Seven Bucs Named All-Conference, Figueroa Player of the Year, Alvarez Defensive Player of the Year

Seven Bucs Named All-Conference, Figueroa Player of the Year, Alvarez Defensive Player of the Year

FORT MYERS, Fla.- After a 35 win regular season, seven Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers were honored by the Citrus Conference on Thursday as Victor Figueroa, Justin Thomas, and Nate Earley led the septet as 1st Team selections while Figueroa was named the Conference's Player of the Year.

Victor Figueroa was a unanimous choice as the league's Player of the Year after becoming the first hitter in the past seven years to win the state's Triple Crown.  Figueroa paced all Citrus Conference hitters with a .421 average, 17 home runs, and an FSW school record 74 RBIs this season. He had more than twice the number of multi-hit games (26) as games with no hits this season (11). In the midst of a 19 game hitting streak midway through the season, Figueroa became the first Buc in program history with six hits in a game when he went 6-7 with a double and a game tying home run in the bottom of the 9th in a wild 13-12 win over Indian River.

Justin Thomas was picked as the conference's top outfielder on the 1st Team after a huge sophomore season that saw him hit .390 with 20 doubles, 13 home runs, 48 RBIs while stealing 34 bases and scoring a program record 77 runs, 19 more than any other player in the Citrus Conference. Thomas was the only player in the state of Florida to hit 10 home runs and steal 30 or more bases during the regular season. He had 25 multi-hit games including 10 three hit games while earning FCSAA Player of the Week twice in the final month of the season.

Nate Earley was the Bucs third 1st Team All-Conference selection, earning the nod at the designated hitter spot. Earley clubbed 16 home runs which ranked 2nd in the state this season only to Figueroa while driving in 58 which was 3rd best of all Citrus Conference sluggers. Earley had at least one extra base hit in 24 different games this season and led the Bucs with three multi-homer games on the campaign.  He had an incredible stretch in late March into early April, hitting .543 (19-35) over eight straight multi-hit games to early FCSAA Player of the Week honors.

FSW ace Landen Burch led four Bucs on the 2nd Team All-Conference squad. Burch finished in the top 10 in the league in both strikeouts with 71 and ERA at 3.67 in his 61 1/3 innings pitched on the season. After starting the season as the Bucs closer, Burch stepped into their Thursday starter role and thrived, starting the final nine Citrus Conference series for the Bucs on the mound.

Joining Burch on the 2nd Team was fellow staff member Jordan Huskey.  Huskey started a team high 13 games for FSW during the regular season, leading the team in wins with 6 and innings pitched with 71 2/3. He led all Citrus Conference pitchers with four complete games on the year and his 4.02 ERA ranked in the top 10 in the league. In his final start of the regular season Huskey came up big, throwing a complete game and allowing just one run in a win over Polk State to clinch a first round home playoff series for the Bucs in the FCSAA State Tournament.

Jared Davis earned 2nd Team honors in the outfield for the Bucs. He hit .310 with 15 doubles and four home runs while stealing a state high 37 bases and scoring 51 runs on the year.  He had 17 multi-hit games during the regular season and had stolen bases in half of his 52 games played on the year.

Last but not least was Bucs backstop Salvador Alvarez who along with being named a 2nd Team All-Conference pick, also earned Citrus Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors.  At the plate Alvarez hit .338 with 19 RBIs and 24 runs scored while behind it he posted a .997 fielding percentage with just one error in 349 chances while throwing out 15 would-be base stealers on the season which was second most of any catcher in the Citrus Conference.

The Bucs seven All-Conference picks tied for the most in the league with Indian River. 

FSW is back in action on the field this weekend at Buccaneers Park when they host Santa Fe in a best two out of three series with the winner moving on to the FCSAA State Tournament Final Four in Tampa.  The Bucs and Saints get the series underway on Friday at 3 PM with game two set for 2 PM Saturday and the if necessary game slated for 1 PM on Sunday.