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From the Bird’s Nest: Petello shunned by Sun Belt

MONROE–Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns finished third in the Sun Belt Conference.  But you’d have a hard time knowing it by looking at the All-Sun Belt team released tonight.

Only one Cajun, designated hitter Lance Marvel was named to the team as a second team selection.  But we knew Marvel would be on the team.  Only two DH’s were nominated.  If a third had been, the Cajuns might have been shut out completely.

Yesterday, I posted a blog with my All-Conference picks.  I said then that mine would be different than the one released.  I also said mine would be better.

I was right.

While the league’s coaches, for the most part, honored those who were most deserving, there were some glaring omissions.

Here is the league’s All-Conference team, and my comments:

STARTING PITCHERS

First Team:  Tyler Ray-Troy, Paul Davis-FAU     Second Team:  Phil Haig-FIU, Tanner Perkins-WKU

Comment:  Once again, proving my point that three starting pitchers need to be selected from each team.  Where is Garrett Harris (a first team pick for me) on this team?  He led the league in strikeouts and was right at the top in innings per start.  Ludicrous.

RELIEF PITCHERS

First team:  Hugh Adams-FAU, Second team: Nate Hill-Troy

They got it right

CATCHER

First Team–Matt Rice-WKU, second team:  Brent Tanner-USA

They got it right

FIRST BASE

First Team-Joey Rapp-ULM, Second team:  Mike Martinez-FIU

You’re kidding, right?  Martinez is one of the most feared hitters in the league.  Yes, Rapp had a higher batting average and hit one more homer.  Big Whoop.  Rapp has holes in his swing.  Martinez does not.

SECOND BASE

First team-Raymond Church-FAU,  Second team-T. J. Rivera-Troy

As I noted yesterday, the second team second baseman was the toughest choice.  The coaches went with Rivera, a very good defensive second baseman who had a nice year over a guy who finished in the top four in the league in RBI.  Not what I did, but there’s not much difference with three or four guys here.

SHORTSTOP

First Team–Adam Bryant-Troy   Second team-Nick Delguidice-FAU

Just as I predicted.  I still think this is a defensive position.  But I figured Fontenot would get ignored.  Not to take anything away from Delguidice, who has had a very good year offensively.  But he’s not in Fontenot’s league defensively.

THIRD BASE

First team:  Jeremy Patton-FIU and Tyler Hannah-Troy.  Second team:  Hank LaRue-Middle Tennessee

As noted yesterday, the first team third baseman was very very close.  So close that the coaches themselves couldn’t agree.  I’m fine with that.  But if there’s a tie for first, there doesn’t need to be a second team selection.

DESIGNATED HITTER–First Team-Nick Rountree-UALR  Second team: Lance Marvel-Louisiana

I had this reversed, but Rountree got the nod, probably because Marvel didn’t become a starter until about a third of the way through the season.

OUTFIELD

First team–Pablo Bermudez-FIU, Todd Baumgartner-Arkansas State, Kes Carter-WKU

Second team–Alex Hudek-FAU, Will Skinner-MT, Jared Andreoli-WKU

Now wait a minute.

Mike Petello hit .363.  In conference play, he led the league in total bases.  He stole bases.  He drove in 41 runs.  He had 70 hits.  He slugged nearly .600.  He hit nine homers. And, he’s got the best arm in the league.

And he doesn’t get a sniff?

What in the world were these folks watching this year, anyway?

This, along with first base are the two silliest decisions.  But at least the first baseman got something, they just got it backwards.  The omission of Petello is a complete joke.

UTILITY

First team-Tyson Workman-Troy  Second team-Brad Hook-USA

I had Workman.  Didn’t have Hook.  But I’ve no problem with his selection

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:  Tie between Bermudez and Bryant.  I hate ties.  Both had great seasons.  But Bryant is the league’s best player.  Period.

PITCHER OF THE YEAR–Tyler Ray-Troy.  Duh.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:  Justin Hageman-WKU.  Not who I picked, mainly because I like an everyday player for this award.  But Hageman was really good and I’m down with this one.

COACH OF THE YEAR–Bobby Pierce-Troy.  Most deserving

The omissions of Petello and Harris and the flip at first base are the most egregious mistakes on this team.  You can really make a case for the rest.

But I still don’t think coaches should be voting on this.  I still like my team better.

Babes

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