Tech’s top-caliber performances earn accolades from LSWA, D1Baseball

Members of the Louisiana Tech Strategic Communications department collected six awards, including four first place honors, during the 2021 Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s annual sports information contest announced Sunday.

For the eighth straight year, LA Tech took home the most awards in the state as the department placed in six of the seven award categories. LSU claimed five awards while Northwestern State followed with four.

The Louisiana Tech Strategic Communications department has now won 106 awards in the state contest over the past 21 years, the second most of any program in the state. The four first-place finishes tied for the most since 2017.

In the Division I Release/Feature (Football) category, Ashley Springer, who just completed her first year at LA Tech, won third place for her feature on Bulldog offensive lineman Joshua Mote walking at graduation with his mother.

Also getting third place was Malcolm Butler in the Division III Release/Feature (WBB, Softball) category for his recap of the Lady Techster softball team using an 11th-hour rally to claim the UTSA series. It brought his awards total to 46, the most of any state SID in the last 21 years.

Kane McGuire collected first place in the Division IV Release/Feature (all other sports) for his release on the LA Tech Soccer team having to navigate through another unusual fall. It marked his 14th career award in nine years with the department.

“At 535 words, this may have been the shortest of the entries, but it was the most smartly written,” said the judges. “In writing on Tech’s soccer team dealing with a second straight unusual fall – COVID-19 in 2020 and having a tornado destroy its home pitch, this writer’s jaunty but succinct style shined.”

Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Nitz won first place for the fourth time in the College Radio Play-by-Play category for his call of Manny Garcia’s three-run homer sparking LA Tech Baseball’s comeback win over UAB. The radio legend has placed in the top two in eight of the nine years the category has existed.

In just the second year of having a Photography category, Tom Morris picked up first place honors for his photo of a Southern Miss pitcher in disbelief as Manny Garcia crosses home plate in the background after a walk-off homerun by the Bulldogs. The photo appears with this story.

“This photo epitomizes all that lies within every sport – the winners and losers – and emphasizes the quote from ABC broadcaster Jim McKay, ‘the thrill of victory … and the agony of defeat,’ ” said the judges.

A Graphics category is also in its second year of the awards. After earning second place last year, Courtney Pugh of Donnie Bell Design finished first with his graphic of LA Tech’s Amorie Archibald reaching the 1,000 career points mark.

WELLS’ TROPHY CASE SWELLS: Monday, Louisiana Tech third baseman Hunter Wells was once again named an All-American. Wells, already a two-time first team All-American and one-time third team All-American in this year’s assortment of A-A teams, earned a second team All-America honor from D1Baseball.

Wells, who ranks second in the nation with 101 hits and sixth in the country with 70 runs scored, led Conference USA in batting average (.385) and total bases (169). He also led the Bulldogs with a team-best OPS of 1.101.

Wells and teammates Parker Bates, Jonathan Fincher and Taylor Young form the quartet of Bulldogs to earn All-America honors in 2021.

PHOTO:  by Tom Morris

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