June 18, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – The season may have come to a close in the NCAA Regional, but the postseason accolades continue to pour in for Seminole baseball. On the diamond, the Garnet and Gold set school records for team hitting and fielding, while a handful of Seminoles posted career-highs in various statistical categories. With nine players hitting above .300, including a team-best average of .430 by Tony Thomas, Jr., Florida State finished the season posting an overall team batting average of .350 shattering the previous school record of .337 set back in 1980. The Seminoles also performed with the glove as they registered a team best fielding percentage of .975 committing just 60 errors in 2,360 total chances.
Now with the college baseball season just a few days from completion, several Seminoles are being honored for their performance on the diamond in 2007.
Thomas was named one of three finalists for the Brooks Wallace Award as announced by the College Baseball Foundation on Friday, June 15. This season Thomas has been recognized as a National Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball and Rivals.com as well as being named a first-team All-American by Louisville Slugger, the NCBWA (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association), Baseball America and Rivals.com. Thomas is also a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award.
Joining Thomas as a finalist for the Wallace Award are Florida’s Matt LaPorta and Vanderbilt’s David Price. Price and LaPorta are both finalists for both the Golden Spikes Award.
In 2007, the Valrico, Fla., native earned first team All-ACC honors, was a member of the ACC All-Tournament team and received ACC Player of the Year accolades. Thomas currently leads the league in seven statistical categories and is ranked in the top 10 in four others. He holds the top spot in the ACC in batting average (.430), hits per game (1.79), runs scored per game (1.47), doubles per game (0.53), total bases per game (3.05), on base percentage (.522) and slugging percentage (.733). In addition, Thomas is second in stolen bases per game (0.50), third in triple per game (0.10), eighth in home runs per game (0.18) and ninth in walks per game (0.69). At the ACC Tournament in Jacksonville, the right hander became the first Seminole player to register 30 doubles, 100 hits and 30 stolen bases in a single-season.
The Wallace Award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player and will be televised nationally by Fox College Sports. The three finalists will be announced during the College World Series where they will be accompanied by their parents and head coaches to participate in activities with the 2007 Hall of Fame Inductees as part of the Wallace Award and Hall of Fame festivities in Lubbock. The winner will be permanently recognized in the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Two Seminoles were recently recognized as All-Americans by the NCBWA. Thomas earned first team recognition at second base, while starting pitcher Bryan Henry was named to the second team. The senior right hander earned first team honors by Louisville Slugger, while earning second team accolades by Rivals.com this year.
Baseball America released its All-America teams for 2007 as three Seminoles were honored. Thomas earned first team honors, while sophomore catcher Buster Posey and Henry collected second team accolades.
The ABCA announced its Atlantic All-Region team with four Seminoles earning first-team honors. Joining Thomas and Henry on the list were Posey and junior transfer Mark Hallberg. By being named to the Atlantic All-Region first team, all four student-athletes will be in the running for All-America recognition by the ABCA.
In his first season behind the plate, Posey helped the Seminole pitching staff post a team ERA of 3.57, good for third in the ACC. In starting all 62 games at the catcher position, Posey threw out 40.9% of potential base stealers as well as leading the team in pickoffs with six. Posey finished the season with the highest fielding percentage among starters posting a mark of .994, committing just three errors in 478 chances.
The sophomore right hander, who is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award in 2007, also had a productive year at the plate as he finished second on the team in hitting with a .382 average (94 hits in 246 at-bats). He led the team with 65 RBI’s and 31 two-out hits. Posey currently ranks in the top 10 in the ACC in five offensive categories including batting average, runs batted in per game (1.05), hits per game (1.52), runs scored per game (1.06) and doubles per game (0.34). Posey, a native of Leesburg, Ga., set season career-highs this year in batting average, runs scored, hits, doubles (21), RBI’s, slugging percentage (.520) and on base percentage (.453). He registered a hit in 51 of 62 games in 2007, while recording multi-hits in 32 games.
Hallberg was a welcome addition to the Seminole baseball team in 2007 as he eased the coaches’ minds with their decision to move Posey from shortstop to catcher during the off season. Hallberg transferred from the University of Illinois-Chicago were he led the nation as a sophomore as the toughest hitter to strikeout. Once arriving in Tallahassee, all Hallberg did was start all 62 games at shortstop for the Seminoles where he posted a fielding percentage of .975 (committing just seven errors in 276 chances). The Barron, Wisc., native was sixth on the team in hitting (.360) and led FSU with 17 total sacrifices, tied for the third most sacrifices in a single-season. He also finished the season third in RBI’s with 56, while registering 33 multi-hit games in 2007.
The shortstop’s crafty play was recognized by the coaches in the ACC as he was selected to the All-ACC first-team. Hallberg closed out the season on a positive note as he hit .294 with two doubles and three RBI’s en route to earning a spot on the NCAA Tallahassee All-Region team.