Florida Southern senior Logan Browning has been named the winner of the 2018 Perfect Game Josh Willingham Award as DII baseball's Most Valuable Player. The award is named for former University of North Alabama standout, Josh Willingham, and honors a player who not only excels on the diamond, but in the dugout, clubhouse and practice field as well, and leads his team to national championship caliber status. This season Browning paced the Mocs as they competed for the program's tenth baseball national title. FSC finished the season 45-11-1 with a third-place finish at the NCAA Division II Baseball Championships.
"Logan fell into our lap a few years ago when he transferred from Florida," says Florida Southern College Head Coach Lance Niekro. "I knew he was a special player, but could have never imagined how much he would contribute both on the mound and at the plate for us. He turned down pro ball last year to come back for his senior year."
"There is no way we would have made it as far as we did this year if Logan did not come back," continues Niekro. "His talent speaks for itself, but he is such an amazing young man and has such high baseball IQ. He is a leader on and off the field and I can't wait to see how he does at the next level. We may never see another two-way player with the talent that Logan has."
Browning led the Moccasins with a .440 batting average and a .521 on-base percentage. He also tied for the team lead with 14 doubles while scoring 38 runs and driving in 30 more. On the mound, the lefty was 11-2 with a 3.07 earned run average while leading the team with 127 strikeouts in 114.1 innings pitched.
In NCAA postseason play, Browning twice struck out 11 batters in two wins and also earned a save in the NCAA Regional. At the plate, the senior right fielder was 5-for-12 for a .417 average in three starts. Three of the five hits were doubles that helped him drive in five runs
For his career, Browning finished with 291 strikeouts, which is fourth most in FSC history, while his 24 wins (24-7) is tied for seventh all-time. His 49 career starts are tied for third most for any Moccasin pitcher.
Browning was named to All-America first-team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and a second-team honoree by the America Baseball Coaches Association and the Division II Conference Commissioners Association. He was also named to the All-South region teams by all three organizations as well as a first-team All-Sunshine State Conference honoree. In addition, he was selected to the NCAA Division II National Championship All-Tournament team. Earlier this season, he was one of only two Division II players named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list.
The Lakeland, FL native was also named to the D2CAA All-America 1st team last season. He has been an All-South and All-SSC honoree in each of his three seasons.
JOSH WILLINGHAM AWARD WINNERS
2013 – Brannon Easterling (St. Edward's)
2014 – Austin Kaiser (Millersville)
2015 – Craig Brooks (Catawba)
2016 – Corey Wood (Arkansas Monticello)
2017 – Ryan Columbo (Drury)
2018 – Logan Browning (Florida Southern)
About Josh Willingham
While playing baseball at the University of North Alabama Willingham was a two-time All American and tied or broke 14 school single-game, season and career records. After his junior season he was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball Draft and played at the highest level for 11 seasons, the pinnacle of which was when he earned a Silver Slugger Award after batting .260 with 35 home runs and 110 RBI in 2012 for the Minnesota Twins.