Gibson leads Diamond Dog award winners

Former Ruston High hurler Cade Gibson was named a Conference USA second team honoree Tuesday, leading seven Bulldogs who earned postseason honors.

For the second straight year, Louisiana Tech also boasts the best defensive player in Conference USA.

Bulldog third baseman Logan McLeod was named the 2022 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year Tuesday as the league office revealed the postseason award winners.

Tech added six honorees on the all-conference team — three on the first and three on the second — as the Bulldogs enter this week’s Conference USA Tournament in Hattiesburg as the No. 2 seed.

Infielder Taylor Young, outfielder Cole McConnell and reliever Kyle Crigger was all named first team all-Conference USA while catcher Jorge Corona, starting pitcher Gibson and reliever Ryan Harland were all voted second team.

McLeod follows teammate Taylor Young, who was named the 2021 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year.

In his first year manning the hot corner with LA Tech, McLeod saw a total of 128 chances while making just three errors and starting in all 56 games. The sophomore remained sure-handed at the position as he made numerous game-changing plays. McLeod was a part of seven double plays turned and sports a .977 fielding percentage. The Sour Lake, Texas native has not recorded an error since April 5 in a midweek game against UL-Lafayette.

In his fifth year as a Bulldog, Young concludes the regular season leading the nation with 81 runs scored. The West Monroe native started all 56 games at shortstop and has played in 222 consecutive games dating back to April 6, 2018. The senior shortstop recorded a .351 batting average and places second in the conference with a .500 on-base percentage. He leads the ball club with 20 doubles, leads the conference with 51 walks and has 23 multi-hit games.

McConnell, a third-year sophomore, sits second in the conference and 10th in the nation with 71 RBI. The Beaumont, Texas native leads the squad with 24 multi-hit games and 21 multi-RBI games while also holding the longest reached-base streak this year at 26 straight. The center fielder started in all 56 games and hit .341 during the regular season.

Crigger rounds out the first-team honors. Crigger has appeared in a team-leading 30 games while tossing in 56.2 innings. The senior right-hander holds a 1.43 ERA ranking him the fourth best in the country. The Corinth, Mississippi native has held opponents to a .211 batting average and ranks tied for first in the conference.

Corona was the first of three Bulldogs named to the second-team. The sophomore catcher started behind the dish in 53 of the 56 games played in the regular season hitting .296 and is tied for first on the team with 13 homers. Corona ranks first amongst the conference in putouts with 467 and runners caught stealing at 17. The Miami native currently takes a seven-game hitting streak into the tournament and his hitting an impressive .600 in that span.

Gibson also earned second-team All-Conference honors in 2022. The left-hander has made 12 starts and holds a 5-4 record. In 78 innings pitched he boasts an outstanding 86 to 18 strikeout-to-walk ratio and his fifth in the conference in punchouts. Gibson recorded career-highs in strikeouts, fanning eight LSU Tigers, nine Golden Eagles and 10 Rice Owls.

Harland, the true freshman out of Baton Rouge, earned himself a spot on the second-team All-Conference and the exclusive All-Freshman team. The left-handed reliever capped off the regular season with a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings. He has a 43 to six strikeout-to-walk ratio and went 24 consecutive innings this year without allowing an earned run.


All-Conference – First Team

C – Brock Gagliardi, Old Dominion

INF – Matt Coutney, Old Dominion

INF – Nolan Schanuel, Florida Atlantic

INF – Taylor Young, LA Tech

INF – Jack Dragum, Charlotte

OF – Andy Garriola, Old Dominion

OF – Cole McConnell, LA Tech

OF – Gabriel Rincones, Jr., Florida Atlantic

P – Tanner Hall, Southern Miss

P – Blake Morgan, Old Dominion

P – Hurston Waldrep, Southern Miss

P – Luke Malone, UTSA

RP – Kyle Crigger, LA Tech

RP – Landon Harper, Southern Miss

DH – David McCabe, Charlotte

UTIL – Luke Edwards, Marshall

All-Conference – Second Team

C – Jorge Corona, LA Tech

INF – Leyton Barry, UTSA

INF – Nate Furman, Charlotte

INF – Dustin Dickerson, Southern Miss

INF – JT Mabry, Middle Tennessee

OF – Carter Trice, Old Dominion

OF – Cam Fisher, Charlotte

OF – Dylan Goldstein, Florida Atlantic

P – Hunter Cooley, Florida Atlantic

P – Jaden Hamm, Middle Tennessee

P – Trent Seibert, Middle Tennessee

P – Cade Gibson, LA Tech

RP – Ryan Harland, LA Tech

RP – Collin Taylor, UAB

DH – Christian Hall, UAB

UTIL – Jonathan Tapia, UTSA

All-Freshman Team

P – Blake Morgan, Old Dominion

OF – Carson Paetow, Southern Miss

OF – Cam Fisher, Charlotte

P – Ryan Harland, LA Tech

C/DH – Ty Batusich, WKU

P – Collin Kramer, Charlotte

P – James Sells, Middle Tennessee

INF – Aaron Smigelski, Rice

C – Henry Hunter, UAB

INF – Matt King, UTSA

P – Thomas Ballard, UAB


Player of the Year – Old Dominion INF Matt Coutney

Pitcher of the Year – Southern Miss RHP Tanner Hall

Newcomer of the Year – Florida Atlantic OF Gabriel Rincones, Jr.

Defensive Player of the YearLA Tech INF Logan McLeod

Freshman of the Year – Old Dominion LHP Blake Morgan

Assistant Coach of the Year – Southern Miss’ Christian Ostrander

Keith LeClair Coach of the Year – Southern Miss’ Scott Berry

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