Florida Southern senior J.T. Hintzen has been named the recipient of the 2018 Perfect Game Brett Tomko Award. The annual award is bestowed to a college baseball pitcher whose on the field performance is deemed the most outstanding at the Division II level. The award is named for former Moccasin Brett Tomko who was 15-2 for the 1995 NCAA National Champion Florida Southern team. Tomko, who went on to win 100 games in the Major Leagues, was named the 1995 National Pitcher and Player of the Year.
"J.T. is the epitome of 'hard work pays off.' Not only on the mound, but he was always here helping with field work," says Florida Southern College Head Coach Lance Niekro, "He had an unbelievable year here and is one of those players that may never be replaced. I am so happy for him that he is getting a shot at the next level, because he absolutely deserves it."
Hintzen tied for the NCAA D-II lead with 14 wins (14-0) and was 10th in the nation with a 1.77 ERA. His 32 appearances placed him second in the division. Those numbers, along with his 0.78 WHiP (walks and hits per inning pitched) were all tops in the Sunshine State Conference. Additionally the senior was eighth in the country with 8.77 strikeouts to walk ratio and also finished in the top twenty nationally with 114 strikeouts. His 10.61 strikeouts per nine innings were sixth in the SSC while his 1.21 walks allowed per nine innings was third best in the conference.
During the regular season, Hintzen won 12 of his games and earned a pair of saves out of the bullpen. In the NCAA South Regional and NCAA National Championship Tournament, in his first two career starts as a Moccasin, threw 17 innings while only allowing six hits against Tampa and Texas A&M Kingsville to add to his win total.
Following the season the Milwaukee Brewers selected Hintzen with their 10th round pick (305th overall) in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Brett Tomko Award Winners:
2014 – Dan Altavilla, Mercyhurst
2015 – Craig Brooks, Catawba
2016 – Placido Torres, Tusculum
2017 – Dalton Roach, Minnesota State
2018 – J.T. Hintzen, Florida Southern
About Brett Tomko
In 1995, Brett Tomko had a spectacular season pitching for the Florida Southern College Moccasins which was full of both incredible individual and team success. Tomko compiled an incredible 15-2 record with a 1.35 ERA and amassed 154 strikeouts in just 126.3 innings. He also threw seven complete games, three of which were shutouts, and also added a pair of saves.
Tomko led the Mocs to the Division II Championship and threw a complete-game shutout to give FSC its eighth national title. He was named the outstanding player of the Division II Championship and was the Sunshine State Conference Pitcher of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year. Tomko earned the distinct recognition of being the first athlete ever to be awarded both the NCAA Division II Player and Pitcher of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Following Tomko's historic season in Lakeland, the Cincinnati Reds drafted him in the second round of the Major League Amateur Draft. He made his big league debut with the Reds two years later and went on to win one hundred MLB games in 14 seasons. Five times Tomko reached the double-digit win plateau while pitching in the big leagues and he was also able to accrue over 190 innings on the mound five times as well.