By: Andrew Goodwin/Louisiana Tech Athletics
RUSTON, La. – Taylor Young earned his first Conference USA Preseason Team selection and conference coaches picked Louisiana Tech to finish third in the Preseason Coaches Poll, the conference announced on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs are fresh off a 34-24 (17-13) season and third-place C-USA finish in 2019. Tech opens the 2020 campaign with a doubleheader against UL-Lafayette and Southeastern Louisiana on Feb. 15 in Lafayette, La.
Young, a two-year starter in the middle infield, was one of Tech’s most reliable bats last season. The West Monroe native posted a .316 batting average with a .443 on-base percentage. He finished second on the team in hits, batting average, OBP, and stolen bases while leading the Bulldogs with 41 walks. The junior has accumulated 84 walks in just two seasons and would join Tech’s top-ten in career walks with just three this year.
Conference coaches picked 2019 C-USA tournament champion Southern Miss to finish first with the Golden Eagles receiving six first place votes. Florida Atlantic, which earned the regular season title in 2019, got four first place votes. Rice and FIU earned the other two first place votes. The Owls and Panthers were picked to finish fifth and sixth, respectively.
Coaches selected Rice’s Trei Cruz as the preseason player of the year and FIU’s Logan Allen as the preseason pitcher of the year.
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Southern Miss (6)
2. Florida Atlantic (4)
3. Louisiana Tech
4. Old Dominion
5. Rice (1)
6. FIU (1)
12. Middle Tennessee
(first place votes in parentheses)
2020 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Trei Cruz, Rice
2020 PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Logan Allen, FIU
2020 PRESEASON TEAM
SP: Logan Allen, FIU
SP: Hunter Gregory, Old Dominion
SP: Walker Powell, Southern Miss
RP: Colby Bruce, Charlotte
C: Nick Thornquist, UTSA
IF: Trei Cruz, Rice
IF: Matt Guidry, Southern Miss
IF: Andru Summerall, Florida Atlantic
IF: Francisco Urbaez, Florida Atlantic
IF: Taylor Young, Louisiana Tech
OF: Zach Davis, UAB
OF: Bobby Morgensen, Florida Atlantic
OF: Gabe Montenegro, Southern Miss
DH/UT Richard Constantine, WKU