EUNICE — The LSU Eunice baseball program had a trio of players earn preseason All-American honors by “The JBB”, the Junior College baseball media outlet announced earlier this week. The Bengals have the most players of any program on the preseason list.
LSUE relief pitcher Jacob Hammond was named the national Pitcher of the Year while Hunter Tabb and Jack Merrifield were also named to the list.
“These young men will be vital to our success both for their production on the field and their leadership,” LSUE coach Jeff Willis said. “They could have left for the four-year level but chose to stay here at LSUE and finish some of the goals they have set for themselves and this team.”
Hammond finished the 2020 season in the Top 20 in wins and Top 10 in strikeouts from a relief pitcher position. Hammond went 3-0 record with 0.93 earned run average to go along with 36 strikeouts and .176 batting average against.
Merrifield was tops in the nation last season with 32 RBI before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The infielder was also fourth in hits (35), 16th in stolen bases (13) and 9th in runs scored (27).
Tabb, a former Acadiana High star, ended last season with a .387 batting average in addition to 25 runs scored, three doubles, three home runs and 18 RBIs.
LSUE was 21-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation before the season came to an abrupt end. The Bengals find themselves in familiar territory as the number one ranked team in three major NJCAA preseason polls and seventh overall among all junior college divisions and affiliations according to Perfect Game.
The Bengals start the season next Friday with a weekend series against LSU Alexandria.