Nola, Poche' Take State Baseball Honors
By ANNA CLAIRE THOMAS, WRITTEN FOR THE LSWA
RUSTON, La. – Two of Louisiana’s top-ranked baseball programs this season, LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette, continue to collect postseason accolades with a combined 19 players selected to the first and second teams, as well as earning four of the five special awards for the 2014 All-Louisiana College Baseball Team, as selected and announced by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Louisiana-Lafayette led the way with a total of 10 players named to both the first and second teams, as well as picking up two of the five special awards given each year. The Cajuns ended the season with an overall record of 58-10 and reached the NCAA Super Regionals before falling to Ole Miss in a best-of-three series in Lafayette. LSU followed up by capturing a combined nine spots on the two teams, along with picking up two special awards after going 46-16-1 and hosting an NCAA Regional in 2014.
The teams were selected on the basis of nominations made by the sports information and media relations contacts from the four-year baseball playing schools in the state. The list of nominations, based on stats and honors accumulated through the conference tournaments, was voted on by a panel of media and sports information representatives who are LSWA members.
Louisiana-Lafayette second baseman Jace Conrad was named the Hitter of the Year in the state, while LSU’s Aaron Nola earned Pitcher of the Year honors for the second straight season after posting an 11-1 record and being named the 2014 SEC Pitcher of the Year. Tiger pitcher Jared Poche’ was voted as Freshman of the Year, while Southeastern Louisiana outfielder Andrew Godbold was named the Newcomer of the Year for first-year Louisiana non-freshman players.
A total of seven coaches were nominated for Coach of the Year, which was awarded to Tony Robichaux of Louisiana-Lafayette. Also receiving votes were Nicholls State’s Seth Thibodeaux, Southeastern Louisiana’s Matt Riser and Jake Gautreau from Tulane.
Conrad, the 2014 Sun Belt Player of the Year, ended the regular season with a .367 clip, seven home runs and 55 runs batted in for the Cajuns. A Louisville Slugger All-American, Conrad became the first Louisiana-Lafayette player to be named a first team all-American since the 1999 season. A native of Lafayette, Conrad was also named a finalist for the Gregg Olson Award, which goes to college baseball’s breakout player of the year.
A two-time SEC Pitcher of the Year, Nola entered the NCAA Tournament with a 10-1 record and a 1.49 ERA, as the junior from Baton Rouge helped lead the Tigers to an SEC Tournament championship. A first team all-American and Golden Spikes Award finalist, Nola led the SEC with 127 strikeouts, ranked second in the league in ERA and third in the nation in strikeouts. Most recently, Nola was a first-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
As a freshman pitcher for LSU, Poche’ posted a 9-3 record throughout the regular season with a 2.21 ERA. The Lutcher native struck out 51 batters in 85.2 innings and held opponents to a .214 batting average in 15 starts. Poche’, who was also named to the SEC All-Tournament team, helped lead the Tigers to a No. 8 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, as well as a SEC Tournament championship.
In his first season at Southeastern Louisiana, Godbold hit .348 with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 57 RBI, as the Oak Park, Ill. native was named the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year after coming from Triton College last season. Godbold, who is also a first team selection on this year’s All-Louisiana squad, ended the season with a league-leading 58 RBI and a .349 clip, which ranked second in the conference.
Robichaux, who just completed his 20th season at Louisiana-Lafayette, won the state’s top coaching honor for the sixth time in his career after guiding the Cajuns to a unanimous No. 1 ranking in college baseball, as well as advancing and hosting an NCAA Super Regional. Robichaux led Louisiana-Lafayette to 58 wins this season, which is the most in both Sun Belt and program history. The Cajuns’ head coach was also named Coach of the Year in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007 and 2010.
In addition to Godbold’s first team selection and Newcomer of the Year award, the Lions of Southeastern Louisiana picked up two other first team selections with pitcher Andro Cutura and catcher Jameson Fisher earning first team honors. McNeese State first baseman Chayse Marion was also named to the first team, while Nicholls State’s Taylor Byrd made an appearance on this year’s first team ballot. Rounding out the first team selections was Northwestern State third baseman Chase Daughdrill.
In all, a total of six of the state’s schools had players named to both the first and second All-Louisiana teams for the 2014 season.
LSWA ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGE BASEBALL TEAMS
(Stats based on games played through conference tournaments)
P/Carson Baranik, Louisiana-Lafayette/Jr./Bossier City, La./10-1, 3.30 ERA, Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year
P/Taylor Byrd, Nicholls State/Sr./Petal, Miss./8-3, 1.92 ERA, 80 K, Southland Pitcher of the Year
P/Andro Cutura, Southeastern La./Jr./Pearl River, La./10-2, 1.72 ERA, 95 K, .212 Opp. BA
P/Aaron Nola, LSU/Jr./Baton Rouge, La./10-1, 1.49 ERA, SEC Pitcher of the Year, 1st team All-American
C/Jameson Fisher, Southeastern La./So./Zachary, La./.394 BA, 16 2b, 37 RBI
1B/Chayse Marion, McNeese State/Sr./Red Deer, AB, Canada/.322 BA, 12 2b, 40 RBI, 11-17 SB-ATT
2B/Jace Conrad, Louisiana-Lafayette/Jr./Lafayette, La./.367 BA, 19 2b, 7 HR, 1st team All-American
SS/Blake Trahan, Louisiana-Lafayette/So./Kinder, La./.339 BA, 11 2b, .443 obp, 1st team All-Sun Belt
3B/Chase Daughdrill, Northwestern State/Jr./Bossier City, La./.324 BA, 9 2b, 2 HR, 38 RBI, .410 obp
OF/Caleb Adams, Louisiana-Lafayette/Jr./Texarkana, Texas/.386 BA, 17 2b, 7 3b, 11 HR, 39 RBI, .711 slg
OF/Andrew Godbold, Southeastern La./Jr./Oak Park, Ill./.348 BA, 8 HR, 57 RBI, SLC Newcomer of Year
OF/Andrew Stevenson, LSU/So./Youngsville, La./.328 BA, 6 2b, 5 3b, 8 SB, SEC All-Defensive Team
DH/Tyler Girouard, Louisiana-Lafayette/Jr./Lafayette, La./.338 BA, 10 2b, 2 3b, 2 HR, 25 RBI, .433 obp
HITTER/PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Jace Conrad, Louisiana-Lafayette
Vote totals – Conrad (24), Fisher (4)
PITCHER OF THE YEAR – Aaron Nola, LSU
Vote totals – Nola (25), Cutura (3)
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Jared Poche’, LSU
Vote totals – Poche’ (19), Oller (7), Bazar (1), Capielano (1)
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Andrew Godbold, Southeastern Louisiana
Vote totals – Godbold (20), Daughdrill (3), Scivicque (2), No vote (3)
COACH OF THE YEAR – Tony Robichaux, Louisiana-Lafayette
Vote totals – Robichaux (22), Thibodeaux (4), Gautreau (1), Riser (1)
P/Cody Boutte, Louisiana-Lafayette/Sr./Eunice, La./8-0, 2.75 ERA, 50 K, 1st team All-Sun Belt
P/Joe Broussard, LSU/Jr./Gretna, La./3-1, 0.89 ERA, .157 Opp. BA, 30 APP, 8 SV
P/Jared Poche’, LSU/Fr./Lutcher, La./9-3, 2.21 ERA, 51 K, .214 Opp. BA, SEC All-Tournament Team
P/Austin Robichaux, Louisiana-Lafayette/Jr./Crowley, La./7-2, 3.01 ERA, 70 K, .212 Opp. BA
*C/Kade Scivicque, LSU/Jr./Maurepas, La./.310 BA, 8 2b, 6 HR, SEC All-Tournament Team
*C/Michael Strentz, Louisiana-Lafayette/Jr./Lafayette, La./.236 BA, 10 2b, 9 HR, 38 RBI
1B/Tyler Moore, LSU/Jr./Baton Rouge, La./.307 BA, 10 2b, 5 HR, 34 RBI, SEC Tournament MVP
2B/Andrew Guillotte, McNeese State/Jr./Moss Bluff, La./.316 BA, 14 2b, 20 SB, 1st team All-Southland
SS/Alex Bregman, LSU/So./Albuquerque, N.M./.301 BA, 14 2b, 6 HR, 44 RBI, 2nd team All-SEC
3B/Ryan Leonards, Louisiana-Lafayette/Sr./Crowley, La./.320 BA, 12 2b, 4 HR, 2nd team All-Sun Belt
OF/Jake Fraley, LSU/Fr./Middletown, Del./.385 BA, 7 2b, 1 3b, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 29 R, 6 SB
OF/Jackson Gooch, McNeese State/Sr./Delta, BC, Canada/.319 BA, 12 2b, 41 RBI, 1st team All-Southland
OF/Seth Harrison, Louisiana-Lafayette/Jr./Cypress, Texas/.317 BA, 15 2b, 5 3b, 9 HR, 58 RBI, 15 SB
DH/Sean McMullen, LSU/Sr./Metairie, La./.286 BA, 17 2b, 3 3b, 6 HR, 34 RBI, SEC All-Tournament Team
*Tied for position