MARSHALL, Minn. - The University of Tampa baseball team had a pair of players honored as 2017 NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association All-Americans. Shortstop Kevin Santa and utility player Darren Miller were both tabbed as second-teamers.
Pitcher Jacob Blank from Augustana University (S.D.) and junior first baseman Zack Shannon from Delta State University (Miss.), headline the team, earning the Ron Lenz Pitcher and Player of the Year awards respectively. A total of 48 student-athletes were named to either the first, second or third team All-America squad, while 16 were named honorable mention.
The CCA All-America and All-Region baseball teams, which are selected by CoSIDA members from schools playing Division II baseball, were first established in 2007. This is the second year in which the program is solely sponsored by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association.
Santa, senior shortstop from Yabucoa, P.R., ends his two-year Spartan career with the highest batting average in program history at .429. Also an NCBWA second-team All-American, he hit .423 with seven home runs and 39 RBI in his final season. He was also a first-team all-SSC selection and first-team ABCA/Rawlings All-South Region choice.
Miller, a junior utilityman from Key West, Fla., was also a first-team all-SSC selection in his first season as a Spartan. Playing a number of positions, Miller hit .371 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI. He twice hit two home runs in a game, and had 22 games in which he recorded multiple hits. In eight of those games, he tallied at least 3 or more hits.
Blank, a native of Gretna, Neb., finished the season with a record of 10-0, setting a single-season program record for wins, while compiling an ERA of 0.78, which ranks first in Division II. Blank opened the season throwing 46 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run and finished the year giving up just six earned runs. He struck out 86 batters in 69 innings with just 15 walks. Blank allowed just eight extra-base hits all season long while not giving up a triple or a home run and holding opponents to a .169 batting average. He currently ranks third in Division II with a WHIP of 0.83.
Shannon, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, leads Division II in RBIs (88) and RBIs per game (1.63), while ranking fourth in batting average (.442). He also ranks sixth nationally in total bases (162) and eighth in slugging percentage (.779). In the DSU single-season record book, Shannon ranks second in RBIs, fourth in home runs (19) and fifth in both hits (92) and total bases (162).
Joining Blank and Shannon on the CCA All-America first team include Chris Miguel (2B, Rogers State), Adrian Tovalin (3B, Azusa Pacific), Brandon Benson (SS, Georgia College), Bligh Madris (OF, Colorado Mesa), Trevor Rucker (OF, Southern Arkansas), Pablo O'Connor (OF, Azusa Pacific), Kris Ashland (DH, Augustana), Drew Delsignore (UT non-pitcher, Mercyhurst), Logan Browning (UT pitcher, Florida Southern), Austin Hutchison (SP, Mount Olive), Kyle Leahy (SP, Colorado Mesa), Dalton Roach (SP, Minnesota State) and Zack Mozingo (RP, Mount Olive).
The Division II Conference Commissioners Association encourages and promotes Division II athletics and high standards of sportsmanship as important elements of higher education. The CCA is a key communications link among the conferences as they discuss views, policies and regulations that impact Division II intercollegiate athletics and works closely with the NCAA as a communications channel to NCAA Division II member colleges and universities.
The online nomination and voting processes are provided by Presto Sports, a partner of UT Athletics.