Roundup: Several Gators receive end-of-year creds

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 10:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 10:14 p.m.

Florida senior outfielder Preston Tucker and junior catcher Mike Zunino were named All-Americans on Wednesday by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings. Zunino was a first-team recipient, while Tucker earned a berth on the second team.

Named the first-team catcher on the squad, Zunino continues to reel in the accolades, as the first-team Louisville Slugger and NCBWA All-American became Florida’s first-ever Dick Howser Trophy recipient last week and is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the Johnny Bench Award. He finished as the Gators’ “Triple Crown” winner, leading the team in batting average (.322), RBI (67) and homers (19), and paced the Orange and Blue in total bases (164), doubles (28), sacrifice flies (11) and slugging percentage (.669). He was also 9-for-10 on the basepaths. A two-time, first-team All-SEC recipient and two-time member of the league’s All-Defensive Team, Zunino registered a .994 fielding percentage, with three errors in 510 chances, and threw out 20 runners who attempted to steal on him.

Zunino was voted to the NCAA Gainesville Regional All-Tournament Team for the third-consecutive season after belting homers in consecutive games against No. 24 Georgia Tech and he led the Gators with a .500 (4-for-8) clip in the pair of victories over NC State that punched Florida’s return ticket to Omaha. The first-round pick of the Seattle Mariners was 8-for-25 (.320) during the NCAA Tourney with team highs in slugging percentage (.720), RBI (12) and homers (3).

Tucker achieved All-America status for the second-consecutive season after hitting .321 with 57 runs, 50 RBI, 35 walks, 17 doubles and 16 round-trippers in his final collegiate campaign. The seventh-round selection of the Houston Astros departs Gainesville as the school’s all-time leader in games played (265), games started (259), total bases (596), at bats (1,035), hits (341), RBI (258) and doubles (70).

Tucker was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2012 after being a first-team choice last season and a second-team pick in 2010. He was the 2009 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year with LSU’s Matty Ott. Tucker powered UF’s offense this month with a .393 (11-for-28) performance in NCAA play and became the first Gator to achieve Regional All-Tournament status all four years of his career. He is the lone UF player to earn Most Outstanding Player recognition twice (2009 & 2011). In 30 career NCAA Tourney games, Tucker batted .368 (46-for-125) and holds school records in career at bats (125), hits (46), RBI (31), runs (29), homers (11) and doubles (10).

Crawford USA National Team: Florida sophomore right-hander Jonathon Crawford has been selected to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, the organization announced Wednesday.

Crawford will be part of the 22-man Team USA squad that will report this week to its training complex in Cary, N.C. The team’s season begins Monday, June 25, and lasts a month, with trips to Cuba and The Netherlands highlighting the 2012 schedule.

After pitching just 3.2 innings as a freshman, Crawford made 19 appearances and 14 starts during his sophomore campaign as the Gators reached the NCAA College World Series for the third-straight year. The righty had a 6-2 mark with a 3.13 earned run average and tied for second on the squad with 73 strikeouts in 77.2 innings.

In the opening round of the NCAA Gainesville Regional on June 1, Crawford became the first Gator hurler to register a complete-game no-hitter since John Burke accomplished the feat in a 2-0 shutout of Furman on May 23, 1991, that was the club’s opener in the NCAA East Regional held at McKethan Stadium. Florida’s last combined no-hitter had occurred on March 19, 1993, when the duo of Doug Brennan (7.0) and Chris Nelson (2.0) defeated Pace, 16-0.

Crawford, whose previous career-high stint was six innings against LSU on April 6, went the distance on 98 pitches (70 of them strikes) and faced the minimum of 27 batters en route to the 4-0 shutout of the Wildcats. He became just the seventh pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the NCAA Championship and was the first since Burke.

Crawford defeated Auburn in UF’s SEC Tournament opener in Hoover, Ala., establishing a career high with nine strikeouts over 5.2 innings, and claimed the series opener at Tennessee on April 13. He fired six scoreless frames to help the Gators even the series with seventh-ranked LSU and also collected victories over Vanderbilt (5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 6 K) and No. 19 UCF (5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 K).

Crawford becomes the fourth Gator during head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s tenure to represent Team USA, joining Matt den Dekker (2008), Nolan Fontana (2010 & 2011) and Brian Johnson (2010 & 2011).

Men's Golf: A pair of Gator men’s golfers, juniors T.J. Vogel and Tyler McCumber, have been named to the Division I PING All-American Teams, the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) announced this week. With the honors for Vogel and McCumber, the Gators have now had at least one player earn All-America honors for the 14th-consecutive season. Additionally, UF has had an All-American in 23 of its 25 seasons under head coach Buddy Alexander.

Vogel, a second-team selection, had an impressive season for the Orange and Blue recording a pair of victories and finishing in the top-10 on nine separate occasions. Additionally, Vogel led the Gators in stroke average (71.3), rounds counted (93 percent), birdies (132) and scoring differential (2.05).

McCumber, who garnered honorable mention honors, is coming off an impressive tie for second at the NCAA Championships. For the season, McCumber recorded seven top-10 finishes and tallied a solid 72.8 stroke average.

The Gators put together an impressive 2011-12 season which included three tournament victories and seven top-3 finishes. The Gators will return a strong lineup in 2012-13 with their entire roster expected to return with the exception of seniors Michael Furci and Zach Lee.

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