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FMU righty and outfielder named ABCA preseason All-American, Two others earn awards

FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University junior right-handed pitcher Don Sandifer and senior outfielder Buddy Sosnoskie have been named to the NCAA Division II preseason All-America Team as selected by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings.  Two other Patriots, sophomore third baseman Michael Wilson and junior shortstop Tyler Hibbs, also gained preseason honors from the ABCA.  Wilson was named to the “Players to Watch” list for 2012, while Hibbs was named to the “Newcomers to Watch” list.

Sandifer, a native of Bamberg, was 11-3 with a 2.33 earned run average as a sophomore in 2011.  He led the Peach Belt Conference in wins, opponents’ batting average (.193), and strikeouts (105) while ranking fifth in ERA. In 108 innings pitched, he allowed only 75 hits, walked just 16, en route to being named the 2011 PBC Pitcher of the Year.

Sosnoskie hit .396 last season (3rd-best in the PBC) with 42 runs scored, 10 doubles, a conference-leading nine triples, and 45 runs batted in (5th-best in the PBC).  The Statesville, N.C., native started all 57 games for FMU, posted a .474 on-base percentage, committed only one error (with five assists) for a .993 fielding percentage, and was named the PBC Co-Player of the Year.

Wilson, an infielder who hails from Florence, started all 57 games for Francis Marion hitting .374. He had a conference-leading 85 hits and also led the PBC in runs scored (71). Along with that, a .476 on-base percentage and leading the conference in being hit by a pitch (20) was enough to garner the PBC Freshman of the Year award.

Hibbs, a transfer from CCBC-Catonsville, comes off a year in which he helped the Cardinals to a 32-19 record. The Odenton, Md., native hit .235 with four doubles. He also saw some time on the mound, racking up nine appearances, giving up only two earned runs, walking just two, and going 1-0 in the process. As a freshman at Tallahassee Community College, he was named the Panhandle Conference Fireman of the Year after registering a 3-3 record with a 1.63 ERA and 10 saves. He also hit .363 with seven homers and 46 RBIs.

Francis Marion is ranked first and second in two preseason NCAA Division II national polls going into the 2012 campaign. FMU opens its 2012 season on Feb. 4 with a home game against Limestone College.

Francis Marion ended its 2011 season with a 41-16 record and a No.9 national ranking, equaled the program’s record for wins in a season, and received its third consecutive NCAA Tournament bid, reaching the regional title game for the second year in a row.

#60/1-19-12

Last Published: February 1, 2012 11:47 AM
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