June 13, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State hit the road for the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., Thursday morning in search of the school’s first baseball national championship. Before the Seminoles set foot inside Rosenblatt Stadium in Saturday’s first game against the Stanford Cardinal, the FSU baseball team added to its already impressive resume of postseason accolades in 2008.
Junior Buster Posey was named one of eight semifinalists for the Brooks Wallace Award presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player. The Wallace Award will be presented among the legends of college baseball – the 2008 College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees.
The 2008 award banquet will be held on Wednesday, July 2, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. The finalists, their head coaches and parents will be invited to Lubbock from July 2-4 to participate in the College Baseball Foundation’s – Past Meets Present – celebration of college baseball. The 2008 College Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees will also be present for the three days of festivities. The ceremony will be televised nationally on Fox College Sports.
The other seven semifinalists include Yonder Alonso – Miami, Dustin Ackley – North Carolina, Gordon Beckham – Georgia, Sawyer Carroll – Kentucky, Aaron Crow – Missouri, Brian Matusz – San Diego and Brett Wallace – Arizona St.
Posey currently leads the nation in six offensive statistical categories including batting average (.460), hits (114), RBI (92), total bases (220), on-base percentage (.564) and slugging percentage (.887). He is tied for the national lead in home runs with 26. Posey also ranks in the top 10 in runs, runs per game, walks and home runs per game.
In the ACC, the junior catcher also leads in eight categories while ranking in the top 10 in three others. He finished the regular season batting .479 in 30 league games as he led the Seminoles to their second straight Atlantic Division title and the number two overall seed in the ACC Baseball Championship. Posey is attempting to become just the fourth student-athlete in ACC history to win the triple crown joining FSU’s Marshall McDougall, Maryland’s Derek Hacopian and Clemson’s Denny Walling.
Posey has also had a stellar season on the defensive end posting a .983 fielding percentage with 61 starts behind the plate. He is throwing out 41.4 percent of would be base stealers on the year while registering six pick offs. The right hander has also made eight appearances on the mound and is a perfect 6-for-6 in save opportunities. Posey has struck out 10 batters and has not allowed a run in 7.1 innings of work.
Posey added District III Player of the Year honors by the NCBWA along with being named a first team All-American. The Leesburg, Ga., native was also named Player of the Year by Baseball America and Rivals.com while earning first-team All-America honors by both publications.
Sophomore left hander Matt Fairel joined Posey as an All-American earning second team accolades by the NCBWA. In his first season as a starter, Fairel is 12-2 with a 3.74 ERA in 17 starts. He eclipsed the 100 inning mark in last weekend’s Super Regional victory over Wichita State. Fairel has posted 97 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .248 average.
A handful of Seminole freshmen were honored for their outstanding play this season by various publications. Third baseman Stuart Tapley earned Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors, while being named a second team honoree by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Ping Baseball.
Tapley started 52 games at third base in 2008 and 55 games overall. The Orlando, Fla., native is currently second on the team with a .396 average posting eight home runs and 39 RBI. Tapley heads into Omaha riding a 32-game errorless streak at the hot corner.
Joining Tapley on the NCBWA second team was centerfielder Tyler Holt and outfielder/pitcher Mike McGee. Freshman right hander Geoff Parker earned first team All-America accolades from Ping Baseball, while McGee received honorable mention.
Holt is just one of two student-athletes on the Seminole team to start in all 66 games. The freshman centerfielder had an outstanding regional tournament hitting .667 with 14 hits in 21 at-bats. He reached base in every regular season game via a hit, walk or hit by pitch, a span covering 55 consecutive games. The streak was the second longest in school history.
McGee contributed both offensively and defensively in his first season in Tallahassee. The Port St. Lucie, Fla., native hit .348 with six home runs and 36 RBI, while posting a 7-1 record with a 4.04 ERA.
After missing the first three weeks with a sore arm, right hander Geoff Parker was a solid contributor in the Seminole weekend rotation upon his return. Parker made 13 appearances including nine starts. He went 6-2 with a 4.42 ERA registering 55 strikeouts in 59 innings of work.