FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University sophomore right-handed pitcher Don Sandifer has been named to the Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) 2011 NCAA Division II All-America Team (third team), while also earning honorable mention All-America status from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
The Bamberg native becomes the fifth All-American in the history of the FMU program, joining shortstop Barrett Kleinknecht (2010), right-handed pitcher Dylan Owen (2007, 2006), pitcher and designated hitter Daniel Vizzini (1990), and infielder Mike Wilson (1979).
Sandifer ended the 2011 campaign with an 11-3 record and a 2.33 earned run average. He led the Peach Belt Conference in wins, strikeouts (105), and opponents’ batting average against at .193. In 108 innings pitched, he allowed only 75 hits and walked just 16, ranking him 31st nationally in fewest bases-on-balls issued per nine innings. He recorded six complete games, including a school-record three shutouts.
Sandifer took a no-hitter into the fifth inning in five of his 14 starts, including a Feb. 19 nine-inning no-hitter against Winston-Salem State University. In that contest, the 10th no-hitter in school history, Sandifer struck out 14 batters as the Patriots prevailed 13-0 against a team that would eventually advance to the NCAA Tournament.
As the team’s No. 1 starter, he helped lead Francis Marion to a 41-16 record, a national Top-10 ranking, the PBC regular-season championship, and a third straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament. In the NCAA Southeast Regional, Sandifer allowed only 12 hits and four earned runs in 15 innings of work while picking up a win and a no-decision and being named to the All-Tournament Team.
He was named the Peach Belt’s Pitcher of the Year for 2011 and was also named to several All-Region teams. He was picked for the ABCA’s 2011 preseason All-America squad as well.
The team’s 41 victories equals the most in program history, and the Patriots advanced to the regional title game for the second consecutive year.