Tech Places Two on All-Tournament Team

Center fielder Matt Johnson and second baseman Josh Riley represented Arkansas Tech University on the 2011 All-Gulf South Conference Baseball Tournament team, which was announced at the conclusion of play on Tuesday, May 10.

Johnson (photographed, top right) and Riley (photographed, bottom right) helped the Wonder Boys reach the final day of the double elimination GSC Baseball Tournament for just the second time in school history and for the first time since 2001.

Arkansas Tech, the No. 4 seed from the GSC West Division, bounced back from an opening-round 6-5 loss to nationally top-ranked West Florida and staved off elimination for three consecutive days.

The Wonder Boys defeated Valdosta State 12-2, North Alabama 4-3 in 11 innings and eventual tournament champion Southern Arkansas 4-0 to extend their season.

Arkansas Tech’s run ended with a 4-3 loss to Harding in a semifinal contest at USA Stadium in Millington, Tenn., on Tuesday. The Bisons went on to drop a 5-3 decision to Southern Arkansas in the tournament final later in the day.

Johnson had a batting average of .350 (7-for-20) during the 2011 GSC Tournament. He had a hit in every game to extend his school-record hitting streak to 34 consecutive games. It is the third-longest hitting streak in GSC history.

The senior from Grand Saline, Texas, delivered three doubles, scored seven runs, drove in one run, drew five walks and stole two bases during the GSC Tournament. His stolen base against Harding on Tuesday was his 37th of the season, breaking the single-season school record that he set with 36 stolen bases in 2010.

Riley hit .467 (7-for-15) at the conference tournament. He notched two doubles, scored four runs, had four runs batted in and walked four times during five games in Millington.

Riley is a senior from Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Arkansas Tech clinched its ninth 30-win baseball season and won a GSC Tournament game in Millington for the first time ever during its five-day run in the postseason. Tech was previously 0-6 in GSC postseason games at USA Stadium.

The Wonder Boys’ overall record this season is 32-19. Arkansas Tech entered the NCAA Division II South Region rankings at No. 10 on Wednesday, but only eight teams from the region will be invited to participate in the 2011 NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament.

The selections for that event will be announced on Sunday, May 15. If the Wonder Boys are not selected, their season will be over.