Burroughs, Wells highlight Bulldogs on All-Louisiana baseball team

In a state where LSU baseball has dominated the diamond landscape collegiately since the mid-1980s, there was a shuffle at the top of the ladder this spring.

As a result, Louisiana Tech head coach Lane Burroughs was named the 2021 All-Louisiana Team Baseball Coach of the Year, as announced by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Tuesday..

Along with their skipper, third baseman Hunter Wells was named the LSWA’s Hitter of the Year to headline a list of six Diamond Dogs to earn All-Louisiana honors. Wells, centerfielder Parker Bates, second baseman Taylor Young and starting pitcher Jonathan Fincher all earned first-team honors after standout seasons. All four Bulldogs have also already notched All-America accolades after helping lead the Bulldogs to a 42-20 record in 2021.

Outfielder Steele Netterville and utility man Manny Garcia earned second team All-Louisiana honors to join the quartet of first-team honorees.

Burroughs, who signed a contract extension through the 2025-26 season earlier this month, led the Bulldogs to their sixth 40-win season in program history in 2021. The Bulldogs not only competed in their first C-USA Championship game this past season, but they also hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time in program history.

Under Burroughs, LA Tech recorded an 11-4 record against in-state opponents in 2021, recording sweeps over Southern, McNeese State, Tulane and ULM. Burroughs also guided LA Tech to its first division title since 1992 by winning the Conference USA’s Western Division title on the final day of the C-USA season.

Wells, who earned his fourth All-America honor on Monday, ranks second in the nation with 101 hits and sixth in the country with 70 runs scored. The Katy, Texas native led Conference USA with a .385 batting average and 169 total bases, which is a new LA Tech program record for total bases in a single season.

Bates, a third team ABCA/Rawlings All-American, led the C-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.

Young, the Division I ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner at second base, sported an incredible .993 fielding percentage at second base in 2021. The defensive standout did not commit an error until his 55th game of the season. He also ranks first in the nation with 83 runs scored with just a few games left to play in the college baseball season.

Fincher, a first team All-Conference USA honoree and Dick Howser Award Semifinalist, led the Bulldog pitching staff in strikeouts (85), innings pitched (100.1) and the lowest opposing batting average against him (.219). The Shreveport native posted two complete-game shutouts in 2021, including a one-hit shutout at Tulane where he allowed just two baserunners in a Friday night start.

Netterville, another Shreveporter who was a Conference USA All-Tournament Team honoree, ranked second on the Bulldog roster with 12 home runs despite missing 10 games due to injury. He also ranked third on the team with 57 RBI and fourth on the team with 14 doubles and 45 runs scored.

Garcia, a first team All-Conference USA honoree at the utility spot, stepped up for the Bulldogs in clutch moments throughout 2021.

TOP INDIVIDUAL AWARDS – 2021 All-Louisiana Collegiate Baseball Team

Hitter of the Year – Hunter Wells, Louisiana Tech
Pitcher of the Year – Landon Marceaux, LSU
Freshman of the Year – Dylan Crews, LSU
Newcomer of the Year – Drake Osborn, UL-Lafayette
Coach of the Year – Lane Burroughs, Louisiana Tech

PHOTO:  Coach Lane Burroughs photo by Emerald McIntyre

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