Thursday May 31, 2012UF's Mike Zunino & Brian Johnson Named All-Americans by Louisville Slugger
Florida junior catcher Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) was named a first-team Louisville Slugger All-American on Thursday by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, while junior left-hander/designated hitter Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) was a second-team selection in the utility spot.
Zunino became the first Gator to be named an All-American by the publication in consecutive seasons since Brad Wilkerson received the honor three-straight times from 1996-98. For Johnson, it was his first career All-American recognition.
A semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, the Dick Howser Trophy and the Golden Spikes Award who was the 2011 SEC Player of the Year and a 2012 first-team All-SEC selection, Zunino leads the Gators in batting average (.323), total bases (146), RBI (55), doubles (27), sacrifice flies (8) and slugging percentage (.664). A two-time first-team All-SEC recipient and two-time member of the leagueís All-Defensive Team, he has registered a .993 fielding percentage, with three errors in 452 chances, and has thrown out almost a third of the runners who have attempted to steal on him.
One of the 10 players in the running for the 2012 John Olerud Award presented to the nationís top two-way standout, Johnson was voted onto the SECís first team for the second-straight time in the designated hitter spot after ranking third on the Gators with a .309 batting average in league play. He drove in 16 runs, scored 11 runs, collected five doubles and belted two homers against league foes. On the season, Johnson is 7-4 with a 3.67 earned run average on the mound and has 64 strikeouts in 81 innings, to go along with a .318 clip, 39 RBI, 20 runs, 12 doubles and five homers. The southpaw tossed his first career complete game to oust fourth-ranked South Carolina from the SEC Tourney last Friday night and matched his career high with four hits on Saturday against Vanderbilt.
No. 1 Florida (42-18) opens the 2012 NCAA Tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. at McKethan Stadium by hosting fourth-seeded Bethune-Cookman (34-25) in the second game of the double-elimination Gainesville Regional to be held at McKethan Stadium. Second-seeded Georgia Tech (36-24) meets third-seeded College of Charleston (37-20) at 1 p.m.