Monday May 16, 2011Baseball's Nolan Fontana Named SEC Player of the Week
Sophomore shortstop Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) was named as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday afternoon after leading the Gators (39-13/20-7 SEC) to their first series win at Vanderbilt (42-8/20-7 SEC) since 2005. The series triumph enabled UF to create a three-way tie on top of the league standings with the Commodores and South Carolina (41-11/20-7 SEC) entering the final weekend of the regular season.
Over four games last week, Fontana boasted a .467 (7-for-15) average as the Orange and Blue notched three victories. He hit .455 (5-for-11) with a .727 slugging percentage, a .600 on-base percentage, three runs, three walks and two RBI in the series with second-ranked Vanderbilt and did not commit any errors in 16 chances.
In the completion of Friday’s suspended series opener, Fontana clubbed a game-tying, two-run homer in the seventh inning on Saturday afternoon to even the contest at 4-4. It was his second round-tripper in league play this season. The Gators would go on to plate two runs in the ninth on a game-tying solo shot by senior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) and an RBI double by senior Bryson Smith (Watkinsville, Ga.) to collect a 6-5 win.
Fontana went 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base in Saturday’s regularly-scheduled game as the Commodores evened the series but then turned in a 3-for-5 effort in Sunday’s series finale, his 17th multiple-hit outing of the year. He scored the game-tying run in the eighth stanza on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) after he had a one-out single that knotted the contest at 3-3. In the 12th, he drew a leadoff walk and came home on Zunino’s three-run homer that resulted in a 6-3 Gator victory.
On the season, Fontana is batting .315 overall with 42 runs, 33 RBI, 10 doubles and a team-high five triples and he sports a .316 average with 22 RBI and 16 runs in SEC action.
South Carolina sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes was tabbed as the SEC Pitcher of the Week, while LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman was named the league’s Freshman of the Week.
The No. 4 Gators host Jacksonville (32-18/18-9 Atlantic Sun) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at McKethan Stadium before wrapping up their regular season with a three-game set against Kentucky (24-28/7-20 SEC) that begins on Thursday at 7 p.m.
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