SAINT LEO, Fla. – For the second consecutive year, the Saint Leo baseball team has claimed the Sunshine State Conference’s Freshman of the Year Honor as second baseman Ryan Brnovich was given the award as it was announced by conference Commissioner Jay Jones on Wednesday afternoon.

In his rookie season as a Lions, Brnovich batted .346 with 22 RBI and 38 runs scored. A product of Boca Raton, Fla., he started in all 50 games in which he appeared.

Starting off his college career on fire, the Lions’ second baseman held a .455 average on February 20th and saw it as high as .420 as late as mid-March.  His highlight of the season came on March 9th when he went 3-for-5 with three RBI and a homer.  That marked one of 21 games where Brnovich posted multiple hits en route to finishing a single hit shy of the team’s batting crown.

Brnovich tallied 11 extra-base hits, including six doubles. He was also a threat on the base paths, completing 12-of-15 stolen base attempts.

Brnovich is the Lions’ second Freshman of the Year honoree as Head Coach Russ McNickle has seen a player take home the rookie award both years under his guidance.  Dustin Brown handed the crown to Brnovich after earning it in 2009. This is the third freshman award in six year as pitcher Peter Martinez earned the honor in 2004. 

He was joined by Tampa's Mike Schwartz, who was selected Player of the Year, while UT's Joe Urso was chosen Coach of the Year.  Rollins' Tim Griffin garnered Pitcher of the Year honors.

Voting for the all-conference baseball team was conducted among league head baseball coaches and sports information directors.

This also marks the second SLU freshman honored with the award in nearly as many weeks with men’s golfer Nick Brothers also earning recognition.

2010 ALL-SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE BASEBALL TEAM

FIRST TEAM
1B - Michael Demma (Florida Tech, Sr)
2B - Eric McCans (Nova Southeastern, Sr)
3B - Rhys Roberts (Nova Southeastern, Sr)
SS - Nick Shaw (Barry, Sr)
OF - Tyler Cox (Tampa, Sr)
OF - Taylor Ferguson (Rollins, Sr)
OF - Yas Gutierrez (Barry, Sr)
OF - Jared Simon (Tampa, Jr)
UT - Patrick Donahue (Tampa, Jr)
DH - Mike Schwartz (Tampa, Sr)
C - Mike Blanke (Tampa, Jr)
SP - Jonathan Cornelius (Florida Tech, Jr)
SP - Tim Griffin (Rollins, Sr)
SP - Isaac Hicks (Nova Southeastern, Jr)
SP - Max Russell (Florida Southern, Jr)
RP - Sean Albury (Nova Southeastern, Jr)

Player of the Year - Mike Schwartz, Tampa
Pitcher of the Year - Tim Griffin, Rollins
Coach of the Year - Joe Urso, Tampa
Freshman of the Year - Ryan Brnovich, Saint Leo

SECOND TEAM
1B - Chris Chavez (Lynn, Sr)
2B - Brad Roberts (Tampa, Sr)
3B - Matt Petty (Barry, Jr)
SS - Correy Figueroa (Tampa, Sr)
OF - Dylan Brown (Tampa, Jr)
OF - Nikko Echevarria (Nova Southeastern, So)
OF - Trae Gore (Florida Southern, Sr)
OF - Minervino Labrador (Eckerd, Sr)
UT - Haven FitzSimmonds (Nova Southeastern, Jr)
DH - Ryan Garcia (Barry, Jr)
C - Ben Hewett (Rollins, Sr)
SP - Josh Bowman (Tampa, Jr)
SP - Stephen Hiscock (Rollins, Sr)
SP - AJ Pinera (Tampa, Sr)
SP - John Wiedenbauer (Tampa, Sr)
RP - Daniel Tillman (Florida Southern, Jr)

HONORABLE MENTION
DH - Andrew Grutka (Florida Southern, Sr)
SP - Eddie Sipple (Florida Southern, Jr)
RP - Evan Stobbs (Tampa, Jr)