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Courtesy: Explosive Illusions

Baseball Writers Tab Gonzales District IX Player of Year

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 06/08/2012
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            DALLAS - Gonzaga University pitcher/first baseman Marco Gonzales has been named the District IX Player of the Year as selected by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA), marking the 13th-straight year the organization has bestowed the honor.

            Joining Gonzales in the other districts were: District I: 1B Jeff Cammans (Rhode Island); District II: OF Travis Jankowski (Stony Brook); District III: C Mike Zunino (Florida); District IV: DH Daniel Kassouf (Appalachian State); District V: 1B Chris Serritella (Southern Illinois); District VI: SP Nick Petree (Missouri State); District VII: OF Raph Rhymes (LSU); District VIII: 1B Goose Kallunki (Utah Valley).

            Gonzales, a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, was named to the Louisville Slugger All-America third team after going 8-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 12 starts on the mound and hitting .325 with 29 RBIs, 10 doubles and two homers. He was named the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year after leading the league in ERA and finishing tied for second in wins. Gonzales became the third Gonzaga hurler to earn WCC Pitcher of the Year honors in the last four years and was named the 2011 Co-Freshman and Co-Player of the Year in the WCC. He struck out 92 hitters in 92 2/3 innings while walking 23 innings, helping the Bulldogs to a 34-22 record and a third-place finish in the WCC. Opponents hit only .201 against him and managed only 12 extra-base hits.

            Cammans led the Atlantic 10 in doubles, ranked third in RBI and fourth in hits in 2012 on his way to also earning first-team All-New England honors from the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA). He paced the Rams with 58 RBI and notched 77 hits, 23 of them two-base knocks, while stealing 20-of-27 bases on the season. A second-team All-Atlantic 10 selection in both 2011 and 2012, helped Rhode Island to a 33-25-1 record, a 16-8 conference mark and a third-place finish in the A-10.

            Jankowski has helped Stony Brook to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional appearance, which it begins at No. 7 LSU on Friday, after being named to the All-Coral Gables Regional team last week. The Seawolves enter this weekend with the most wins (50) and best winning percentage (.806) in the country. Jankowski earned America East Player of the Year honors in 2012, as he holds a .417 batting average that ranks seventh in the country. He also leads the nation in triples (10), ranks second in runs (75), fourth in hits (101), sixth in stolen bases (36), 11th in total bases (153) and 15th in on-base percentage. He was selected by the San Diego Padres in the supplemental round of this week's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, being taken with the 44th overall pick. Jankowski also was named a second-team Louisville Slugger All-American last week and was the 2011 Cape Cod League MVP.

            Zunino, a two-time All-American and one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top catcher, became the highest-drafted player in Florida history when the Seattle Mariners took him third overall in the MLB Draft on Monday. The Cape Coral, Fla., native is currently hitting .316 and leads the Gators in doubles (27), home runs (18), RBIs (60) and slugging percentage (.667). The All-SEC first-team catcher ranks No. 2 nationally in doubles (44), No. 5 in home runs and sacrifice flies (9), No. 10 in total bases (154) and No. 13 in slugging percentage (.667). The 2011 SEC Player of the Year is a three-time NCAA Gainesville Regional All-Tournament team selection. He has helped the Gators to a 45-18 record and will be making an appearance in the Gainesville Super Regional this weekend against NC State.

            Kassouf led Appalachian State to the Charlottesville Regional championship game on Monday, where the Mountaineers fell to Oklahoma and narrowly missed their first regional title in program history despite breaking the school record with 41 wins. Kassouf ranked 10th in the nation in home runs (17), 11th in RBIs (66), 16th in total bases (148) and 27th in slugging percentage (.635) while leading the Southern Conference in RBIs and ranking second in the league in home runs. He helped the Mountaineers to their first SoCon championship in 25 years with a 21-9 record in league play. He was a semifinalist for both the Dick Howser Trophy and was a first-team All-Southern Conference selection by both the coaches and media. Kassouf broke the 30-year-old ASU home run record with his 17th blast of the year on May 19 after leading all NCAA divisions with 29 home runs in 2009 while playing for Belmont Abbey College.

            Serritella, who led the Missouri Valley Conference in eight statistical categories in 2012, was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth round of the MLB Draft on Tuesday and became Southern Illinois' highest-drafted player since 2008. He put together one of the best offensive seasons in Saluki history, earning third-team All-America honors from Louisville Slugger and being named first-team All-MVC. Serritella also was named to the MVC All-Tournament team after propelling SIU into the MVC Tournament championship game, where the Salukis fell to Creighton. He won the MVC batting title with a .389 average that was the highest by an SIU player in 18 years and broke school records with 24 doubles and 156 total bases. His 91 hits fell one knock shy of the school record and he ranks third all-time in SIU history with 30 career homers and fifth with a .367 career average. He led the Valley in runs (56), hits, doubles, home runs (13), slugging percentage (.667), total bases and on-base percentage (.461), and ranked seventh nationally in doubles, eighth in total bases, 13th in slugging percentage and 21st in hits.

            Petree, who last week was named the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year and is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, leads the nation with a 1.01 ERA and ranks 18th with 10 victories. The Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year, Petree helped Missouri State earn its first NCAA Tournament bid in nine years when the Bears competed in the Coral Gables Regional. He turned in the nation's longest scoreless inning streak this season, working a school-record 38 1/3 consecutive shutout frames from April 6-May 17, and also 73 straight innings without allowing an earned run from March 2-May 17. His 114 strikeouts rank 16th in the nation and are third in MSU history, and Petree was the MVC Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American by the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger in 2011.

            Rhymes, the 2012 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, is leading the nation in hitting with a .452 (99-for-219) batting average. He has produced 11 doubles, four home runs and 52 RBI this season.  The Monroe, La., native has walked 22 times and struck out only 12 times. He is No. 4 nationally in on-base percentage (.510), No. 6 in hits (99) and is the 13th toughest to strike out. Rhymes was a 30th round draft choice by the New York Yankees in the 2012 MLB Draft, after being in the 40th round last season by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has helped the Tigers to a 46-16 overall record this season, the No. 7 national seed in this year's NCAA Tournament and a matchup with Stony Brook in the Baton Rouge Super Regional this weekend.

            Kallunki, the 2012 Great West Player of the Year, was the first Wolverine in school history to receive first-team honors and the program's third All-American in as many years. He led UVU to a 47-win season and their third straight Great West Conference regular season and tournament titles. The Orem, Utah, native leads all Division I players with 86 RBI and is No. 2 in total bases (168), No. 3 in slugging percentage (.734), No. 5 in home runs (18), No. 6 in batting (.419) and No. 8 in hits (96) and on-base percentage (.491). The 27th round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in the 2012 MLB Draft, was a two-time National Player of the Week, and a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.

            The District breakdown is as follows: District I-Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania; District II: Connecticut, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, District of Columbia; III: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida; IV: Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland; V: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin; VI: Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota; VII: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana; VIII: Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Montana; District IX: California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai'i, Arizona, Alaska.

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