The Valdosta Daily Times
For the second straight year, Bryant Hayman was named to the All-South Region team. And for the second straight year, Valdosta State had a first-team member.
But after Hayman earned that recognition a year ago when the Blazers won the Gulf South Conference championship and advanced to a South Regional, senior second baseman Matthew Fears earned that honor this season when the team was announced Thursday.
Fears, who was a first-team all-GSC selection each of his two years at Valdosta State, led the league with 15 doubles while finishing third in the league with a .374 average and 58 hits. His 38 runs were the sixth-most in the conference, while he ranked fifth with 78 total bases and a .503 slugging percentage. He was a first-team all-conference outfielder as a junior despite missing more than half the season.
Hayman, VSU’s junior slugger, was a repeat all-South Region choice although he was one of two Blazers placed on the second team. The Ware County product led the GSC with nine home runs, 50 RBIs and a .631 slugging percentage, while second with 13 doubles and 89 total bases. He also swiped all 11 of his stolen base attempts. The designated hitter/catcher is a three-time all-conference first-team choice and was the league’s Freshman of the Year in 2012.
He was joined on the all-South Region second team by VSU’s junior shortstop Mike Reed. The newcomer was also a first-team all-conference choice after leading the league with 48 runs scored and second with 20 stolen bases. His .451 on-base percentage was also second in the conference and he finished sixth with a .368 average.
West Florida’s Jordan DeLorenzo was the region’s Pitcher of the Year as the Argonauts also placed outfielder Austin Southall and utility player Sean Plunkett on the second team, while Delta State’s catcher Carlos Leal, pitcher Michael Manley and outfielder Jordan Chovanec were all second-team honorees. Lynn’s Sal Giardina Jr. was the Player of the Year and Tampa’s Joe Urso was the Coach of the Year.