Florida Southern pitchers J.T. Hintzen and J.J. Niekro have been named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District First Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. The duo will now go on the ballot for the Academic All-America Team which will be announced in June.
Hintzen is a perfect 11-0 on the mound this season for the Moccasins with all 11 wins comings out of the bullpen. The Old Greenwich, CT native is second in the NCAA Division and first in the Sunshine State Conference in victories and is 14th in the nation and second in the SSC with a 1.92 earned run average. The senior righthander has recorded 89 strikeouts this season and walked just 12 in 65.2 innings pitched over 25 appearances.
A biology major with a minor in economics, Hintzen carries a 3.45 cumulative grade point average.
Niekro sports a 5-1 record this season and has the Moccasins' only shutout of 2018. The Plant City, FL native is ninth in the conference with a 3.45 earned run average and has struck out 65 batters and issued 21 walks in 75.2 innings tossed. Moving into the starting rotation this season, the sophomore right-hander has struck out four or more batters in each of his last nine starts. He struck out a career-high seven batters in three different starts this season.
A sports communication and marketing major, Niekro maintains a perfect 4.00-grade point average. He is the baseball team's representative on the Florida Southern College Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
This is just the fifth time since 1996 that the Moccasins have placed two student-athletes on the Academic All-District Team. Dominic Brugnoni and Joey Miller were the last FSC duo to be so honored in the same season (2014). Hintzen and Niekro become just the second and third Moccasin pitchers to earn the accolade, joining three-time honoree Ryan Cahalan (2003, 2004, 2005).
To be eligible for the Academic All-District Team, a student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30, be at least a sophomore, and have completed one full academic year at the college or university where they are playing. They must also be a starter or key reserve.