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College baseball: Tech picked to finish first in C-USA

by Russell Hedges

Louisiana Tech Athletic Communications

RUSTON — Louisiana Tech was selected as preseason favorite in the Conference USA Preseason polls, along with other honors on Thursday, February 3. 

For the first time in program history, LA Tech has been picked 1st in the C-USA Preseason poll with 91 total votes.

In 2022, the Bulldogs claimed the C-USA Tournament Championship and advanced into the Austin, Texas regional after being ranked behind Southern Miss as No. 2 in the preseason polls.  

For the second consecutive year, Jonathan Fincher was named C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year along with being named to the Preseason All-Conference Team.

Fincher was recently named a Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball. The Shreveport native concluded the 2022 season with a 3.52 ERA and a 73-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 79.1 innings. Fincher started 14 games on the mound for the Dogs finishing with 73 strikeouts in 79.1 innings, tying him for second in C-USA. 

Alongside Fincher, junior catcher Jorge Corona was named to the C-USA Preseason All-American Team. Corona earned Second Team All-Conference USA and Austin NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team honors last season and was recently named the No. 10 catcher in the country by D1 Baseball.

The Miami, Fla., native served as the Bulldogs’ primary catcher in his sophomore season, starting 61 of his 62 games played. Corona finished the season with a .281 BA, 16 home runs, a triple, 11 doubles, 62 RBI, and 41 runs scored. He led the Bulldogs in home runs, finishing 10th in C-USA.

“It’s always great to be recognized by your peers and for all the hard work our guys put in, but honestly preseason stuff is really a non-factor in our program. We have a very good league with very good coaches and players. Our goal is to show up every day, put in the work, and be playing baseball in June.”

The Bulldogs open their season on Friday, Feb. 17, where they will be hosting a four-game series against BYU at 6 p.m. at Pat Patterson Park.

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