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Baseball's Diaz Southern Conference Player of Year; Gould, Hubbard Also Recognized
April 24, 2014 - Eastern Florida freshman leftfielder Christian Diaz has been named Player of the Year for the Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference comprised of Eastern Florida, Miami Dade College, 2013 NJCAA Division I national runner-up Palm Beach State, Broward College and Indian River State College.
Also honored were sophomore shortstop J.J. Gould as the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year and sophomore right-hander Chayce Hubbard as the Fireman (or closer) of the Year.
Freshman right-hander Dulvis Borjas joins Diaz and sophomore first baseman Jack Machonis as All-Conference First-Team selections.
Gould was named to the All-Conference Second Team along with sophomore catcher Austin Leeney and freshman designated hitter Alessandro Lima.
Hubbard's selection marks the second consecutive season a Titans reliever won the top award. Right-hander Chris Gilmore was honored for the 2013 season.
Diaz finished the regular season leading the Titans in nine offensive categories: hits (63), runs (40, tied with Gould), doubles (15), home runs (seven), runs batted in (51), batting average (.368), slugging percentage (.637), total bases (109) and extra base hits (27).
He was ranked 22nd nationally in triples (five); 25th in runs batted in; 48th in doubles; 49th in hits; and 50th in home runs.
"What it comes down to is I get to nominate my guys and the other coaches vote on it," said Eastern Florida head coach Jeff Tam. "That means more to me saying 'hey, he should be Conference Player of the Year.'
"The other coaches noticed it and I'm sure they felt it at times during the year because he had a tremendous year. For the other coaches to vote him that, that's something pretty special."
Diaz gave the credit to others.
"It's a huge, huge honor, I couldn't have done it without the tremendous coaching staff and my fantastic teammates," Diaz said. "I'm sure there were other guys more deserving but I'm just so blessed."
Eastern Florida finished the regular season with 27-17 record and was 8-8 for third place in the conference. The Titans have a state tournament play-in game at 5 p.m. Monday at South Florida State College in Avon Park against an opponent to be determined.