Tigers Earn Freshman All-America Honors

by Bill Franques
Tigers Earn Freshman All-America Honors

OMAHA, Neb. – LSU players Eric Walker, Zack Hess and Zach Watson have received Freshman All-America recognition during the Tigers’ stay in Omaha for the College World Series.

Walker and Watson have been named first-team Freshman All-Americans by Perfect Game/Rawlings, and Walker and Hess have received second-team Freshman All-America recognition from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Walker, a right-hander from Arlington, Texas, is 8-2 this season with a 3.48 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 95.2 innings. He defeated Rice in the championship game of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, firing eight shutout innings with no walks and eight strikeouts while limiting the Owls to seven hits.

Walker was also the winning pitcher in the SEC Tournament championship game, as he worked 7.2 innings to defeat Arkansas, allowing just one run on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.

Watson, a product of Ruston, La., is hitting .310 this season with eight doubles, three triples, nine homers, 36 RBI, 38 runs and 10 stolen bases. He has five home runs in NCAA Tournament games, including a solo blast in LSU’s College World Series game on Monday night versus Oregon State.

Watson launched two home runs in consecutive games against Texas Southern and Southeastern Louisiana in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, becoming the first LSU player to homer four times in a regional since Zeph Zinsman in 2001. Watson batted .357 (5-for-14) in the regional with four homers, seven RBI and five runs.

Hess, right-hander from Forest, Va., has a 7-1 record, a 2.83 ERA and two saves in 26 appearances (six starts). He has worked 54 innings, recording 73 strikeouts while limiting opponents to a .181 batting average.

Hess has one win and one save in LSU’s seven NCAA Tournament games, and he has recorded nine strikeouts in 4.2 relief innings. Hess earned the save in LSU’s 5-4 College World Series win over Florida State on Saturday night.