Will Dion (Sulphur HS)

McNeese State’s Will Dion closes the game out against Central Arkansas in the championship game at the Southland Conference baseball tournament at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas, on May 25th.

By Rodrick Anderson

randerson@sulphurdailynews.com

 

Several local products excelled on the mound at the collegiate level this year led by a trio of Sulphur High School grads in McNeese State freshman Will Dion, LSU Eunice sophomore Andrew Sheridan and Louisiana Tech junior Kyle Griffin.

Dion, a walk-on, was the Cowboys’ top arm out of the bullpen this year with a 1.98 earned run average and 5-0 record with six saves. Dion struck out 62 and walked just 14 batters in 50 innings. He held opponents to a .155 batting average.

Dion earned second team freshman all-American honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Dion helped the Cowboys win 10 of their final 13 regular season games plus a perfect 5-0 run through the Southland Conference tournament for the Cowboys’ first tournament title since 2003.

In the SLC championship game, Dion pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the save in a 4-2 win over Central Arkansas.

In the NCAA regional round in Nashville at Vanderbilt University, Dion pitched three and 1/3 scoreless innings 6-5 loss to Indiana.

Sheridan posted his second 10-win season in Eunice and led the Bengals to a 51-8 record and the championship game of the NJCAA Division II Region 23.

Sheridan went 12-2 with a 1.93 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings. He was named to the All-Region 23 team.

In two seasons at LSUE, Sheridan, who will play for McNeese State next year, went 23-2 with a 2.10 ERA. 

He struck out a career-high 11 batters on February 22 to lead the Bengals to a 10-0 win over Kellogg.

Griffin posted career highs in wins (7), innings pitched (58) and strikeouts (36) this year.

He led the Bulldogs in wins and had a 4.19 ERA while going 7-4 with four starts.

In three seasons in Ruston, Griffin has a 3.75 ERA with a 14-7 record over 129 2/3 innings.

His best game was on March 11th when he pitched six scoreless innings in a 7-0 win over Sam Houston State.

A pair of former Sulphur High School standouts made some solid contributions in their first season at UL-Lafayette.

Conner Cook (3-0) and Chance Stone (1-0) combined for four wins in 43 2/3 innings.

Cooke got his first win on March 2nd with a scoreless inning in a 4-3 win over Maryland. He also pitched four scoreless innings with six strikeouts in a 6-4 loss to McNeese State.

Stone earned his win on March 13th, 6-5 over Southern Mississippi in 12 innings, after striking out three over three innings.

Stone, Cooke and Dion played for the Tors’ 2018 Class 5A state runner up team.

Two former Sam Houston High School stars also had solid 2019 campaigns.

At Centenary College, sophomore Connor Cudd went 5-4 with four saves for the Gents and earned second team All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference honors. He had a 3.17 ERA and pitched 54 innings.

At McNeese State, senior Peyton McLemore went 1-2 with a 3.88 ERA for the SLC tournament champions. He had 50 strikeouts and 20 walks in 51 innings.

Offensively, Centenary sophomore Chris Haggard, McNeese State sophomore Reid Bourque and senior Dustin Duhon were productive at the plate. All three prepped at Sam Houston High School.

Haggard played second and third base for the Gents and earned honorable mention All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference honors. He batted .323 with 31 runs scored, five doubles, three triples, two home runs and 28 RBI while stealing 11 bases. He had a 4-for-4 game on March 16th in a 20-5 win over Austin with four runs, four RBIs and missed hitting for the cycle by a home run.

He had a .937 fielding percentage and turned seven double plays.

Duhon started 43 games at catcher for the Cowboys while batting .252 with 9 doubles and 23 RBIs. Defensively, he threw out 15 of 27 base runners and had a .989 fielding percentage.

Softball

Sophomore Casidy Chaumont (Sam Houston HS) started at second base in 31 games this season for the UL-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns and was second on the team in doubles (10).

This season, Chaumont upped her batting average by 79 points to .286 and saw her on base percentage increase from .277 to .354. She drove in 14 runs and scored 21.

Chaumont announced last week that she was transferring to the University of Missouri with two years of eligibility left.

In her third season at Southeastern Louisiana, former Sam Houston High School all-state pitcher Tanner Wright posted career highs in ERA (2.81), wins (6), innings pitched (67.1) and strikeouts (41).

The junior went 6-5 in nine starts.

LOCALS IN COLLEGE

Softball

Position players

Player, School Cl. Pos. Avg. R 2B 3B HR RBI SB

Casidy Chaumont, UL-Lafayette So. 2B .286 21 10 0 0 14 7

Taylor Edwards, McNeese Sr. UT .220 8 2 0 0 1 1

Morgan Harlow, LSU Eunice RS Fr. IF/OF .375 10 1 0 0 2 4

Tayler Strother, McNeese So. IF .212 5 2 0 0 6 2

Padyn Williams, McNeese So. UT .000 1 0 0 0 0 1

Gracie Duvall, McNeese Fr. C .000 1 0 0 0 0 1

Colbin Patin, Delta State Jr. IF .000 1 0 0 0 0 0

Pitchers

Player, School Cl. ERA W-L IP K BB SV WP HBP

Tanner Wright, Southeastern La. Jr. 2.81 6-5 67.1 41 32 0 1 5

Baseball

Position players

Player, School Cl. Pos. Avg. R 2B 3B HR RBI SB

Chris Haggard, Cetenary So. 2B/3B .323 31 5 3 2 28 11

Reid Bourque, McNeese So. IF .222 33 5 3 1 24 22

Dustin Duhon, McNeese Sr. C .252 19 9 1 1 23 4

Kendall Kennedy, Baton Rouge CC So. OF .203 10 2 0 0 2 3

Jacob Stracner, McNeese Sr. UT .212 14 2 0 3 9 1

Jake Cochran, McNeese Sr. UT .232 5 2 0 0 3 0

Austin Nelson, McNeese Jr. UT .250 1 0 0 0 3 0

Petyon Johnson, McNeese So. UT .000 0 0 0 0 1 0

Scott Jones, LSUE Fr. IF .000 0 0 0 0 0 0

Pitchers

Player, School Cl. ERA W-L IP K BB SV WP HBP

Will Dion, McNeese Fr. 1.98 5-0 50 62 14 6 2 3

Andrew Sheridan, LSUE So. 1.93 12-2 88.2 67 21 0 2 17

Connor Cudd, Centenary So. 3.17 5-4 54 25 31 4 3 10

Kyle Griffin, La. Tech Jr. 4.19 7-4 58 36 20 0 1 9

Tanner Young, Baton Rouge CC Fr. 7.50 1-6 48 40 27 0 5 8

Conner Cooke, UL-Lafayette Fr. 7.99 3-0 32.2 23 15 0 2 4

Chance Stone, UL-Lafayette Fr. 10.64 1-0 11 10 11 0 2 2

Peyton McLemore, McNeese Sr. 3.88 1-2 51 50 20 1 6 3

Brody Strahan, McNeese So. 3.86 0-0 7 6 3 0 0 1

Kale Breaux, Miss. St. RS Jr. 0.00 0-0 0.1 1 1 0 0 0