By DAVID FORSTROM
Although the season is over, BYU baseball players are still being recognized for their talent.
The Western Athletic Conference released its 1999 All-WAC baseball teams, which included BYU senior secondbaseman Ryan Pond and junior rightfielder Gary Johnson. Johnson was named WAC Player of the Week for May 10-16 after a solid performance against the Utes over their three-game series.
For the second year in a row, Pond received All-WAC honors, this time being selected by the league’s head coaches to the first team, and Johnson was named to the second team.
Pond led the WAC in home runs (23), slugging percentage (.724), was third in RBIs (65) and finished with a .340 batting average.
“It’s always an honor to be selected, but at the same time it’s disappointing looking back on the season, which is what counts, and knowing we didn’t make it further,” Pond said.
Johnson hit .388, was third in the WAC in on-base percentage (.506) and fifth in slugging percentage (.705).
Johnson finished the season with a bang as he went 6-9 in two games. In the first game, he was 3-4 (2 HR, 5 RBIs). He missed the second game because of a pulled muscle, but came back in the season finale to hit 3-5 (1 HR, 3 RBIs).
“I think it’s great to be honored by the WAC this way,” Johnson said. “I just loved being here, playing and competing. I’m glad the year worked out well for me.”
In spite of a losing season, BYU head coach Gary Pullins thought both players were well-deserving of the awards.
“These guys have been super to coach and gave great effort,” Pullins said. “They made the most of this year and we’ll certainly miss them.”
Both Pond and Johnson now look forward to June and the Major League Baseball draft, with the hope of being selected just one more time.