Cards place eight on All-Southland Teams

GO CARDINALS <b>Eric Harrington was named to the All-Southland First Team for the second time in his career.</b>
GO CARDINALS
Eric Harrington was named to the All-Southland First Team for the second time in his career.
GO CARDINALS

May 20, 2013

BEAUMONT – After putting together the first winning conference record since 2009, the Lamar baseball team capped its strong regular season by placing a league-leading eight Cardinals on the All-Southland teams.

V.J. Bunner, Eric Harrington and Darian Johnson each took home first team honors, with SLC Newcomer of the Year Sam Bumpers headlining a second team group that also featured Seth Dornak, Jonathan Dziedzic, Aaron Olivas and Brad Picha.

The total is tied for the second-most in school history and the most since the 2004 season.

Both Harrington and Johnson made repeat appearances on the All-SLC teams after Johnson took home third team accolades a year ago and Harrington did so in 2009. Johnson is the first to accomplish the feat in back-to-back years since Tyler Link in 2008-09, and Harrington is the first two-time first teamer since Brian Sisk.

Harrington, who unfortunately had his season cut short due to an arm injury earlier this month, finished his ultimate campaign in Beaumont with a 7-1 record and a 2.38 earned run average. The Groves native completed his LU career as the school’s all-time leader in games started (55) and innings pitched (384.1). He’s also second in strikeouts (257) and third in wins (28).


 

 

Johnson posted Lamar’s best batting average for the second consecutive season, collecting a league-best 82 hits with a .369 average. He also scored 42 times and knocked in 44, which is tied for the fourth-best total in the Southland this season.

V.J. Bunner’s year at second base was revelatory as the native of nearby Vidor helped the Cards convert the most double plays in the Southland. He also posted a .325 batting average to go along with a slugging mark of .515, the third-best in the conference. He finished the year with a team-leading six home runs and 13 doubles to go along with 43 scores despite missing 10 games earlier in the season.

Bumpers, who is the first-ever Card to earn SLC Newcomer of the Year, likely would’ve been a first team player in any other year, but unfortunately for him, he shares the same position as Player and Hitter of the Year Hunter Dozier of Stephen F. Austin. Bumpers formally introduced himself to LU fans with an eight-RBI opening weekend and continued to impress throughout the season, finishing with a .341 average with 19 doubles and 46 runs, marks that rank second and fourth in the conference, respectively. The graduate of Iowa Western College was also an important cog in a Cardinal defense that ranked among the top five for much of the season in fielding percentage.

Fellow infielders Olivas and Picha joined Bumpers on the second team. Olivas was one of five LU players to post a .300-or-better batting average, concluding the regular season at .306 to go along with 33 scores and 39 RBI. An All-SLC preseason selection, Picha finished the year with 39 RBI as well and a .296 average.

Seth Dornak rounded out the second team hitters, finishing with a .314 batting average, 16 doubles, 36 RBI and a .396 on-base percentage.

Jonathan Dziedzic was the lone LU pitcher on the squad. The southpaw out of Humble became Lamar’s all-time strikeout leader earlier this season, and finished this season with 99 Ks in 96.2 innings of work. He posted a 6-4 mark for the year and ranked eighth in the league in opponent batting average at .234.

Zach Luevanos was the only other Card to be recognized by the league, garnering an honorable mention nod for his play at catcher.

In addition to Dozier, Oral Roberts’ Alex Gonzalez headlined the individual awards, earning Pitcher of the Year. Brett Higginbotham of SFA earned Relief Pitcher of the Year, and McNeese pitcher Bryce Kingsley took home Freshman of the Year. David Pierce, skipper of conference champion Sam Houston State, was named Coach of the Year.

Lamar will open play at the 2013 Southland Tournament later this week at Constellation Field in Sugar Land. The Cards are set to do battle with Southeastern Louisiana, and first pitch is set for 7 p.m.

 

2013 Southland All-Conference Teams

First Team

Pos.         Name                             University                            Class                     Hometown

1B           Brad Porras                  A&M-Corpus Christi           Sr.                 Needville, Texas

2B           V.J. Bunner                   Lamar                                    Sr.                        Vidor, Texas

3B           Kevin Miller2                Sam Houston State             Sr.                  Pearland, Texas

SS            Hunter Dozier2             Stephen F. Austin                Jr.                     Denton, Texas

OF           Darian Johnson2          Lamar                                    Sr.                    Chandler, Ariz.

OF           Eric Weiss                     A&M-Corpus Christi           Sr.                  Houston, Texas

OF           Forrest Allday2             Central Arkansas                 Sr.           Friendswood, Texas

C             Anthony Azar2             Sam Houston State             Jr.      The Woodlands, Texas

DH          Jonathan Gonzales2    A&M-Corpus Christi           Sr.                        Buda, Texas

P              Alex Gonzalez             Oral Roberts                         Jr.              Delray Beach, Fla.

P              Caleb McClanahan    Central Arkansas                 Sr.                        Wynne, Ark.

P              Eric Harrington2           Lamar                                    Sr.                     Groves, Texas

 

Second Team

Pos.         Name                             University                            Class                     Hometown

1B           Brad Picha                    Lamar                                    Sr.             Stevensville, Texas

2B           Jessie Plumlee              Sam Houston State             Sr.                    Rowlett, Texas

3B           Aaron Olivas                Lamar                                    Sr.                     El Paso, Texas

SS            Sam Bumpers              Lamar                                    Jr.                Bourbornnais, Ill.

OF           Luke Plucheck             Sam Houston State             Jr.                   Tomball, Texas

OF           Ricardo Sanchez         Stephen F. Austin                Jr.                   Houston, Texas

OF           Jackson Gooch            McNeese State                     Jr.     Delta, British Columbia

C             Michael Marietta        Central Arkansas                 Sr.                 Oak View, Calif.

DH          Seth Dornak                 Lamar                                    Sr.                  Pearland, Texas

P              Caleb Smith2                Sam Houston State             Jr.                Huntsville, Texas

P              Jonathan Dziedzic      Lamar                                    Jr.                    Humble, Texas

P              Brett Higginbotham    Stephen F. Austin                Sr.                       Hutto, Texas

 

Third Team

Pos.         Name                             University                            Class                     Hometown

1B           Chayse Marion            McNeese State                     Jr.               Red Deez, Alberta

2B           Cody Stephens            A&M-Corpus Christi           Jr.                    Concord, Calif.

3B           Jesse Buratt                  Southeastern La.                 Jr.                       Gonzales, La.

SS            Ben Hernandez           Southeastern La.                 Sr.                        Zachary, La.

OF           Harry Slade                  Southeastern La.                 Sr.                    Baltimore, Md.

OF           Matt Richard               Nicholls State                       Sr.                      Gonzales, La.

OF           Jonathan Davis3          Central Arkansas                 Jr.                      Camden, Ark.

C             Jose Trevino                 Oral Roberts                         So.       Corpus Christi, Texas

DH          Tyler Boss                     Oral Roberts                         Jr.                       Spring, Texas

P              Trevor Foss                   A&M-Corpus Christi           Sr.                    Janesville, Wis.

P              Trevor Belicek             A&M-Corpus Christi           So.                    Uvalde, Texas

P              Blake Ware                  McNeese State                     Sr.               White Oak, Texas

 

Honorable Mention – First Base: Max Lamantia, Stephen F. Austin. Second Base: Blake Marchal, Central Arkansas; Freddy Villalobos, Stephen F. Austin. Third Base: Brandon Tierney, A&M-Corpus Christi. Shortstop: Carter Burgess, Sam Houston State. Outfield: Will Watson, Northwestern State; Jordan Lee, A&M-Corpus Christi; Colt Atwood, Sam Houston State; Kevin Cho, Oral Roberts. Catcher:>Zach Luevanos, Lamar. Designated Hitter: Jameson Fisher, Southeastern La.; Hayden Simerly, Sam Houston State. Pitchers: Cody Dickson, Sam Houston State; Chase Greening, Stephen F. Austin; Bryce Biggerstaff, Central Arkansas; Bryce Kingsley, McNeese State; Jeff Enloe, Central Arkansas; Tate Scioneaux, Southeastern La.

 

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