May 21, 2012
2012 All-Southland Conference Team
BEAUMONT - After leading the Cardinals with a .344 batting average, Lamar University third baseman Darian Johnson was named third-team All-Southland Conference Monday in voting by the league's baseball coaches and sports information directors.
First baseman Brad Picha and designated hitter Seth Dornak earned honorable mention all-conference honors, as well.
A native of Chandler, Ariz., Johnson ranked seventh in the conference in batting average. The junior transfer from Mesa Community College also led Lamar with a .481 slugging percentage and was third in doubles (13) and runs batted in (25).
"Darian had a really good year, especially when you consider he was playing out of position," said LU head coach Jim Gilligan. "We brought him here as an outfielder but he moved to third and did a great job. I wish I had 10 of him. He swung the bat great from both sides of the plate and got better and better at third as the year went on."
In 33 Southland Conference games, Johnson's batting average was a robust .370 which was good enough for fifth in the conference. His slugging percentage improved to .511 against conference opponents to rank seventh in the league.
Picha, a junior transfer from Paris Junior College, led Lamar with 17 doubles and 38 RBI. His .320 batting average was second on the team, and he ranked fourth in the conference in doubles and tied for 10th in runs batted in.
"Brad was a big, clutch RBI guy all year and one of the toughest bats in our lineup," said Gilligan.
The Stephenville native led Lamar with a .398 on base percentage and was third on the team in slugging percentage at .431. Picha had 14 doubles in SLC play to tie for the league lead, and he ranked sixth with 26 RBI in conference play.
Dornak, a Pearland native who came to Lamar from Galveston College, finished third on the team with a .310 batting average. He finished his first year in a Lamar uniform with six doubles, three home runs and 22 runs batted in.
"Dornak is a good hitter and toward the end of the season started showing that he has power," said Gilligan. "I'm really looking forward to next year and what he might bring to the table."
After leading the Southland Conference with a .388 batting average and 36 stolen bases, Southeastern Louisiana's Brock Hebert was named the Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year. Texas State's Travis Ballew was named Pitcher of the Year after posting a 10-4 record with a 2.83 earned run average and 114 strikeouts.
David Pierce of regular season champion Sam Houston State was named the Clay Gould Coach of the Year. Pitcher Daniel Minor of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was named Newcomer of the Year with SLU's Stefan Lopez earning Relief Pitcher of the Year and Andro Cutura of the Lions earning Freshman of the Year.