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Baseball: School-Recod Nine Cajuns Named To All-Sun Belt Team

Baseball: School-Recod Nine Cajuns Named To All-Sun Belt Team

Baseball: School-Recod Nine Cajuns Named To All-Sun Belt Team

Chris Yandle, Sports Information –

Louisiana-Lafayette’s Tony Robichaux named Sun Belt Coach of the Year
for second time

MIAMI-For the first time in school history, Louisiana-Lafayette placed
nine players on the All-Sun Belt Conference first and second teams, as
announced Tuesday at the annual Sun Belt Conference Pre-Tournament

Seniors Austin Faught, Dallas Morris and Micah Cockrell were named to
the All-Sun Belt First Team. Faught, who finished the regular season
11-0 with a Sun Belt-leading 2.28 earned run average, was also named the
conference’s Pitcher of the Year. Faught was 6-0 with a 2.27 earned run
average against Sun Belt Conference opponents. He became just the second
pitcher in school history to receive the honor (Scott Dohmann, 2000).

Head coach Tony Robichaux was named the Ron Maestri Coach of the Year
for the second time in his career. He led the Cajuns to 45 regular
season wins, which is the second-most in school history. He also guided
Louisiana-Lafayette to its first Sun Belt Conference Regular Season
championship since 1997, the same year he, coincidentally, was named the
Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year.

Earlier this season, Robichaux became the 48th active coach in NCAA
Division I baseball history to reach 600 career victories and is five
wins shy of becoming the first coach in school history to reach 400 wins
in a Cajuns uniform.

Morris followed his stand-out junior season from a year ago with an
outstanding senior campaign. Morris batted .349 with a team-high 11 home
runs, 62 RBI and a team-best 80 hits. Morris batted .396 with seven home
runs and 32 RBI in conference play.

Cockrell, who had only pitched an inning of relief in college entering
this season, made a major contribution to the Cajuns’ successes this
season on the mound and in the field. Cockrell finished the regular
season with a .312 average to go along with nine home runs and 41 RBI.
Cockrell also posted a 4-4 record on the mound with a 4.17 earned run

Rounding out First Team honors were Middle Tennessee’s Matt Scott,
Michael McKenry and Todd Martin; South Alabama’s Adam Wood;
three-fourth’s of the Arkansas State infield (Geoff Desmond, Brett
Kinning, Chris Rich); New Mexico State’s Mark Aranda; and Florida
International’s Dennis Diaz and Yahmed Yema.

Louisiana-Lafayette also placed six players on the All-Sun Belt Second
Team – Kevin Ardoin, Phillip Hawke, Justin Merendino, John Coker, Josh
Landry and Jonathan Lucroy.

Senior ace right-handed pitcher Kevin Ardoin topped the list of
second-teamers after an impressive season. Ardoin (10-3) led the
conference for most of the season in strikeouts before finishing with
107 Ks. He is currently second on the school’s all-time strikeout list
with 315 career Ks. Ardoin was twice named the Sun Belt Pitcher of the
Week (Feb. 14 and April 18).

Hawke followed his All-Sun Belt Second Team nomination from a year ago
with another one after another strong season at first base. Through 57
regular season games, Hawke batted .324 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI,
while setting the school record for career walks (154) and most walks in
a single-season (56).

What started off as a disappointing season for Merendino turned out to
be a career year. Merendino, in the midst of a 16-game hitting streak,
is the hottest hitter in the Cajuns lineup. He finished the regular
season with a .337 average which included eight home runs and 42 RBI.
Merendino batted a team-best .397 in Sun Belt play and is hitting an
impressive .525 during his hitting streak, which is the second-longest
by a Cajun this season.

Coker and Landry have both been an important part in arguably one of the
best defensive outfields in Louisiana-Lafayette history.

Coker, known for his excellent defense and the ability to cover a large
area of the outfield in a short amount of time, has enjoyed a season
that included him leading the Sun Belt in runs scored (76) and triples
(9). Coker batted .328 with two home runs, 23 RBI and a team-high 25
stolen bases.

Landry, known for his clutch hitting, is second on the team behind
Morris with a career-high 59 RBI. Landry is currently batting .318 and
is third on the team in hits (76) and fifth in home runs (7).

Capping off the Cajuns’ list of all-conference players is freshman
designated hitter Jonathan Lucroy. Lucroy leads the team with a .367
average while hitting four home runs with 40 RBI.

Rounding out the Second Team are Florida International’s David Asher and
Frank Gonzalez, Arkansas-Little Rock’s Tommy Bryant, Middle Tennessee’s
Jeff Beachum and Nate Jaggers, New Orleans’ Brandon Bowser and Western
Kentucky’s Matt Ransdell.

Florida International’s Yema was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of
the Year. Yema batted .398 with 14 home runs and 61 RBI. Middle
Tennessee’ Martin was named the Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the
Year, after leading the conference with a .429 average.

New Mexico State’s Luke Hopkins was named the conference’s Freshman of
the Year after bashing 13 home runs with 76 RBI on a .397 average.

Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns, the No. 1 seed in Aeropostale Sun Belt
Conference Tournament, will begin their quest to become only the second
school in Sun Belt Conference history to claim both the regular season
and tournament titles in the same season on Wednesday.
Louisiana-Lafayette will face the eighth-seeded Western Kentucky
Hilltoppers Wednesday at approximately 5:30 p.m. (CST). Fans are
reminded that they can listen to the game on NewsRadio 105.1 FM KPEL
with Jay Walker, 30 minutes prior to first pitch.

All-Sun Belt First Team
SP – Austin Faught, Louisiana-Lafayette
SP – Matt Scott, Middle Tennessee
RP – Adam Wood, South Alabama
C – Michael McKenry, Middle Tennessee
1B – Geoff Desmond, Arkansas State
2B – Brett Kinning, Arkansas State
SS – Chris Rich, Arkansas State
3B – Dallas Morris, Louisiana-Lafayette
OF – Mark Aranda, New Mexico State
OF – Dennis Diaz, Florida International
OF – Yahmed Yema, Florida International
DH – Todd Martin, Middle Tennessee
UT – Micah Cockrell, Louisiana-Lafayette

All-Sun Belt Second Team
SP – Kevin Ardoin, Louisiana-Lafayette
SP – David Asher, Florida International
RP – Frank Gonzalez, Florida International
C – Tommy Bryant, Arkansas-Little Rock
1B – Phillip Hawke, Louisiana-Lafayette
2B – Justin Merendino, Louisiana-Lafayette
SS – Jeff Beachum, Middle Tennessee
3B – Nate Jaggers, Middle Tennessee
OF – John Coker, Louisiana-Lafayette
OF – Josh Landry, Louisiana-Lafayette
OF – Brandon Bowser, New Orleans
DH – Jonathan Lucroy, Louisiana-Lafayette
UT – Matt Ransdell, Western Kentucky

Player of the Year: Yahmed Yema, Florida International
Pitcher of the Year: Austin Faught, Louisiana-Lafayette
Newcomer of the Year: Todd Martin, Middle Tennessee
Freshman of the Year: Luke Hopkins, New Mexico State
Ron Maestri Coach of the Year: Tony Robichaux, Louisiana-Lafayette

 Posted May 24, 2005