D1 Baseball Honors Cabrera and Hilliard

by Bill Franques
D1 Baseball Honors Cabrera and Hilliard

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU outfielder Daniel Cabrera and pitcher Ma’Khail Hilliard were named Thursday to the D1 Baseball Freshman All-America teams. Cabrera was voted to the first team, and Hilliard was a second-team selection.

Thursday’s honor marked Cabrera’s fourth Freshman All-America award and Hilliard’s third Freshman All-America designation.

Cabrera, a Baton Rouge, La., product, batted .315 this season with 18 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 54 RBI. A Freshman All-SEC selection, he was seventh in the league in doubles and eighth in RBI.

He was named SEC Freshman of the Week on May 14 after he enjoyed an incredible week in leading LSU to three wins in four games, including an SEC series victory over Alabama. Cabrera hit .769 (10-for-13) in four games (May 9-13) with two doubles, one triple, two homers and 10 RBI. In the Tigers’ series victory over Alabama (May 11-13), he hit .700 (7-for-10) with two doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI.

Cabrera launched a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Tigers a 9-7 win over Tennessee on April 15, and in LSU’s 10-4 win over Tulane on March 21, he collected a career-high four hits – including two doubles – scored three runs and posted one RBI.

Cabrera, who posted a 12-game hitting streak – LSU’s second-longest of the season – from May 9 through May 25, batted .320 in the SEC Tournament with two doubles, five RBI and three runs. He is playing this summer as a starting outfielder for the United States Collegiate National Team.

Hilliard, a native of Central, La., was 9-5 this season with a 3.79 ERA in 17 appearances (12 starts). The right-hander was sixth in the SEC in wins, and he worked 76 innings, allowing 32 earned runs with 31 walks and 70 strikeouts. He began his collegiate career by firing 17 consecutive scoreless innings and did not allow a run until the first inning of a start versus Missouri on March 18.

Hilliard defeated Auburn on May 18, outdueling Casey Mize, the No. 1 selection in this week’s MLB Draft. Hilliard limited Auburn to two runs on seven hits in 7.1 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts, firing 97 pitches.

He was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Week on April 2 after delivering a brilliant outing on March 31 versus Mississippi State, firing six shutout innings and allowing just three hits with two walks and a career-high nine strikeouts.