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College baseball: Three Tech players garner All-Conference USA honors

by Russell Hedges

Louisiana Tech Athletic Communications

RUSTON — Jorge Corona, Ethan Bates and Jonathan Fincher received postseason honors on Tuesday as the Louisiana Tech baseball trio were selected to the All-Conference USA Team in a vote by the league head coaches.

Corona was voted First Team All-Conference USA as a catcher while Fincher was named Second Team All-Conference USA as a starting pitcher. Meanwhile, Bates was selected First Team All-Conference USA as a utility player and Second Team All-Conference USA as a relief pitcher.

Corona, who was a second-team selection last season, has started 50 games behind the plate while batting .284. The junior had 27 extra-base hits, including nine home runs and a team-leading 18 doubles. Defensively, he was responsible for 358 putouts and a league-leading 20 runners caught stealing.

Fincher, who was a first-team selection in 2021, has made 18 appearances on the mound with 14 starts while putting together an overall record of 8-4, tying for the most victories of any pitcher in C-USA and 29th most in the country. The primarily Friday night starters has thrown 85.0 innings while punching out 79 batters, tied for the sixth most in the league. 

The super senior, who also ranks second in C-USA in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.94) and walks allowed per nine innings (1.69), ranks top four in program history in career innings pitched, victories, strikeouts, and appearances. 

Bates has contributed on the mound and at the plate in his first year with the Bulldogs. He owns a 4-3 record with 10 saves (15th most in the country) while owning a team-best 3.10 ERA in 40.2 innings of work with 51 strikeouts. He has also started in 53 games as a position player, playing second base and designated hitter, batting .269 with 15 home runs (seventh most in C-USA) and a .542 slugging percentage.

Conference USA Postseason Awards

Player of the Year
Nolan Schanuel, INF, Florida Atlantic

Pitcher of the Year
Simon Miller, RHP, UTSA

Freshman of the Year
Grant Jay, OF/C, DBU

Newcomer of the Year
Ethan Mann, DH, DBU

Defensive Player of the Year
Nathan Humphreys, OF, DBU

Keith LeClair Coach of the Year
Dan Heefner, DBU

Assistant Coach of the Year
Micah Posey, DBU

First Team All-Conference 
C – Jorge Corona, LA Tech
INF – Nolan Schanuel, Florida Atlantic
INF – Antonio Valdez, UTSA
INF – Brett Coker, Middle Tennessee
INF – Jackson Ross, Florida Atlantic
OF – Cam Fisher, Charlotte
OF – Grant Jay, DBU
OF – Alec Sanchez, FIU
SP – Ryan Johnson, DBU
SP – Parker Smith, Rice
SP – Wyatt Hudepohl, Charlotte
SP – Jaden Hamm, Middle Tennessee
RP – Simon Miller, UTSA
RP – Kyle Amendt, DBU
DH – Ethan Mann, DBU
UTIL – Ethan Bates, LA Tech

Second Team All-Conference 
C – Kaden Hopson, Charlotte
C – Josh Killeen, UTSA
INF – Kodie Kolden, DBU
INF – Miguel Santos, DBU
INF – Leyton Barry, UTSA
INF – Jack Dragum, Charlotte
OF – Nathan Humphreys
OF – Caleb Hill, UTSA
OF – Dylan Goldstein, Florida Atlantic
SP – Jonathan Fincher, LA Tech
SP – Luke Malone, UTSA
SP – Braxton Bragg, DBU
SP – Dawson Hall, WKU
RP – Ethan Bates, LA Tech
RP – Brady Rose, DBU
DH – Ryne Guida, FIU
UTIL – Sammy Diaz, UTSA

All-Freshman Team
Grant Jay, DBU
Roylan Quevedo, FIU
Tyler Murphy, Florida Atlantic
Ollie Akens, Middle Tennessee
Patrick Johnson, Middle Tennessee
Jared Vetetoe, Middle Tennessee
Ben Royo, Rice
Nick Hollifield, UAB
Ruger Riojas, UTSA
Lukas Farris, WKU
Dawson Hall, WKU

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