FLORENCE, SC – A pair of Francis Marion University baseball players, junior center fielder Buddy Sosnoskie and sophomore right-handed pitcher Don Sandifer, have been named as semifinalists for the 2011 Tino Martinez Award as announced by College Baseball Lineup.
The award is presented to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division II college baseball. The annual honor is named for the former University of Tampa standout and Major League Baseball All-Star, who was also a United States Olympian and a first-round draft pick.
The forty-six semifinalists represent forty-one different schools from across the nation. Each of the eight geographic regions is represented with a minimum of five players.
Initial nominations for the award were made by baseball sports information contacts and media members. A panel of media, coaches and sports information officers was polled to finalize the candidates. The group will again vote on the finalists, with a fan Internet vote also contributing to the crowning of the winner.
The finalists are scheduled to be named on Thursday, May 19. The winner will be announced after the conclusion of the Division II Baseball Championships held in Cary, N.C., from May 28 to June 4.
Sosnoskie leads FMU, and the Peach Belt Conference, with a .415 batting average. He has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 contests. The Statesville, N.C., native has also scored 40 runs and registered nine doubles, (conference-leading) eight triples, one homer, and 42 runs batted in. He has compiled a .574 slugging percentage and a .493 on-base percentage. He has stolen a team-leading eight bases and played a near-flawless center fielder with five assists and only one error.
Sandifer leads the Patriot pitching staff with a 10-3 record and a 2.32 earned run average. Opponents are batting only .190 against him and he has struck out 94 batters in 93 innings, while issuing only 11 walks. The Bamberg, S.C., product leads the PBC in wins and opponents’ batting average, while ranking second in strikeouts and ERA.
The ninth-ranked Patriots (37-14) are awaiting Sunday evening’s announcement of the Division II National Tournament field to see if they will receive an at-large invitation.
2011 Tino Martinez Award Semifinalists
California PA Randy Sturgill
East Stroudsburg Jeremy Gigliotti
Mercyhurst Nick Gillung
Shepherd Nathan Minnich
Slippery Rock Matt Howard
Concorida St. Paul Bryan Lippincott
Metro State David Fox
Minnesota State Danny Miller
Nebraska-Kearney Andrew Hakke
St. Cloud State Ryne Schwenke
Franklin Pierce Derek Ingui
Franklin Pierce Ryan Thompson
Molloy Chuck Fontana
Southern Connecticut St. Chris Zbin
St. Anselm Robert Kelly
Ashland Ajay Meyer
Grand Valley State Steve Anderson
Grand Valley State Kyle Schepel
Northern Kentucky Andy Heston
St. Joseph 's (IN) Sean Estand
Wayne State University Billy Hurley
Arkansas Tech Matt Johnson
Barry Dean Green
Florida Tech Jonathan Cornelius
Nova Southeastern Andrew Durden
West Florida Greg Pron
West Florida Jason Postill
West Florida Shane Waller
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION
Cameron Chase Larsson
Central Missouri Nick DeBiasse
Emporia State Dillon Hazlett
Southeastern Okla. St. Justin Miller
Southeastern Okla. St. Heath Wyatt
St. Mary's (TX) Sammy Rivas
West Texas A&M Jess Cooper
Franics Marion Buddy Sosnoskie
Franics Marion Don Sandifer
Georgia College Shawn Ward
Mount Olive Michael Knox
Mount Olive Carter Capps
UNC Pembroke Braxton Lewis
Wingate Dodson McPherson
Cal Poly Pomona Travis Taijeron
Cal State LA Gabriel Asakura
CSU San Bernardino Josh Pond
UC San Diego Tim Shibuya
Western Oregon Daniel Dillard