The Pensacola area features two of the top pitchers in the state — Catholic’s Evan Floyd and Navarre’s Matt Cronin — and both were recently named 1st team Florida Region All-Americans by Rawlings/Perfect Game.
Floyd has signed with Air Force Academy while Cronin elected to go with Arkansas.
“I was surprised, I had no idea (Rawlings/Perfect Game) was doing that,” Floyd said. “This year, I really came into myself pitching-wise. In the past years, I was an average hard thrower. It wasn’t always gonna be a strike and half the time I didn’t know where the pitch was going. This year, I really came in with the accuracy and velocity. My favorite pitch would have to be the curve ball when it comes to facing big hitters. I really like to rely on that (curve) and the off speed.”
Floyd and the Crusaders are off to a 13-0 start this season, and with a win Wednesday night vs. Florida High, they locked the No. 1 seed for the District 1-4A tournament.
“I felt like we were going to struggle a little more than we did at the start of this season,” Floyd said. “We lost guys like (Evans) Bozeman, Zane (Gill), Brandon (Lockridge) and a lot of great players. We didn’t know who was going to play where this year. But a lot of guys have come into play new positions and have worked hard.”
For Cronin, the All-American honor follows his PNJ All-Area pitcher of the year award from last season.
As a junior, Cronin delivered 143 strikeouts through 68.2 innings pitched.
Behind his 8-2 record, Cronin allowed just 22 hits all season as the Navarre Raiders made their way to a 1-7A regional semifinal.
Joining the pitching duo is multiple All-American honorable mentions from the area.
On that list and also from Navarre is Michael Sandle.
Tate’s Cole Halfacre, Washington’s Nolan Ricketson, and Milton’s Chase Shell all round out the Florida-region honorable mentions.