Mississippi State Senator and U.S. Senate Candidate Chris McDaniel is seeking access to poll books in the state to see if voters who voted in the June 3 Democratic primary also voted in the June 24 Republican runoff.
Six-term incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) won his primary against Tea Party challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the Republican runoff and will face Democrat and former Rep. Travis Childers in the November election.
While the counting for the primary on June 3 went into June 4, last night’s runoff was decided before 11 p.m.
Six of the state’s schools had players named to both the first and second All-Louisiana teams for the 2014 season.
By ANNA CLAIRE THOMAS
WRITTEN FOR THE LSWA
Two of Louisiana’s top-ranked baseball programs this season, Louisiana-Lafayette and LSU, continue to collect postseason accolades with a combined 19 players selected to the first and second teams, as well as earning four of the five special awards for the 2014 All-Louisiana College Baseball Team, as selected and announced by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Louisiana-Lafayette led the way with a total of 10 players named to both the first and second teams, as well as picking up two of the five special awards given each year. The Cajuns ended the season with an overall record of 58-10 and reached the NCAA Super Regionals before falling to Ole Miss in a best-of-three series in Lafayette. LSU followed up by capturing a combined nine spots on the two teams, along with picking up two special awards after going 46-16-1 and hosting an NCAA Regional in 2014.
The teams were selected on the basis of nominations made by the sports information and media relations contacts from the four-year baseball playing schools in the state. The list of nominations, based on stats and honors accumulated through the conference tournaments, was voted on by a panel of media and sports information representatives who are LSWA members.
Louisiana-Lafayette second baseman Jace Conrad was named the Hitter of the Year in the state, while LSU’s Aaron Nola earned Pitcher of the Year honors for the second straight season after posting an 11-1 record and being named the 2014 SEC Pitcher of the Year. Tiger pitcher Jared Poche’ was voted as Freshman of the Year, while Southeastern Louisiana outfielder Andrew Godbold was named the Newcomer of the Year for first-year Louisiana non-freshman players.
A total of seven coaches were nominated for Coach of the Year, which was awarded to Tony Robichaux of Louisiana-Lafayette. Also receiving votes were Nicholls State’s Seth Thibodeaux, Southeastern Louisiana’s Matt Riser and Jake Gautreau from Tulane.
Conrad, the 2014 Sun Belt Player of the Year, ended the regular season with a .367 clip, seven home runs and 55 runs batted in for the Cajuns. A Louisville Slugger All-American, Conrad became the first Louisiana-Lafayette player to be named a first team all-American since the 1999 season. A native of Lafayette, Conrad was also named a finalist for the Gregg Olson Award, which goes to college baseball’s breakout player of the year.
A two-time SEC Pitcher of the Year, Nola entered the NCAA Tournament with a 10-1 record and a 1.49 ERA, as the junior from Baton Rouge helped lead the Tigers to an SEC Tournament championship. A first team all-American and Golden Spikes Award finalist, Nola led the SEC with 127 strikeouts, ranked second in the league in ERA and third in the nation in strikeouts. Most recently, Nola was a first-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
As a freshman pitcher for LSU, Poche’ posted a 9-3 record throughout the regular season with a 2.21 ERA. The Lutcher native struck out 51 batters in 85.2 innings and held opponents to a .214 batting average in 15 starts. Poche’, who was also named to the SEC All-Tournament team, helped lead the Tigers to a No. 8 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, as well as a SEC Tournament championship.
In his first season at Southeastern Louisiana, Godbold hit .348 with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 57 RBI, as the Oak Park, Ill. native was named the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year after coming from Triton College last season. Godbold, who is also a first team selection on this year’s All-Louisiana squad, ended the season with a league-leading 58 RBI and a .349 clip, which ranked second in the conference.
Robichaux, who just completed his 20th season at Louisiana-Lafayette, won the state’s top coaching honor for the sixth time in his career after guiding the Cajuns to a unanimous No. 1 ranking in college baseball, as well as advancing and hosting an NCAA Super Regional. Robichaux led Louisiana-Lafayette to 58 wins this season, which is the most in both Sun Belt and program history. The Cajuns’ head coach was also named Coach of the Year in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007 and 2010.
In addition to Godbold’s first team selection and Newcomer of the Year award, the Lions of Southeastern Louisiana picked up two other first team selections with pitcher Andro Cutura and catcher Jameson Fisher earning first team honors. McNeese State first baseman Chayse Marion was also named to the first team, while Nicholls State’s Taylor Byrd made an appearance on this year’s first team ballot. Rounding out the first team selections was Northwestern State third baseman Chase Daughdrill.
LSWA ALL-LOUISIANA COLLEGE BASEBALL TEAMS (Stats based on games played through conference tournaments)
FIRST TEAMPOS/NAME, SCHOOL/CL/HOMETOWN/NOTES
P/Carson Baranik, Louisiana-Lafayette/Jr./Bossier City, La./10-1, 3.30 ERA, Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year
P/Taylor Byrd, Nicholls State/Sr./Petal, Miss./8-3, 1.92 ERA, 80 K, Southland Pitcher of the Year
P/Andro Cutura, Southeastern La./Jr./Pearl River, La./10-2, 1.72 ERA, 95 K, .212 Opp. BA
P/Aaron Nola, LSU/Jr./Baton Rouge, La./10-1, 1.49 ERA, SEC Pitcher of the Year, 1st team All-American