TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2004
Robinson, Diaz and Brickle Earn A-Sun All-Conference Baseball Honors
May 25, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior righthander Dennis Robinson (Putnam Valley, N.Y.), senior third baseman Orlando Diaz (Downers Grove, Ill.) and sophomore designated hitter Donald Brickle (Jacksonville/Arlington Country Day) earned First-Team Atlantic Sun All-Conference honors, while redshirt freshman Pete Clifford (Jacksonville/Providence) was named to the All-Freshman Team, as announced by the conference office Tuesday. The Dolphins' three first-teamers are the most since 2001 when Chad Oliva, Casey Shumaker and Scott Biernacki helped lead JU to the NCAA Regionals.
Stetson catcher Chris Westervelt was named A-Sun Player of the Year, while the Hatters' third baseman Braedyn Pruitt earned Freshman-of-the-Year honors. UCF's Matt Fox earned Pitcher-of-the-Year honors, while the Golden Knights' head coach Jay Bergman was named Coach of the Year. Robinson finished the regular season second in the nation in victories with a 13-4 record, while posting a 2.85 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 120.0 innings. His 13 wins rank him second on the JU single-season list, while his 19 career victories tie for seventh-place all-time at JU. Robinson is the first 13-game winner since Mark Guerra went 14-4 in 1994 and the first pitcher to throw 120.0 or more innings since Palmer Ebanks racked up 126.0 innings in 1999. Robinson's seven complete games are also the most by a JU pitcher since Guerra threw 10 in 1994.
Diaz justified his A-Sun Preseason All-Conference status by leading the Dolphins with nine home runs and 43 RBI, while playing spectacular defense at third base. He finished the season tops among A-Sun third basemen in home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, stolen bases and fielding percentage, while committing just five errors in 139 chances at the hot corner. Diaz ended the regular season tied for fifth in the conference in home runs, ninth in RBI and tied for 11th in stolen bases.
Brickle played a dual role for the Dolphins in 2004, lending his bat to the lineup as a designated hitter and acting as the number two starter on the mound. Brickle finished third on the team with four home runs and fourth with a .325 batting average, while driving in 23 runs in just 29 starts. He also led the Dolphins in slugging and on-base percentage, drawing 22 walks in just 109 plate appearances. On the mound, Brickle posted a 4-4 record with a 3.63 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 74.1 innings, posting the fifth-best single-season walks per nine innings (2.06).
Clifford was among the A-Sun freshman leaders in batting average, doubles and RBI, and led the Dolphins with 12 doubles, while finishing second on the team with a .346 average. He also led all JU batters with hitting streaks of 16 and 12 games, while leading all Dolphin freshmen with 52 starts.
UCF and FAU led all A-Sun schools with four players on the first team, with Stetson and Troy State placing one.
JU finished the season 25-31, its eighth-consecutive season with 25 or more wins. The Dolphins have won 25 or more games in 23 of the last 24 campaigns. Head coach Terry Alexander set a pair of career milestones in 2004, picking up his 450th career victory against Belmont early in the season and coaching in his 1,500th game with the Dolphins against Bethune-Cookman on May 21.
The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft takes place Monday, June 7 and Tuesday, June 8 with a handful of Dolphins expected to be chosen by major league franchises. Last season, A-Sun Player of the Year Chad Hauseman was selected in the 24th round by the Anaheim Angels, while reliever Bobby Bowman was picked up in the 19th round by the Texas Rangers.