SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University baseball team saw a trifecta of Lions etch their names on the All-Sunshine State Conference Baseball Team when it was released on Wednesday. Former Freshman of the Year winners Ryan Brnovich and Dustin Brown continued their string of appearances on the All-SSC team with respective first and second-team honors in the 35 person team announced by conference Commissioner Jay Jones. Current freshman Chris Newcomb rounded out the list with a second-team honor as well.
Earning the Lions’ only All-SSC First-Team bid, Brnovich started and played in all 49 of the Lions’ games in 2011 at second base. Flirting with a .400 average during the entire season, he finished hitting .395 in 195 plate appearances, good enough to stand 60th out of 500 ranked players within the NCAA. Leading the Lions’ 54th ranked offense; the Boca Raton, Fla. native logged 77 hits and tallied 17 RBI in the leadoff position for SLU. The 2010 SSC Freshman of the Year was speedy on the bases as well, going 23-of-25 in stolen bases as he led the Lions in that category as well. In fact, he led Saint Leo in 11 of the 25 offensive categories in 2011.
Second-team members for the Lions included fellow outfielders Dustin Brown and Chris Newcomb. Brown, who returned to the All-Conference list since his Freshman of the Year honor in 2009, batted .331 and played in 47 games in right field. Registering a team-high 37 RBI the Dade City, Fla. native also led the Lions in triples with five, helping SLU rank fifth in the NCAA in three-baggers.
A Freshman of the Year hopeful, newcomer Chris Newcomb instead found his name with the veterans as one of three outfielders named to the second-team. Another Lion that started all 49 games, the native of Riverview, Fla. batted .327 overall and pounded out 56 hits to go along with 18 RBI. Patrolling centerfield, he was a 97 percent fielder. Forcing pitchers deep into counts, Newcomb led the Lions in walks and also in sacrifices.
Overall, Barry's Dean Green was selected Player of the Year, while his coach, Marc Pavao, was recognized as Coach of the Year. Eckerd's Joey Cuda was voted Pitcher of the Year, and Nova Southeastern's Carlos Asuaje was tabbed Freshman of the Year.
In addition to Brnovich, receiving All-SSC first team honors with Green (1B) and Cuda (SP) were: 3B Mike Snyder (Florida Southern), SS Patrick Donahue (Tampa), OF Andrew Durden (Nova Southeastern), OF Andrew Jones (Tampa), OF Colin Kish (Florida Southern), OF Areo Regoli (Nova Southeastern), C Ryan McChesney (Florida Tech), DH Austin Chubb (Florida Southern), UT Damon Elder (Tampa), SP Jonathan Cornelius (Florida Tech), SP Manny Rodriguez (Barry), SP Corey Witkowski (Barry), and RP Sean Albury (Nova Southeastern).
Aside from Brown, Newcomb and Asuaje, the All-SSC second team members were: 1B Tyler Benzel (Florida Southern), 3B Eric Grabe (Tampa), SS K.C. Clabough (Florida Tech), OF Drew Dwelly (Barry), OF Chris Fox (Florida Tech), OF Wess Hollins (Eckerd), OF Austin Smith (Lynn), C Adam Pendleton (Tampa), UT Daniel Petitbon (Nova Southeastern), SP Brett Hammaker (Barry), SP Gus Schlosser (Florida Southern), SP Randall Thompson (Florida Tech), SP Andrew Virgili (Lynn), and RP Tim Kiley (Tampa).
Nova Southeastern SP Nick Avila and Rollins 3B Kevin Mager received honorable mention.
Voting for the all-conference team was conducted among the league's baseball coaches and sports information directors.
2011 ALL-SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE BASEBALL TEAM
1B - Dean Green (Barry, Sr)
2B - Ryan Brnovich (Saint Leo, So)
3B - Mike Snyder (Florida Southern, Jr)
SS - Patrick Donahue (Tampa, Sr)
OF - Andrew Durden (Nova Southeastern, Sr)
OF - Andrew Jones (Tampa, Jr)
OF - Colin Kish (Florida Southern, So)
OF - Areo Regoli (Nova Southeastern, Jr)
C - Ryan McChesney (Florida Tech, Jr)
DH - Austin Chubb (Florida Southern, Jr)
UT - Damon Elder (Tampa, Jr)
SP - Jonathan Cornelius (Florida Tech, Sr)
SP - Joey Cuda (Eckerd, Jr)
SP - Manny Rodriguez (Barry, Jr)
SP - Corey Witkowski (Barry, Jr)
RP - Sean Albury (Nova Southeastern, Sr)
Player of the Year - Dean Green, Barry
Pitcher of the Year - Joey Cuda, Eckerd
Freshman of the Year - Carlos Asuaje, Nova Southeastern
Coach of the Year - Marc Pavao, Barry
1B - Tyler Benzel (Florida Southern, Sr)
2B - Carlos Asuaje (Nova Southeastern, Fr)
3B - Eric Grabe (Tampa, Jr)
SS - K.C. Clabough (Florida Tech, Jr)
OF - Dustin Brown (Saint Leo, Jr)
OF - Drew Dwelly (Barry, Sr)
OF - Chris Fox (Florida Tech, Sr)
OF - Wess Hollins (Eckerd, Sr)
OF - Chris Newcomb (Saint Leo, Fr)
OF - Austin Smith (Lynn, Jr)
C - Adam Pendleton (Tampa, So)
UT - Daniel Petitbon (Nova Southeastern, Jr)
SP - Brett Hammaker (Barry, Sr)
SP - Gus Schlosser (Florida Southern, Sr)
SP - Randall Thompson (Flrorida Tech, Sr)
SP - Andrew Virgili (Lynn, Jr)
RP - Tim Kiley (Tampa, Jr)
SP - Nick Avila (Nova Southeastern, Sr)
3B - Kevin Mager (Rollins, Jr)