LSU Gold

Hess, Watson Earn Preseason All-America Recognition

by Bill Franques
Hess, Watson Earn Preseason All-America Recognition

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU sophomore pitcher Zack Hess and sophomore outfielder Zach Watson were named Monday to the 2018 Collegiate Baseball preseason All-America teams.

Hess, a right-hander from Forest, Va., was voted to the second team, and Watson, a product of Ruston, La., was named to the third team.

Watson, a 2017 Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC selection, hit a team-best .317 last season with nine doubles, three triples, nine homers, 37 RBI, 42 runs and 12 stolen bases. He led the Tigers in NCAA Tournament play by batting .333 (16-for-48) in 12 games with one double, five homers, 10 RBI, 12 runs and four steals.

He was named to the 2017 College World Series All-Tournament team after batting .346 (9-for-26) in seven games with one double, one homer, two RBI, five runs and two steals.

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 2001. Watson batted .357 (5-for-14) in the regional with four homers, seven RBI and five runs.

Hess, a 2017 Freshman All-American and a member of the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll, worked the early part of last season as a mid-week starter before making a move to the Tigers’ bullpen on April 4. After becoming a full-time reliever, Hess worked 32.1 innings in 22 appearances and allowed nine earned runs on 19 hits with 18 walks and 48 strikeouts.

He pitched brilliantly in the 2017 College World Series as a reliever, appearing in five of the Tigers’ seven games while recording three saves and 11 Ks in seven innings. Hess completed the season with a 7-1 record and a 3.12 ERA in 60.2 innings with 83 strikeouts, 30 walks and four saves.

Hess was named SEC Freshman of the Week on May 22 after making two appearances in LSU’s three-game sweep of Mississippi State that clinched the SEC championship for the Tigers. Hess worked a combined 4.2 shutout innings in with two hits, one walk and eight strikeouts.

The Tigers return to campus for the spring semester in early January, and preseason practice begins on January 26. LSU opens the 2018 season on February 16 versus Notre Dame in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

2018 Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-America Teams
LHP Luke Heimlich (Oregon St.)
LHP Steven Gingery (Texas Tech.)
RHP Brady Singer (Florida)
RHP Sean Hjelle (Kentucky)
LHP/DH Tyler Holton (Florida St.)
Relief Michael Byrne (Florida)
Relief Kenyon Yovan (Oregon)
C J.T. Thomas (Mercer)
1B Luken Baker (Texas Christian)
2B Nick Madrigal (Oregon St.)
3B Johnny Aiello (Wake Forest)
SS Jeremy Eierman (Missouri St.)
OF Seth Beer (Clemson)
OF Niko Hulsizer (Morehead St.)
OF Griffin Conine (Duke)
DH Logan McRae (Coll. of Charleston)
UT Kevin Milam (St. Mary’s, CA)

RHP Joey Murray (Kent St.)
LHP Trey Cumbie (Houston)
RHP Jackson Kowar (Florida)
RHP Logan Gilbert (Stetson)
LHP Konnor Pilkington ( Mississippi St.)
RHP Colton Eastman (Cal. St. Fullerton)
RHP Zack Hess (LSU)
RHP Casey Mize (Auburn)
LHP Nick Sprengel (San Diego)
RHP Jared Janczak (Texas Christian)
LHP Gunner Leger (Louisiana-Lafayette)
RHP Sean Mooney (St. John’s)
RHP Patrick Raby (Vanderbilt)
Relief Michael Clark (Cal Poly)
Relief Nick Sandlin (Southern Mississippi)
Relief Brett Conine (Cal St. Fullerton)
Relief Jake Fromson (Missouri St.)
Relief Luis Alvarado (Nebraska)
C Mason Fishback ( New Mexico St.)
C Cal Raleigh (Florida St.)
C Chris Williams (Clemson)
1B Kevin Woodall (Coastal Carolina)
1B Nic Ready (Air Force)
2B Braden Shewmake (Texas A&M)
3B Jonathan India (Florida)
SS Tyler Frank (Florida Atlantic)
OF Matt Wallner (Southern Mississippi)
OF Greyson Jenista (Wichita St.)
OF Jake McCarthy (Virginia)
UT John McMillon (Texas Tech)

LHP Kris Bubic (Stanford)
RHP Alex Royalty (N.C. Wilmington)
RHP Jon Olsen (UCLA)
RHP Kyle Bradish (New Mexico St.)
RHP Blaine Knight (Arkansas)
RHP Nolan Kingham (Texas)
LHP Miguel Ausua (Oral Roberts)
Relief Dallas Woolfolk (Mississippi)
Relief Ross Learnard (Purdue)
Relief Jake Roehn (Ohio)
Relief Jake Mulholland (Oregon St.)
Relief Spencer Price (Mississippi St.)
Relief J.T. Newton (Houston Baptist)
Relief Bryce Tucker (Central Florida)
C Joey Bart (Georgia Tech)
C J.J. Schwarz (Florida)
1B Andrew Vaughn (California)
1B Tristen Gagan (S.E. Missouri St.)
1B Julian Infante (Vanderbilt)
2B Wade Bailey (Georgia Tech)
2B Lee Solomon (Lipscomb)
2B Braxton Morris (Morehead St.)
3B Taylor Schwaner (Southeastern La.)
3B Sam Fragale (Virginia Tech)
3B Luke Miller (Indiana)
3B Alec Bohm (Wichita St.)
SS Will Wilson (N.C. State)
SS Nico Hoerner (Stanford)
SS Reid Leonard (Morehead St.)
OF Tristan Pompey (Kentucky)
OF Zach Watson (LSU)
OF Travis Swaggerty (South Alabama)
OF Steele Walker (Oklahoma)
UT Tom Stoffel (Virginia Tech)

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