It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely worth the wait.
From a 2019 season marred by the destruction of the EF-3 tornado that wrecked their home field, to a 2020 campaign curtailed a few weeks in by the pandemic, Louisiana Tech’s baseball players stuck together and committed to making the 2021 season all it could possibly be.
The fantastic accomplishments of the Diamond ‘Dogs this spring will be celebrated once again on Wednesday at 7 at Railroad Park in downtown Ruston.
Individual accolades keep rolling in for the stars of such a spectacular season. Two more All-America squads were announced late last week.
In their final years as Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, longtime teammates and fellow Texans Parker Bates and Hunter Wells earned 2021 ABCA/Rawlings All-America honors announced by the American Baseball Coaches Association Saturday.
Bates, now an All-America honoree in back-to-back seasons, was named a third team ABCA All-American after leading Conference USA in on-base percentage (.471) while also leading the Bulldogs in RBI (62), triples (four) and HBPs (14). The Tyler, Texas native led the C-USA with a .406 batting average and a .523 on-base percentage in conference play.
Wells, who earned three All-America honors in as many days, netted his second first team ABCA All-America nod after leading Conference USA in batting average (.385), hits (101) and total bases (169). Wells set four records in his final season with the Bulldogs, including the career hits record and career triples record at Louisiana Tech.
Friday, the Katy, Texas, product was a third-team pick on the Perfect Game All-America squad. Thursday, he picked up first-team honors from Baseball America.
Bates and Wells, LA Tech’s two- and three-hole batters from the 2021 season combined to tally 57 multi-hit games and 30 multi-RBI games.
Bates joins Wells and teammates Taylor Young and Jonathan Fincher to form the quartet of Bulldogs to earn All-America honors. Young was named a Collegiate Baseball third team All-American on June 3, while Fincher was tabbed an National Collegiate Baseball Writers third team All-American last Wednesday.
The ABCA teams are voted on by members of the American Baseball Coaches Association and the process is led by the ABCA NCAA Division I All-America Committee, which is chaired by Tommy Raffo of Arkansas State.
PHOTOS: Bates-by Emerald McIntyre; Wells-by Tom Morris