Florida Tech’s Reid Neal Captures Preseason Accolade, Named To NCBWA All-South Region Team
By Florida Tech // January 29, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – One of the most prolific stars on the diamond in the Sunshine State Conference, Florida Tech standout Reid Neal captured the first of what may lead to many awards to come in 2016 when he was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II Preseason All-South Region Second Team, announced Wednesday.
The Panther infielder becomes the program’s third player in two seasons to receive such honors after teammate Grant McKownand former Florida Tech starting pitcher Scotty Ward received identical recognition a year ago.
“I’m very honored by this preseason recognition,” said Neal.
“It reinforces the fact that hard work and perseverance pay off in the long run. However, I feel like a number of my teammates and other SSC players could have been recognized as well. Hopefully all the hard work I’ve put in during the offseason can help us win our first conference championship.”
Neal exemplified the ideal table setter for the Crimson and Gray last season. The former Viera High School product led the SSC in hits and finished among the league’s top-3 in batting average, on-base percentage and runs scored.
Equally as important, he failed to miss a single game in his 2015, notching an astounding 29 multi-hit efforts in 51 contests.
Despite the on-field success as a sophomore, Neal has no plans of slowing and could be in line for an even better junior campaign.
“I focused mainly on my strength and conditioning and the offensive approach to my game,” Neal said in regards to where he sees improvement.
“As a lead-off hitter I would love to improve the base running aspect of my game and become a top-tier base stealer; so this offseason revolved around a lot of explosive sprint work. I also worked with the coaching staff to build an approach at the plate to maximize walks and minimize strikeouts, as well as taking advantage of mistake pitches and capitalizing on extra-base hits.
“This will hopefully elevate my game to the next level,” said Neal.
Neal and Florida Tech are set to make their 2016 debut Friday at 6 p.m. ET in a rare season-opening series against Sunshine State Conference foe Rollins.
Live coverage, courtesy of the Tars, will be available at FloridaTechSports.com.