Fontana, Johnson Named to Award Watch Lists

Two Florida players were named semifinalists for major college baseball awards on Friday. Shortstop Nolan Fontana was named a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the shortstop of the year. Pitcher/designated hitter Brian Johnson was named a semifinalist for the Olerud Award, given to the top two-way player in the country.

Fontana has started 63 of Florida's 65 games this season. He is hitting .308 and a .426 on-base percentage that is third on the team among starters. He has five home runs after launching a two-run blast in Friday's Super Regional opener. The sophomore leads the team with 46 walks and five triples. Mike Zunino is second on the team with 29 walks.

Fontana was named second team All-SEC and named to the league's All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive year.

"This list of shortstops is outstanding," said Kevin Dunagan, Wallace Award committee co-chair. "Three of them are still playing and several others led their teams to outstanding records and postseason play."

Brandon Loy of Texas and Anthony Gomez of Vanderbilt are the other two shortstops still playing in the postseason.

Johnson is 8-3 on the mound with a 3.66 ERA in 15 starts over 78.2 innings this year. He is second on the Florida team with 70 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .248 batting average against him.

At the plate, Johnson is hitting .213 with five home runs and 27 RBI. He has scored 26 runs and has 17 total extra-base hits.

"Our voters will have another very difficult job as they choose between the 10 semifinalists," said Randy Norman, Olerud Award committee co-chair. "The players on the list have some great statistics."

Four of the semifinalists are playing in Super Regionals this weekend. The other three are Brian Hernandez of UC Irvine, Danny Hultzen of Virginia and Mike McGee of Florida State. McGee won the award in its first year of existence in 2010.

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