Matusik Garners Daktronics Baseball First Team All-Region Honors
BOCA RATON, Fla. - A day after being named the Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year, Lynn University’s Jason Matusik was honored as a Daktronics Baseball First Team All-South Region selection and is now eligible for All-America accolades. In addition, Jed Vandernaald was named to the second team. This marks the seventh consecutive year the Fighting Knights have had at least one player garner Daktronics All-Region recognition.
Voting for the Daktronics All-Region team is done by sports information directors from the South Region, including the Sunshine State Conference, Gulf South Conference and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
A senior first baseman from Wellington, Fla., Matusik set career-highs in every offensive category while ranking among the SSC leaders as he batted .386 with 48 RBI and 34 runs scored. His average ranked second among SSC hitters, as did his .637 slugging percentage. He led the league with 109 total bases, and his 48 runs driven in were also second-best among conference players. Matusik tallied seven home runs (T4th SSC) and 16 doubles (T5th). His play was even more impressive in SSC series, as his average rose to .395 in conference contests.
Vandernaald anchored the Fighting Knights pitching staff, going 6-4 with a 2.68 earned run average, 69 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 84 innings pitched. He logged eight quality starts (six innings pitched and three or less earned runs), had five outings with at least seven strikeouts and earned a complete game shutout with nine Ks against Nova Southeastern. He lead all starters in the SSC in ERA and pickoffs (8) and ranked in the top-10 for strikeouts (5th), wins (T-5th and IP (6th).
Of the 35 total All-Region selections, 12 came from the Sunshine State Conference while 18 came from Gulf South institutions, three out of the SIAC and two from Independent Palm Beach Atlantic. Additionally, Jake Stephens of West Florida was named the South Region Pitcher of the Year and outfielder Chandler Brock from Alabama-Huntsviille was honored as the South Region Player of the Year.
The Fighting Knights closed out 2013 with a 30-20 overall record and 13-11 mark in SSC play. Lynn returns nine field players and seven pitchers, including Vandernaald.