June 17, 2011

Simko, Holland Sign Professional Contracts

CORPUS CHRISTI - Senior Matt Holland (Phillies) and junior Todd Simko (Nationals) of the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team have signed agreements with their respective Major League Baseball organizations. Simko will forgo his final year of college eligibility in order to move on to the professional ranks.

"We're obviously sad to see Todd go," head coach Scott Malone said, "but we couldn't be more excited for both of these players to start their professional careers. Matt and Todd are both great young men in addition to being outstanding players, and we are looking forward to seeing both of them spend a long time as professional baseball players."

Both players will report to the Gulf Coast League, a rookie organization based in Florida that has its season run from mid-June through August. Simko heads to the GCL Nationals, who play their home games in Viera at Space Coast Stadium. Holland heads for the GCL Phillies, based in Clearwater.

Simko set a school record with 10 wins in his debut season for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, going 10-6 with a 4.31 ERA and a .249 batting average against. The Arroyo Grande, Calif., native was named to the Southland Conference All-Tournament Team after delivering a complete-game three-hitter against Lamar, in which the only run he surrendered was unearned.

The southpaw was spectacular down the stretch, posting a 1.99 ERA over his final seven appearances. In that period, he went 5-0 and surrendered just 25 hits in 45 1/3 innings of work. He delivered all three of his complete games during that string, and punched out 30 opposing batters.

Just two years removed from an arm injury that ended his career as a pitcher, Holland worked hard in the weight room to bulk up to 210 pounds heading into his senior season, and the results were palpable. The Watkins, Iowa, native slugged 10 home runs, the eighth different player in school history to do so, and matched the school record with 20 doubles. His 149 total bases set a new school mark as well.

A First Team All-Southland Conference honoree, Holland was second in the league with his .391 average and 93 hits, while his 53 RBI were sixth in the conference. His .626 slugging percentage was the second highest of all Southland players and he finished seventh in the league with a .445 on-base percentage. He also scored 44 runs, stole seven bases, and posted a 16-game hitting streak at the end of the season.