Six Wonder Boys Named All-GSC in Baseball

Six Arkansas Tech student-athletes were recognized for their individual contributions to the Wonder Boys’ 2010 baseball season on Thursday with a spot on the All-Gulf South Conference West Division team.

Senior pitcher Josh Floriani, senior outfielder/pitcher Chad Wynn and junior outfielder Matt Johnson earned a spot on the All-GSC West Division first team.

Senior designated hitter Joe Walton, junior third baseman Nick Makris and sophomore catcher Landon Sullins were selected for the All-GSC West Division second team.

The honor squad is selected by a vote of the GSC West Division head baseball coaches. The announcement of the selections was made by the GSC office in Birmingham, Ala.

Arkansas Tech’s six All-GSC selections have helped the Wonder Boys tie the school record for wins in a season (34) and earn their first berth in the GSC Baseball Tournament since 2007.

Floriani (photographed, top right) has put together one of the best seasons ever recorded by an Arkansas Tech pitcher. The right-hander from Malvern is 10-2 with a 4.88 earned run average.

He is just the fourth Wonder Boys pitcher to ever win 10 or more games in a season, and his 78 strikeouts in 2010 are fourth-most in a single season by a Tech pitcher.

Johnson (photographed, second right) is also making a mark on the Arkansas Tech record books. The center fielder from Grand Saline, Texas, is hitting .408 with four home runs and 39 runs batted in.

Johnson set a new school record for base hits in a game this year (6) and he has tied Greg Hartwick (6 triples in 1998) for the school record for triples in a season.

Johnson has 75 base hits and 32 stolen bases in 2010, bringing him within striking distance of the single-season school record in both of those categories. Dario Colovic (77 hits in 2005) and Sammy May (33 stolen bases in 1953) hold the school records that Johnson is closing in on.

Wynn (photographed, third right), a native of Bono, has a batting average of .375 this season. He has three home runs, 44 RBIs, and 26 stolen bases.

Wynn leads the team in earned run average (3.26) in his 12 appearances on the mound.

Walton (photographed, fourth right) is from Inola, Okla. He is hitting .430 with a home run and 26 RBIs in his senior season. He cemented his spot on the All-GSC team by going 7-for-12 at the plate in Tech’s three-game sweep of Delta State April 17-18.

Makris (photographed, fifth right) would almost certainly be the All-GSC West Division first team third baseman most any other season, but he was up against a strong incumbent — three-time All-GSC West third baseman Cannon Lester of Southern Arkansas — in the voting.

A native of Little Rock and a transfer from the University of Arkansas, Makris is hitting .415 with six home runs and 51 RBIs in his first season in the green and gold. Like Johnson, he is chasing the school record for base hits in a season. Makris has 73 hits in 2010.

Makris is currently on a nine-game hitting streak, which is a continuation of his late-season tear at the plate. Makris is hitting .516 (33-of-64) with two home runs, 21 RBIs and 18 runs scored over his last 17 games.

A Valley Springs product, Sullins (photographed, bottom right) is hitting .311 with five home runs and 24 RBIs this season. He has only committed four errors in 203 chances defensively for a .980 fielding percentage, and he has thrown out eight would-be base stealers in 2010.

The Wonder Boys will conclude their regular season by hosting Rogers State for a 6:30 p.m. game tonight (Thursday, April 29).

After that, it is off to Millington, Tenn., for the GSC Tournament at USA Stadium. Weather permitting, the Wonder Boys are scheduled to face North Alabama in the first round at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Radio station KCAB 980 AM and will have live play-by-play coverage of Arkansas Tech’s games at the 2010 GSC Baseball Tournament.