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Johnson 3rd in Vote for National Award

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Arkansas Tech's Matt Johnson finished third in voting for the 2011 Tino Martinez Award, which is presented annually to the top baseball player in NCAA Division II.

Cameron University slugger Chase Larsson was announced as the winner of the second annual Tino Martinez Award on Monday, June 6. Larsson finished the 2011 season with a batting average of .432, and he led NCAA Division II in home runs (29), runs batted in (84), slugging percentage (1.000) and total bases (190).

According to the award's Web site, the winner of the Tino Martinez Award was chosen by a panel of NCAA Division II baseball media and coaches from across the nation. Their votes narrowed down a list of 47 semifinalists to eight finalists.

A final ranking of the remaining student-athletes was then tallied to determine the winner. Fans and supporters were also given the opportunity to participate in the selection process as an online vote was also taken. Those results were combined with the panel to select the winner.

Carter Capps of Mount Olive College was the runner-up for the 2011 Tino Martinez Award. He placed just ahead of Johnson, who became the second college baseball player from Arkansas to finish in the top three of Tino Martinez Award voting. Southern Arkansas pitcher Hayden Simpson was the runner-up in 2010.

Johnson (photographed), a senior center fielder from Grand Saline, Texas, was named to three different 2011 NCAA Division II All-America teams.

The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) all named Johnson to their All-America honor squads.

He had a batting average of .454 with nine home runs and 50 runs batted in during his second and final season as a Wonder Boy.

Johnson established new single-season Arkansas Tech records for base hits (99), runs scored (79), stolen bases (37), total bases (156) and longest hitting streak (34 consecutive games) in 2011.

Johnson led the GSC this season in batting average, slugging percentage (.716), runs scored, base hits, total bases and stolen bases.

He was named 2011 GSC West Division player of the year, and in so doing, he became the first and last Arkansas Tech baseball player to earn that award. Tech will move forward to the new NCAA Division II Great American Conference in fall 2011.

The ABCA, the NCBWA and CoSIDA all selected Johnson to their NCAA Division II All-South Region teams. He earned a South Region Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his work in center field.

Johnson joined Tommy Hester (1976) and John Paul Davis (2001) as the only All-America baseball players in Arkansas Tech history. The Wonder Boys fielded their first baseball team in 1912.

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