WINTER PARK, Fla. - For the third time in four years the Saint Leo baseball team has claimed the Sunshine State Conference's Freshman of the Year Honor as left-fielder Brendan Collins was named its recipient by conference Commissioner Jay Jones on Wednesday. Collins also earned All-SSC Second Team recognition. In addition, starting left-handed pitcher Rick Teasley was named Honorable Mention.
In his debut season, Collins batted .373 with 20 RBI and 30 runs scored. He posted a .412 on-base percentage and tallied 11 doubles en route to a .472 slugging percentage. Collins went 10-for-13 in stolen base attempts. Defensively, he notched a solid .961 fielding percentage.
Jumping out to a .500 batting average after his first series of the season, the Ft. Myers, Fla. native cooled a bit during the month of February, but had pumped his average back up to .400 by March 3. A 3-for-3 night against Florida Southern on March 9 had him holding a .419 average, the highest point in the latter half of the season.
His best outing of the year came in a 4-for-5 night in a big win over Valdosta State. The performance briefly bumped his average back over the .400 mark and saw him finish the season with three multiple hit games.
In 39 games, the freshman was only kept hitless in nine contests.
Collins is the Lions' third Freshman of the Year honoree as Head Coach Russ McNickle has seen a player take home the rookie award in three of four years under his guidance. Dustin Brown earned the award in 2009, while Ryan Brnovich took home the honor the following season. This is the fourth freshman award in eight years as pitcher Peter Martinez earned the honor back in 2004.
Earning the only Honorable Mention honor in the SSC, Teasley wrapped up an impressive junior campaign where he saw multiple Conference and Regional Pitcher of the Week honors. Going deeper than six innings eight times in 13 games, the Port St. Lucie, Fla. native finished with a team-low 2.91 earned run average, which dropped as low as 1.06 after his first two starts.
The left-hander's highlight outing of the season came in a nine-strikeout complete game in February against Eckerd where he only allowed six hits in a Saint Leo victory. He added to that with a two-hit performance on March 10 in conference play against Florida Southern. In that contest, he tossed a complete-game and only allowed a lone run to cross.
Collins and Teasley are two of a total of 33 student-athletes that were named to the 2012 All-Sunshine State Conference Baseball Team. Nova Southeastern's Carlos Asuaje and Lynn's Anthony Boza shared Player of the Year honors. Tampa's Sean Bierman was named Pitcher of the Year. Lynn's Rudy Garbalosa and Tampa's Joe Urso shared Coach of the Year accolades.
Voting for the all-conference team was conducted among the league's baseball coaches and athletic communication directors.
2012 ALL-SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE BASEBALL TEAM
1B - Ryan McChesney (Florida Tech, Sr)
2B - Carlos Asuaje (Nova Southeastern, So)
3B - Mike Snyder (Florida Southern, Sr)
SS - K.C. Clabough (Florida Tech, Sr)
C - Austin Chubb (Florida Southern, Sr)
OF - Zach Gawrych (Tampa, So)
OF - Andrew Jones (Tampa, Sr)
OF - Areo Regoli (Nova Southeastern, Sr)
OF - Austin Smith (Lynn, Sr)
DH - Anthony Boza (Lynn, Sr)
UT - Cory Jensen (Florida Southern, Sr)
SP - Sean Bierman (Tampa, Sr)
SP - Shawn Kale (Lynn, Sr)
SP - Ben O'Shea (Tampa, Jr)
SP - Zach Westcott (Nova Southeastern, So)
RP - James Mannara (Florida Tech, Jr)
Player of the Year - Carlos Asuaje, Nova Southeastern
Player of the Year - Anthony Boza, Lynn
Pitcher of the Year - Sean Bierman, Tampa
Freshman of the Year - Brendan Collins, Saint Leo
Coach of the Year - Rudy Garbalosa, Lynn
Coach of the Year - Joe Urso, Tampa
1B - Kevin Mager (Rollins, Sr)
2B - Mike Diorio (Lynn, Sr)
3B - Damon Elder (Tampa, Sr)
SS - Alex Del Monte (Eckerd, Sr)
C - Sean Reilly (Rollins, Sr)
OF - Keith Curcio (Florida Southern, Fr)
OF - Brendan Collins (Saint Leo, Fr)
OF - Connor Obrochta (Tampa, So)
OF - Zach Persky (Rollins, So)
DH - Heath Pritchard (Tampa, Sr)
UT - Eric Grabe (Tampa, Sr)
SP - Jason Boyer (Florida Tech, Jr)
SP - Ben Brown (Tampa, Jr)
SP - Joey Cuda (Eckerd, Sr)
SP - Nick Krolczyk (Florida Southern, So)
RP - Preston Packrall (Tampa, So)
SP - Rick Teasley (Saint Leo, Jr)