Nola Named National Pitcher of the Year

Nola Named National Pitcher of the Year

Posted on 28 June 2014 by Allen


LSU junior right-hander Aaron Nola was named the 2014 National Pitcher of the Year Friday by the College Baseball Foundation. He will be presented with the award Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas, during the annual “Night of Champions” event at the Overton Hotel.

Nola is the sixth Fighting Tiger in school history to win a national player or pitcher of the year award, joining pitcher Ben McDonald (1989 Golden Spikes Award), pitcher Lloyd Peever (1992 Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year); first baseman Eddy Furniss (1998 Dick Howser Trophy); catcher Brad Cresse (2000 Johnny Bench Award); and shortstop Alex Bregman (2013 Brooks Wallace Award).

Nola, a 2014 Golden Spikes Award finalist and a two-time Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year, enjoyed a brilliant three-year career at LSU, compiling a 30-6 mark and a 2.09 ERA in 332 innings with 42 walks and 345 strikeouts. He is No. 3 on the LSU career list for strikeouts, No. 4 for ERA and No. 5 for pitching wins.

Nola, a Baton Rouge native, was named in 2014 a first-team all-American for the second straight season, as he posted an 11-1 mark and a 1.47 ERA in 116.1 innings with 27 walks and 134 strikeouts.

“It’s been such a privilege to coach Aaron Nola, who is truly deserving of this prestigious honor,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He is as fine of a pitcher as I’ve coached in my 32 years in this profession. He was everything you wanted in a pitcher. You gave him the ball, and he would go out and compete as hard as he could every night. The consistency of his performance from week to week can’t be matched. He constantly met the challenges and got better. He gave you everything he had.

“He had the best control of any pitcher I’ve been around. On top of that, he had the intangibles. He had a little something extra that allowed him to raise his game when he needed to the most. I’m very proud of his career at LSU. He represented this team and this state with such class. He is a wonderful young man, and all of us at LSU wish him well. He’ll be playing in the big leagues very soon.”

Nola became the third-highest draft choice in LSU baseball history earlier this month when he was selected as the seventh pick in the first round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Nola began his pro career this week with Phillies’ Class A affiliate in Clearwater, Fla.

Nola was the 22nd-round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 after his senior season at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge; however, he elected to enroll at LSU instead of signing a pro contract.

“I am so glad I had the opportunity to come to LSU,” Nola said. “It had been a dream of mine, and I got to play under the best coaching staff in the country. I’m so grateful to the fans, coaches and my team. I thank everybody for making it so special.

“It has been such an unbelievable experience, and I couldn’t imagine going to any other school. I’m so glad I came to college to be a part of this program. My teammates have been so good to me, and it has been a blessing to be at LSU.”

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LSU’s Patrick promoted to Assistant Coach

LSU’s Patrick promoted to Assistant Coach

Posted on 24 June 2014 by Allen


LSU men’s basketball Head Coach Johnny Jones announced on Tuesday the promotion of coaching staff member David Patrick to assistant head coach for the 2014-15 season.

The 38-year-old Patrick has been on Jones’ staff the past two seasons at LSU assisting in both game and practice coaching responsibilities, scouting preparations for opponents while also helping Jones recruit some of the nation’s top talent to come to LSU.

The contract for Patrick must be approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors at its next meeting.

“Coach David Patrick has done an excellence job on our staff the past two seasons,” said Coach Jones. “His hard work, tireless effort, loyalty and selfless attitude have helped move our program forward. We are pleased to announce that he will serve the capacity of assistant head coach next season.”

Patrick came to LSU in 2012 after a stint as a personnel scout with the Houston Rockets of the NBA. Patrick on the collegiate level had served for four years on the staff at Saint Mary’s and one year at Nicholls State in Thibodaux.

Patrick played a major role in helping LSU acquire a recruiting class that was ranked fifth in the nation in 2013 that included All-SEC freshmen Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey and players that will make their LSU debuts this coming season including transfer Keith Hornsby and signees Elbert Robinson, Josh Gray, Jalyn Patterson and Aaron Epps. Patrick, who was born in Bermuda and grew up in Melbourne, Australia, is also using his lengthy international background to find future players for the Tigers.

He has worked with Jones through two seasons as the Tigers won 39 games as Jones became the first coach to have winning seasons at LSU in the opening two campaigns and he is part of just the second coaching staff at LSU to take a team to post-season play in one of their first two seasons on the job.

“When Coach Jones discussed with me in April about this promotion, I was very grateful. I cannot thank Coach and the LSU administration enough for giving me the opportunity to coach at the best University in the country,” Patrick said. “I am blessed to help Coach Jones in his quest to get LSU back to Final Fours. He is not only a great coach; he is a great person, which makes working and playing for him special. My family is thankful to be in the Tiger Family.”

In 1994, Patrick came to the United States after a stint playing with the Australian Junior National Team. He ended up in Baton Rouge and played his senior year of high school basketball at Chapel Trafton High where he led Trafton to the state quarterfinals and was chosen as the Louisiana Player of the Year. He was selected the district’s most valuable player, was a First Team All-Parish selection.

After high school, Patrick spent one season at Syracuse University where he was a member of the 1996 NCAA Final Four team. He then transferred to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette where he played for three seasons.

Patrick then went back to Australia where he played for the Canberra Cannons of the National Basketball League from 1999-01, being named Rookie of the Year in 2000. He then joined the Chester Jets of England’s British Basketball League in 2001-02, where he garnered second team all-league honors. He concluded his professional career in the Spanish Professional League.

Ironically, it would be with his Trafton High School coach, J. P. Piper, where he would get his start as a college coach after Piper was named Nicholls State head coach in the 2005-06 season.

Patrick then joined St. Mary’s as Director of Operations, before becoming a full-time assistant coach for three seasons on the St. Mary’s team. The Gaels went to the NCAA Tournament in both 2008 and 2010 (losing in the round of 16). The team won a school-record 28 games in 2009 and 2010.

Patrick is married to the former Cassie Frank of Oberlin, La., and they have two daughters, Bailee (8) and Madison (4).

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Nola Named POY Finalist by National College HOF

Nola Named POY Finalist by National College HOF

Posted on 17 June 2014 by Allen


The National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the Year Award watch list has been narrowed to three. The 2014 finalists are Aaron Nola of LSU, Blake Fox of Rice and Brendan McCurry of Oklahoma State.

The Pitcher of the Year Award, sponsored by Diamond, will be presented during the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual Night of Champions on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

“Each of these players was instrumental in his team’s regular-season and postseason success,” said Raymond Richardson, Pitcher of the Year Award co-chair. “They maintained their impressive numbers throughout the season, and they’re going to make it difficult to choose a winner.”

Nola, a junior right-hander from Baton Rouge, La., was named SEC Pitcher of the Year for the second year and finished his season with a 1.47 ERA. In his last two seasons, Nola had a 23-2 record with 256 strikeouts. He was the first round selection – seventh pick overall – of the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this month in the MLB Draft.

The National Pitcher of the Year Award is the third major college baseball honor for which Nola is a finalist. He is also a finalist of the Golden Spikes Award and for the Dick Howser Trophy.

Fox, a sophomore from Bellaire, Texas, had 69 strikeouts and only 27 walks in 104 2/3 innings to go with his 12-0 record on the year. He also had an opponent batting average of .236. The Owls ended the season with a loss to Texas A&M during regionals.

McCurry, a senior from Tupelo, Okla., is ranked fourth in the NCAA with 19 saves and made a school-record 34 appearances during this season. With a 5-0 record and 0.39 earned run average, he allowed only two runs in 46 innings and gave up just 29 hits while recording 53 strikeouts.

“Each of these guys was part of a dominant pitching staff, and yet they all managed to distinguish themselves,” said Chris Snead, award co-chair.

The Night of Champions event also features the announcement of the winners of the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award and the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, as well as the 2014 National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductions. The winners of the Johnny Bench Award and the Dick Howser Trophy also will be recognized.

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Fraley, Poche’ Named Freshman All-Americans

Fraley, Poche’ Named Freshman All-Americans

Posted on 10 June 2014 by Allen


LSU left-handed pitcher Jared Poche’ and outfielder Jake Fraley were named Monday as 2014 second-team Freshmen all-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Poche’, a native of Lutcher, La., was 9-3 this season with a 2.45 ERA in 16 starts, and he recorded 26 walks and 52 strikeouts in 91.2 innings.

He was named to SEC All-Tournament team after defeating Vanderbilt on May 21, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings with one walk and three strikeouts.

Poche’ defeated Miss. State on April 5, limiting the Bulldogs to one unearned run on three hits in six innings with two walks and six strikeouts, as he fired a season-high 108 pitches in the outing.

He recorded his first career SEC victory on March 22 with an exceptional performance against Georgia, earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors. Poche’ worked 8.2 innings, limiting UGA to one run on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

Fraley, a product of Middletown, Del., batted .372 (45-for-121) this season with seven doubles, one triple, three homers, 31 runs, eight steals and 29 RBI. He enjoyed a torrid stretch at the end of the season, batting .476 (20-for-42) over the Tigers’ final 12 games with one double, one homer, eight runs, five steals and five RBI.

Fraley helped lead LSU to the SEC Tournament title, batting a team-high .500 (5-for-10) with three runs, two RBI and two steals. He was also the Tigers’ leading hitter in SEC regular-season games, batting .350 (21-for-60) with four doubles, 13 runs, three steals and nine RBI.

LSU has produced nine Freshmen All-Americans in coach Paul Mainieri’s eight-season tenure, including Poche’, Fraley, shortstop Alex Bregman (2013), pitcher Aaron Nola (2012), second baseman JaCoby Jones (2011), pitcher Kurt McCune (2011), pitcher Matty Ott (2009), catcher Micah Gibbs (2008) and outfielder Blake Dean (2007).

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Spears to Join ‘SEC Nation’ Road Show

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Allen


Former LSU football All-American Marcus Spears has joined the lineup for the SEC Network’s two-hour traveling Saturday morning college football show – SEC Nation – the network announced on Saturday at the Music City Sports Festival in Nashville.

Spears will be joined on SEC Nation by host Joe Tessitore, analyst Tim Tebow, and college football enthusiast Paul Finebaum. The show will rotate among the 14 SEC campuses during the fall and will air from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. CT each week.

Spears, who was a key component of LSU’s 2003 national championship team, retired from pro football in April of 2014 after playing nine years in the NFL, including eight with the Dallas Cowboys. Spears was a three-year starter on the defensive line for LSU and he was twice named first team All-SEC (2003-04) and was a first team All-America as a senior in 2004.

Spears was drafted in the first round with the 20th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2005.

“Our SEC Nation team encompasses the veteran voices our fans expect and insider knowledge they deserve. Paul and Marcus bring a variety of experiences that will complement Joe and Tim, providing viewers with a high-caliber, full view of SEC matchups each week,” said Stephanie Druley, vice president, production for college networks.

Also, more sites for SEC Nation’s early season schedule were revealed adding to the previously announced appearances at South Carolina on August 28 and Auburn on August 30. The show will begin its September slate in Nashville, Tenn., home to Vanderbilt, on Sept. 6, followed by Gainesville, Fla., on Sept. 13, and Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Sept. 20.

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LSU has 9 players drafted

Posted on 11 May 2014 by Allen


After a nation-leading five players were selected in the opening three rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft, four more members of the LSU football team heard their name called during Saturday’s final four rounds.

The total of nine tied the school record set in last year’s draft and was the highest in the nation in 2014. Alabama and Notre Dame each had eight.

LSU head coach Les Miles has now put more players in the NFL draft (60) during his tenure at LSU (2005-present) than any other SEC school, and ranks second nationally to USC (61).

The first Tiger selected on day 3 of the draft was senior linebacker Lamin Barrow, who was the 156th overall pick, the 16th pick of the fifth round by the Denver Broncos.

Barrow, a linebacker from Marrero, received No. 18 prior to senior season in 2013, a jersey traditionally given to “the consummate LSU Tiger.” He was a two-year starter for the Tigers and finished his career with 230 tackles, seven pass breakups, seven QB hurries and recovered four fumbles. During 2013, he had a team-leading 91 tackles and earned second-team All-SEC honors.

The second pick of the sixth round (178 overall) was LSU senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger by the Tennessee Titans.

In just two seasons, Mettenberger threw for 5,783 yards (No. 6 in LSU history) and 35 TD’s (No. 5 in LSU history) while becoming the only player in school history to have back-to-back seasons of at least 2,500 yards. Twice named a permanent team captain by his teammates, he posted a 19-6 record before a knee injury sidelined him for LSU’s Outback Bowl game in 2013. He returned from surgery in December in time to take part in LSU’s Pro Day on April 9.

Three picks after Mettenberger, the Houston Texans selected senior running back Alfred Blue as the 181st overall pick, fifth in the sixth round.

Blue, a Boutte native, rushed for 1,253 yards and 11 TD’s during four seasons at LSU. He was sidelined by a knee injury after leading the Tigers in rushing through three weeks of the 2012 season.

Midway through the seventh round, LSU’s third wide receiver of the 2014 draft was selected, as senior James Wright became a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Wright was the 239th overall pick. He impressed scouts and pro coaches at LSU’s Pro Day, running a 4.43 40-yard dash with a 128-inch broad jump and a 38.5-inch vertical leap. While playing behind Beckham Jr. and Landry during his senior season, he made his biggest impact on special teams in 2013.

On Thursday night, junior Odell Beckham Jr. became the highest drafted wide receiver in school history when the New York Giants selected at No. 12 of the first round.

When the draft continued on Friday evening with rounds 2 and 3, four more Tigers had been taken, giving Miles’ squad the most picks in the opening three rounds (tied with Notre Dame at five).

First, junior defensive tackle Ego Ferguson came off the board with the 19th pick (51st overall) of the second round by the Chicago Bears. Ferguson became the 300th LSU Tiger to be selected in NFL Draft history, and his selection marked the 11th-straight year that an LSU defensive lineman was picked.

Four picks later, sophomore running back Jeremy Hill was tabbed by the Cincinnati Bengals as the 55th overall pick, 23rd in the second round. Though no backs were taken in the first 53 picks of the draft, Hill was the second of eight runners taken between 54th and 97th on Friday night.

Before the second round was done, junior Jarvis Landry was plucked by the Miami Dolphins as the 63rd overall selection, 31st in the second round. Landry joined Beckham Jr. as 1000-yard receivers in 2013, and was among a record 12 wide receivers taken in the first two rounds.

The last of five underclassmen to come off the board in the first three rounds was offensive guard Trai Turner, who was the 92nd overall pick (28th in the third round) by the Carolina Panthers.

LSU Players in the 2014 NFL Draft (through 3 rounds)

Round (Pick) Team – Player, Pos.
1 (12) Giants – Odell Beckham Jr., WR
2 (51) Bears – Ego Ferguson, DT
2 (55) Bengals – Jeremy Hill, RB
2 (63) Dolphins (from Broncos through 49ers) – Jarvis Landry, WR
3 (92) Panthers – Trai Turner, OG
5 (156) Broncos (From Bears) – Lamin Barrow, OLB
6 (178) Titans (From Redskins) – Zach Mettenberger, QB
6 (181) Texans (From Raiders) – Alfred Blue, RB
7 (239) Bengals – James Wright, WR

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Zach Mettenberger

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Titans trade up to get Zach Mettenberger in 6th round

Posted on 10 May 2014 by Allen

Zach Mettenberger

The Tennessee Titans executed their second trade of the 2014 NFL Draft and moved up in the sixth round to select LSU QB Zach Mettenberger from the 178th overall spot.

Tennessee traded its sixth-round (186th overall) and seventh-round (228th) selections to move up to the spot that was held by Washington. The Titans only wound up with six picks this year with the trade for Mettenberger and the trade for Justin Hunter last year that cost them a third round pick.

Mettenberger, at 6-foot-5 and 224 pounds, is recovering from a late-season knee injury. He ranked fourth in FBS with a 171.4 passer efficiency rating as a senior in 2013.

Mettenberger finished his three-year career at LSU 407-of-659 passing for 5,783 yards with 35 touchdowns against 15 interceptions.

The Titans will have a QB controversy for their second string quarterback. Charlie Whitehurst was signed earlier this year and the team recently picked up Tyler Wilson. Now with Mettenberger in the mix one of them won’t likely make the squad.

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Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24