Baseball honors continue with naming of Southland 1980s All-Decade Team

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GO CARDINALS

GO CARDINALS

June 11, 2013

FRISCO – If the 1970s established Lamar as a baseball power in the Southland Conference, the 1980s certainly continued that tradition as the Jim Gilligan-led Cardinals took home three championships in the decade, and on Tuesday, the league honored the achievement, naming seven players to the All-Decade team and Gilligan as the Co-Coach of the Decade.

Gilligan, who shared the honor with Louisiana Tech’s Pat Patterson once again, was named the Coach of the Decade for the 1970s last week and also earned a spot on the All-Decade squad as a player for the 1960s.

“This really means a lot to me,” Gilligan said. “To share these last two awards with guy like Pat is one of the greatest honors I’ve received. He was one of my best friends in baseball, and we had a friendly rivalry going. I appreciated him more than I can articulate. As for the team, we saw a lot of great players come through here, and even though I was only coach for part of the decade, I have some of my finest memories from that time.”

Gilligan left Lamar following the 1986 season to pursue a career in minor league management. He returned to Beaumont in the same capacity in 1992 and has held that post ever since.

All-Decade team members from Lamar include major leaguers Beau Allred, Jerald Clark and Tony Mack as well as Kim Christensen, Alan Marr, David Poss and Keith Silver.

Christensen served as the bridge from the great teams of the 70s into the 80s. The third baseman is one of the most decorated Cardinal hitters in history. After serving in a reserve role for much of the 1979 conference championship season, he took home All-Southland honors in both 1980 and 1981. He currently holds school records for most runs batted in (73) and walks (68) in a season. His 190 career RBI still ranks as the most in program history, and he went on to get drafted in the 15th round by the Chicago White Sox.

“Both Kim and his twin brother Kerry had great careers for us,” Gilligan said. “He came from a class family and played with class. He was just a fabulous third baseman, and I loved to watch him play when the game was on the line.”

Fellow infielder Alan Marr also played a vital role in those early 1980s teams, earning all-league honors in both 1980 and 1981 at second base. He racked up 116 hits in his two-year stint in Beaumont, and set a then-team record of 12 home runs in 1981. His .351 career average ranks as the sixth-best in LU history.

“Alan picked up right where Joe McCann left off, giving us the best second baseman in the conference for six straight seasons,” Gilligan said. “He was just a great hitting second baseman, and he had a phenomenal arm. He’s really like a part of the family to me, and he’s a scout now. He came to Beaumont a few times this year to look at our guys.”

With the duo of Christensen and Marr taking care of business in the field, Tony Mack did the bulk of the work on the mound, leading LU to a 54-26 season and its first conference title of the decade. Mack played just two seasons in Beaumont, but picked up SLC Pitcher of the Year honors both times en route to getting drafted in the third round by the California Angels. After compiling an 8-4 record with a 2.39 earned run average in 1981, he ran off a 10-1 mark with seven complete games and a 1.89 ERA a year later.

“Tony just had poise like you couldn’t believe,” Gilligan explained. “He made me look like a great coach every time he pitched. He beat Texas at Texas and led us to a 1-0 win over Arizona State. He was good.”

Clark, Silver and Poss led the next group of standouts as LU took home conference championships in both 1984 and 1986.

Clark, who ultimately played at the major league level for the San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies and Minnesota Twins, was a first team All-SLC member in both 1984 and 1985. The first baseman earned Hitter of the Year accolades in the first of those seasons, posting a .315 average to go along with 54 RBI and 27 extra-base hits. He blew those numbers out of the water just a year later, knocking in 62 with 12 homers and a .378 average in 1985. He currently ranks first all-time in total bases, second in hits and third in RBI.

“He struggled a bit when he first got here, but I always knew he’d be a big leaguer,” Gilligan revealed. “He had unbelievable work habits, and it was really special to hear him mentioned in Tony Gwynn’s Hall of Fame induction speech. I’m very proud that he was included on this team.”

Silver began his career in the Red and White in the infield with Clark before a chance encounter with a scout convinced him to try his luck on the mound. Safe to say, it worked out. Silver went on to be named the 1984 SLC Pitcher of the Year, setting school records for most wins (12), most consecutive wins (10), most complete games (10) and most shutouts (4) in the process. The San Francisco Giants selected him in the fourth round upon the season’s completion.

“Keith was one of the great ones,” Gilligan said. “He was our starting shortstop, but it looked like he had a better arm over there than some of our pitchers. After a scout pointed out to him that he had a chance to get drafted as a pitcher, the rest was history.”

Poss’ name is also all over the LU record books. The pitcher took home Southland honors in both 1984 and 1987, and he currently holds the all-time appearance record with 91. His marks of 33 wins and 355.2 innings pitched rank second.

“David was very talented,” Gilligan said. “I think the moment that most defined him was a TV game that we played up at Texas back in 1984. He came on in relief that day, and everybody got a chance to see him work.”

Allred rounds out the team for the Cards. He made a huge impact in his two years in Beaumont, earning All-SLC honors after hitting .352 with 16 homers and 62 scores. The outfielder was selected in the 25th round by the Indians, and debuted in the majors in 1989.

“Beau was a sweet-swinging left-hander,” Gilligan said. “He just did it on another level, and he’s on a short list of guys who hit home runs off of Roger Clemens in college.”

 

#LUBaseball

 

Southland Conference 1980s All-Decade Team (1980-89; 40 players)

Name, Team

Pos.

All-SLC

Superlatives

Jay Adcock, Louisiana Tech

1B

1979, 1980

1980 Hitter of the Year

Beau Allred, Lamar

OF

1987

1989-91 MLB, Cleveland

Dan Banas, Louisiana Tech

OF

1981

1981 Hitter of the Year

Jim Boehne, Louisiana Tech

P/DH

1985

1985 Pitcher of the Year

Steve Boulet, McNeese State

OF

 

1988 Newcomer of the Year

Kim Christensen, Lamar

3B

1980, 1982

 

Jerald Clark, Lamar

OF

1984, 1985

1984 Hitter of the Year, 1988-95 MLB, San Diego, Colorado, Minnesota

Frank Colston, Louisiana Tech

OF

1985, 1986

 

Todd Cox, Texas-Arlington

OF

1984

1984 Batting Average Champion

Chuck Finley, Louisiana-Monroe

P

 

1986-02 MLB, California, Cleveland, St. Louis; 200-Game Winner, Over 2,600 Strikeouts

Steve Foster, Texas-Arlington

P

1988

1988 Pitcher of the Year

Kenneth Garza, Sam Houston State

P

1989

1989 Pitcher of the Year

Jeff Gremillion, McNeese State

OF

1989

1989 Hitter & Player of the Year

Todd Hale, Texas-Arlington

3B

1983, 1984

 

Lawrence Hanlon, Texas-Arlington

SS

1989, 1990

1989 Newcomer of the Year

Roger Hickernell, McNeese State

SS

1982

1982 Batting Average Champion

Trey Hillman, Texas-Arlington

SS/2B

1983, 1984, 1985

1985 Hitter of the Year

Tom Krupa, Louisiana Tech

1B

1982

1982 Hitter of the Year

Richie LeBlanc, Louisiana Tech

P

1986, 1987

1986 & 1987 Pitcher of the Year

Tony Mack, Lamar

P

1981, 1982

1981 & 1982 Pitcher of the Year

Tim Maloney, Arkansas State

OF

1981, 1982, 1983

1983 Hitter of the Year

Charley Montoyo, Louisiana Tech

2B

1986, 1987

1986 & 1987 Hitter of the Year

Alan Marr, Lamar

2B

1980, 1981

 

Terry Matthews, Louisiana-Monroe

DH/P

1987

1991-99 MLB, Texas, Florida, Baltimore, Kansas City

Doug Myers, Texas-Arlington

P

1986

1986 Newcomer of the Year

Doug Ortman, Louisiana Tech

OF

1984, 1986

 

Roger Piacenti, Texas-Arlington

OF

1982, 1983

 

Charlie Phillips, McNeese State

SS

1987, 1988, 1989

 

Rickey Poe, Arkansas State

OF

1980

1980 Batting Average Champion

David Poss, Lamar

P

1984, 1987

 

Jeff Richardson, Louisiana Tech

SS

1985, 1986

 

David Segui, Louisiana Tech

1B

1987

1987 Newcomer of the Year; 1990-04 MLB, eight teams

Keith Silver, Lamar

P

1984

1984 Pitcher of the Year

Joe Sims, Louisiana-Monroe

OF

1985, 1986

 

Matt Skinner, Texas-Arlington

C

1984, 1985

 

Chip Stratton, McNeese State

1B

1988

1988 Player of the Year

Keith Thibodeaux, Louisiana Tech

P

1980

1980 Pitcher of the Year

Randy Thorpe, Texas-Arlington

OF

1980, 1981

SLC Career Stolen Bases Leader (151)

Frank Tornabenne, Louisiana-Monroe

OF

1983, 1984

 

Fred Wilburn, Texas-Arlington

P

1983

1983 Pitcher of the Year

 

Co-Coaches of the Decade: Jim Gilligan, Lamar, and Pat Patterson, Louisiana Tech


 

 

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