A strong sophomore group led by captains Stuart Turner, Brady Domangue, Zac Hawkins, Dalton Herrington and Evan Teagant helped LSU Eunice win its fourth baseball national championship.
“When your season runs very smoothly and the coaching staff doesn’t have to do a lot of discipline, then you know your captains are doing their part,” LSUE head coach Jeff Willis said of his captains.
“They were role models and pushing guys in the right direction and that meant a lot,” the coach said. “Our season wouldn’t have gone the way it did without the leadership of those five guys.”
The team set five goals including a 3.2 GPA, 50-plus wins, regional championship, a national championship as well as “win in everything we do.”
“They reached 50 wins before we made it to the Series and that has never happened,” Willis said.
The 3.23 GPA is the highest for any LSUE baseball team and they received the 2012 All-Academic Award for their work in the class room.
“He played an invaluable role between the coaches and players,” Willis said of Tagent. “He was also the lone player left from the 2010 National Championship team which provided valuable insight for our players.”
Herrington led the team in numerous offensive categories including hitting .350, 65 runs scored, 20 doubles, five triples 10 home runs and 64 RBI. He also stole 48 bases on 50 attempts.
Turner, the World Series MVP, hit .332 with 16 doubles, seven home runs and 49 RBI this season. He also earned Golden Glove honors for Region 23.
Hawkins hit .340 with nine doubles and 27 RBI, while committing only two errors at first base this season.
Domangue finished the season with an 8-1 record and a 3.48 ERA. He struck out 97, walked 47 and allowed 30 earned runs.
They got shocked in the regional championship and you can tell when they came back in August they had a chip on their shoulder,” Willis said. “That was a big motivating factor all season.”
While they helped the Bengals win their fourth title in school history, Willis said the relationships between the players and coaches means more than the championship or the records they broke.