Harris Named Conference USA Pitcher of the Year as ‘Dogs Place Five on All-Conference

May 23, 2017

IRVING, Texas - After leading Conference USA in nearly every pitching category for the entirety of the 2017 season, Nate Harris has been named Conference USA Pitcher of the Year in a release by the conference office on Monday afternoon.

Harris, outfielder Raphael Gladu and catcher Brent Diaz were all named first team all-Conference USA in the release, as the Bulldogs were one of just three teams to have three or more players represented on the first team.

Jordan Washam and Chase Lunceford garnered second team all-Conference USA honors and freshman left-handed pitcher Kyle Griffen was named to the Conference USA all-Freshman team.

Harris ended the regular season leading Conference USA in wins (8), saves (8), ERA (1.75), complete games (3), WHIP (0.90), walks allowed per nine innings (1.03) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.0).

The senior right-hander started the season in the bullpen and became the Bulldogs go-to arm out of the pen to shutdown opponents. After a rough patch to open conference play, Harris was moved to the starting rotation where he fired consecutive complete-game shutout performances in his first two career starts.

Gladu ended the regular season with the Conference USA batting title thanks to his league-high .381 batting average. Gladu scored 63 runs this season which ranks top-five in program history and leads all of Conference USA. He also led Louisiana Tech with 54 runs driven in this season, a mark that ranked fifth in C-USA. During the 2017 season, the lefty hit five game-tying or game-winning home runs. He will enter the 2017 The First, A National Banking Association, Conference USA Baseball Championship with a 19-game hitting streak.

 

 

Diaz continued to garner honors, as this comes just a week after he was named one of just 15 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award. Diaz ended the season, hitting at a .340 clip with 48 runs driven in. The Miami native also ranks top-10 in the country in hit-by-pitch with a school record 20 thus far. Diaz has nine home runs and 19 doubles, while behind the dish he is gunning down runners at over a 45-percent rate.

Jordan Washam batted .357 on the year on his way to second team all-conference honors. Washam ranks first in Conference USA in runs scored per game, after scoring 58 runs for the ‘Dogs this season in just 49 games. Washam has blasted nine home runs and doubled 18 times. Defensively, Washam has the fewest errors among players with 100 or more assists this season.

Lunceford continues to provide serious power for the Bulldogs in the middle of the lineup. The senior, who earlier this year was named NCBWA National Player of the Week, has blasted a team-high 13 home runs and driven in 53 runs a mark that ranks second on the team.

Kyle Griffen was the lone Bulldog named to the all-freshman squad. The Sulphur native posted an impressive 5-2 record during the regular season and struck out 26 batters in 31 winnings. Griffen picked up a win over nationally-ranked McNeese last month and also earned three wins in a six-day span in April.

Harris and the Bulldogs will now gear up for the first round of the Conference USA Baseball Tournament taking on Charlotte tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. The game will be nationally-broadcast on ESPN3 which is available through most streaming devices through the WatchESPN App and WatchESPN.com. A radio broadcast will also be available through ESPN 97.7 FM in the Ruston area and 100.7 FM The Ticket in Shreveport.

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