regional champions, all had two overall selections.

Valdosta State senior outfielder Brandon Decker, who was named this year's GSC East Division Player of the Year, took home the NCBWA South Region Player of the Year honor, while Southern Arkansas junior Hayden Simpson repeated as the NCBWA South Region Pitcher of the Year and Tampa's Joe Urso won the NCBWA Coach of the Year honor after leading the Spartans to its 14th regional championship in school history and fourth in the last five seasons.

Johnson, who was named a unanimous First-Team All-GSC West Division selection, earns his Second-Team NCBWA All-South Region honor after posting a team-best batting average of .416. On the season, Johnson, who has already been named a Second-Team All-South Region selection by Daktronics and ABCA/Rawlings this season, set new single-season school records for hits (84), runs scored (70) and stolen bases (36) and tied the school's single-season record with six triples. In addition, he collected 11 doubles, four home runs and drove in 41 runs in 202 at-bats, which is fourth-most in single-season history. Johnson had 23 multi-hit games, including collecting a school-record six hits against Southwest Baptist and also had 13 multi-RBI contests in 52 games. He had a slugging percentage of .589 and an on-base percentage of .472 and had 119 total bases, which is fourth-most in single-season school history.

Floriani, who was one of three Wonder Boys named a First-Team All-GSC West Division selection, earns his Second-Team NCBWA All-South Region honor after posting a 10-3 record and a 4.89 ERA this past season. The 10 wins ranked second in the GSC and is also tied for second in Tech's single-season list. On the season, Floriani made 18 appearances and 12 starts and threw five complete games and two shutouts. In 92 innings of work, Floriani allowed 97 hits, 57 runs (50 earned runs), while walking 21 and fanning 82, which is fourth-best in the league and third-best in single-season school history. In his four-year career at Tech, Floriani, who was a reliever for most of the last three seasons before becoming a full-time starter this past year, holds the school's career record for appearances (82), is tied for fifth all-time in victories (17), sixth in strikeouts (161) and is second all-time in saves (13). Along with his career record in appearances, Floriani also holds the school's single-season record for appearances with 26, which was set in 2009.     

Joining Johnson and Floriani on the NBCWA All-South Region Second Team are Delta State starting pitcher Jason Coats, Florida Tech starting pitcher Jonathon Cornelius, Valdosta State starting pitcher Jeremy Forbus, Florida Southern relief pitcher Daniel Tillman, Rollins catcher Ben Hewett, Lynn University first baseman Christian Chavez, Stillman College second baseman Rey Valdes, Nova Southeastern third baseman Rhys Roberts, Barry shortstop Nick Shaw, Ouachita Baptist outfielder Will Goudy, Barry outfielder Yas Gutierrez and Tampa designated hitter/utility player Mike Schwartz.

Decker and Simpson were joined on the First-Team NCBWA All-South Region by Rollins pitcher Tim Griffin, West Florida pitcher Kevin Johnson, Florida Southern pitcher Max Russell and Nova Southeastern relief pitcher Sean Albury, Tampa catcher Mike Blanke, Southern Arkansas first baseman Logan Williams, Nova Southeastern second baseman Eric McCans, Southern Arkansas third baseman Cannon Lester, Southern Arkansas shortstop Andrew Whittington, Southern Arkansas outfielder Patrick Johnson, Rollins outfielder Taylor Ferguson and Valdosta State designated hitter/utility player Clayton Cain.

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