LSUS Baseball: 2008 Season Review
July 19, 2008
It has been nearly two months since the end of the 2008 baseball season at LSUS, but as the dog days of summer have quickly come upon us and a new season is right around the corner, the memory of last year’s record-breaking season for the Pilots is one that will not soon be forgotten.
The 2008 season saw the Pilots set a new mark for highest winning percentage in a season, win their third consecutive GCAC Tournament championship and make another appearance in the Region XIII Championship game. LSUS also made waves on the national scene in 2008, being ranked in the NAIA Top 25 for the majority of the season, while also setting three new GCAC single-season offensive records and finishing at the top of several offensive categories in the NAIA rankings.
In 2008, LSUS Baseball compiled a single season school-record .746 winning percentage with a 47-16 record. In what was supposed to be a transition year, the Pilots found their stride in April and May running off a streak of 20 wins in 23 games to enter postseason play as on of the hottest teams in the country. LSUS continued their stellar play in the postseason as they captured their third consecutive GCAC Tournament title and advanced to the Region XIII Tournament. The 2008 Region XIII Tournament played host to one of the elite regionals in NAIA baseball with five of the six teams nationally ranked in the Top 25. The Pilots advanced to the championship game for the fourth time in the last six years, before falling to the eventual National Runner-up Lee University, 10-7. LSUS finished the 2008 season ranked as the No. 18 team in the country, while reaching the No. 11 spot at one point during the year.
Offense was the theme of the 2008 version of LSUS baseball, as the Pilots shattered three GCAC and school records over the course of the season. LSUS set new marks for runs in a season (584), offensive walks (343) and doubles (146). Pilot hitters fell five walks short of tying the NAIA National record of 348 walks in a season, set in 1999 by Oklahoma City University. LSUS sophomore Craig Barnes also tied the LSUS single-season homerun record with 13 round-trippers.
Two key components for the Pilots offense last season were freshman Andrew Brouillette and senior Jeff Ledet. Brouillette and Ledet were ranked at the top of almost every offensive category for the Pilots, leading the charge on their record-breaking season. Ledet finished the season with a .427 batting average, while smashing seven homeruns and driving in 55 runs. Brouillette hit at a .410 clip, leading the Pilot offense in hits (82), walks (44) and on-base percentage (.526). Ledet and Brouillette were each named to the All-GCAC and All-Louisiana teams following the season, while Brouillette earned First-Team All-Region honors.
Although the Pilots offense stole the show in 2008, Pilot ace Victor Hernandez shined on the mound for the Pilot pitching staff. Hernandez picked up 11 wins on the season against just one loss, while on his way to earning All-GCAC and All-Louisiana honors. Hernandez led the Pilots in wins, complete games (4), innings pitched (105) and strikeouts (77), while also posting a 3.50 ERA.
In addition to their success on the playing field in 2008, several Pilot players also excelled in the classroom during the 2007-08 school year. Eleven LSUS baseball players were named to the All-GCAC Academic Team for their efforts both on the field and in the classroom.
Since joining the GCAC eight years ago, the LSUS Pilots have won more games (325) than any other member of the conference, averaging over 40 wins a year over that span. The Pilots have also been the most dominant collegiate program in the State of Louisiana over the last six seasons, winning more games (260) than any other four-year school.
With the return of seven position starters in 2009 and several talented newcomers, the LSUS community should be extremely excited about the future of LSUS baseball. If 2008 was supposed to be a transition year, the 2009 squad could easily find themselves in uncharted waters for LSUS baseball.