Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lakewood Ranch's Griffin tops C-USA in homers

Jonathan Griffin knows how to celebrate.

On Tuesday, the University of Central Florida first baseman and Lakewood Ranch graduate was named to the Conference USA first team. For the regular season, Griffin led C-USA in homers, slugging percentage and total bases.

On Wednesday he blasted his team leading 17th homer of the season to spark the Knights to a 16-9 victory over Memphis in a C-USA tournament game at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi. The homer moved Griffin up to third in the UCF history books for most homers in a single season.

The 6-7, 250 pound senior has been on a tear nearly all season. He leads the Knights in slugging percentage (.638), is tied for first in doubles and is second in batting average (.366) and RBIs (50). He has also shown his prowess with glove committing only four errors in 532 chances for a .993 fielding average.

The 22 year-old Griffin was an All-Area choice at Lakewood Ranch and had two productive years at State College of Florida, particularly in 2008 when hit smacked 22 homers to lead Florida JUCO ball.

The C-USA tournament is an eight team pool play event. The winners of each of the two four team pods will meet in the championship game on Saturday with the winner earning a berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Regular season co-champs Rice and Southern Mississippi are the top seeds. UCF is seeded fourth, but with a top 20 RPI ranking is hoping to get an at-large bid if it doesn’t win the tournament.

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