30-Year All-Sun Belt Teams- Baseball
Baseball: Five UL players named to Sun Belt 30-year baseball squad
January 25, 2006 -
NEW ORLEANS - Five players who helped guide the University of Louisiana to Sun Belt Conference and NCAA baseball success were named Wednesday to the league's all-time baseball squad.
Picked to that squad by a 26-member media panel were pitchers Phil Devey (1997-99) and B. J. Ryan (1997-98), catcher Paul Bako (1991-93), third baseman Nathan Nelson (1998-2000) and outfieder Papo Ramos (1991-92).
The Cajuns' five selections were the second-most of any league member. South Alabama, which has claimed 17 regular-season league titles in 30 years in the league (UL has only been in the Sun Belt since the 1992 season), had nine players named to the squad.
USA also had the league's All-Time Player in outfielder Luis Gonzalez and the All-Time Coach in Steve Kittrell. Gonzalez was a two-time All-America pick and still holds USA's single-season (80) and career (183) RBI records, while Kittrell has won over 800 games and 14 league titles in his 22-year tenure.
The all-time baseball team is part of the Sun Belt's 30-year anniversary celebration, with teams being selected in each of the league sports.
Paul Bako (1991-93), Catcher - Led UL to back-to-back conference championships in 1991 (American South) and 1992 (Sun Belt Conference) ... Second team All-Sun Belt selection in 1993 ... Has been in the major leagues since 1998, playing in over 500 games, and currently on Kansas City Royals squad.
Phil Devey (1997-99), Pitcher - UL's all-time leader in career strikeouts (352), fourth in career victories and third in innings pitched ... Picked to four different All-American teams in 1999 (NCBWA first team, ABCA second team, Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America third teams) ... Collegiate Baseball National Player the Week twice in 1999.
Nathan Nelson (1998-2000), Third Base - UL's all-time leader in single-season hits (101) and career batting average (.381) ... Two-time All-Sun Belt selection (second team in 1999, first team in 2000) ... Two-time NCAA Regional All-Tournament selection and Most Outstanding Player in Houston Regional in 1999 ... Catalyst of UL's College World Series team in 2000.
Papo Ramos (1991-92), Outfield - Third Team Baseball America All-American selection in 1992 ... Sun Belt Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 1992 ... First player in school history to be named the NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player in 1991.
B. J. Ryan (1997-98), Pitcher/Utility - Named the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player (1998) for pitching, hitting and defense ... Led the Cajuns to their first Sun Belt tournament championship in 1998 and All-Sun Belt second team pick that year ... Current closer for the Toronto Blue Jays
Originally published January 25, 2006