Baseball: Several Cajuns not returning to team in 2020
Tim Buckley, the Advertiser, June 19, 2019
At least seven Ragin’ Cajuns with eligibility remaining will not be returning to the program for the 2020 season, a UL spokesman said this week.
Among the seven: LSU-transfer O’Neal Lochridge, UL’s starting third baseman for most of the past season, and pitcher Dalton Horton, a highly touted transfer from Texas Christian.
Lochridge and Horton both are “retiring” after dealing with injury setbacks during the college careers, the Cajun spokesman confirmed.
Lochridge, a St. Thomas More High product, spent two seasons at UL after a back injury ended his time at LSU.
When would-be starting third baseman Jonathan Windham broke a foot after playing in 14 games, Lochridge stepped in at third and hit .175 over 47 games including 42 starts for the 28-31 Cajuns in 2019.
A member of two state-title teams at STM, Lochridge also played in 12 games for LSU in 2016 and 19 for UL in 2018.
Windham is slated to return for 2020.
Horton played two seasons at TCU, where he was an All-Big 12 Freshman Team pick in 2016.
But the big lefty was slowed by a shoulder injury there, and he wound up 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA over 30.2 innings in 11 appearances (eight starts) during his lone season on the field as a Cajun.
Also among those not returning: juco-transfer outfielders Jordan Wiley and Adam Mitchell, middle infielder Nathan Camp and left-handed pitcher Logan Savoy.
Wiley and Mitchell each played one season at UL.
Wiley hit .186 over 32 games including 16 starts and Mitchell just .125 over nine games including three starts.
Camp, who plans to transfer to a junior college, hit .188 over nine games including six starts as a freshman.
Savoy redshirted as a freshman in 2018. Coming off ulnar collateral ligament surgery, the South Beauregard High product went 2-3 with a 5.91 ERA over 13 appearances including seven starts in 2019.
The seventh Cajun known not to be returning in 2020 is All-Sun Belt Conference designated hitter Todd Lott, who was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth round of this month’s Major League Baseball Draft.
Lott signed with the Cardinals last week.
A total of 22 Sun Belt players wound up getting drafted this year, including a league-high seven from SBC Tournament-champion Coastal Carolina.
The Cajuns recently picked up a commitment from Will Moriarty, an infielder from Northwest Florida State College in Niceville.
“Thank you to Northwest Florida State and the coaching staff for an amazing 2 years, and for allowing me to grow as a player,” Moriarty tweeted.
According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, he hit .354 with a team-high 49 RBI while playing at the juco alongside pitcher Conor Angel, a UL signee.
LEGER A CLASS ALL-AMERICAN
UL senior pitcher Gunner Leger is one of just four players who have won first team Senior CLASS All-American honors.
CLASS recognizes players with notable achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition — and encourages students to use their athletics platform to make a positive impact as community leaders.
Mississippi State outfielder Jake Mangum won the 2019 award.
Leger, the 2017 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, spent five seasons at UL. He was drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2017 but, coming off leg and arm surgeries, went undrafted this year.
The Cajuns have released summer-league assignments for five returning players.
Junior-to-be shortstop Hayden Cantrelle, a first team All-Sun Belt pick out of Teurlings Catholic High, is playing for the Falmouth Commodores of the prestigious Cape Cod League.
Pitcher Dylan Coburn, who did not make UL’s 35-man roster for 2019, and outfielder Colten Frank, who played sparingly this year but had a walk-off homer to beat Tulane in late March, are teammates with the Lima Locos of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.
Tremaine Spears, an outfielder from Tioga High, and Alex Hannie, an outfielder/pitcher from St. Thomas More, both stayed closed to home to play for the Texas Collegiate League’s Acadiana Cane Cutters.
LSU-Eunice right-handed pitcher Dane Dixon, a Walker High product and a UL commit according to LSU-E, was one of 36 players named to the NJCAA Division II All-American first team after going 13-0 with a 2.28 ERA over 15 starts in 2019. … Shortstop/pitcher Peyton LeJeune, a Teurlings Catholic product and a UL signee, has been named a second team high school All-American by Collegiate Baseball. … Cantrelle, who hit .309 in 2019, was named last week to the ABCA Central All-Region first team.