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LSUE Baseball Trio Named NJCAA All-Americans

A trio of LSU Eunice baseball standouts were honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) as All-Americans, the organization announced on Wednesday.

Posted: Jun 9, 2021 3:06 PM

EUNICE, La. – A trio of LSU Eunice baseball standouts were honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) as All-Americans, the organization announced on Wednesday. The All-American squad consists of 36 student-athletes on three teams represented by 28 different NJCAA institutions.

Jarrett McDonald was tabbed to the first-team as a Designated Hitter, while Jack Merrifield was on the second-team and Jerry Couch earned third-team status.

The three NJCAA All-American selections are the most in a single season in LSUE Baseball’s storied history. LSUE’s three picks tied Pearl River CC and Catawba Valley CC for most on this year’s team.

Jarrett McDonald was a steadying force in the heart of the LSUE lineup, collecting a .370 batting average. McDonald’s plate presence and discipline were unmatched, with his slugging percentage (.695) and on-base percentage (.528) both ranking in the Top 10 all-time in a LSU Eunice single season. The Dallas Baptist signee also produced 61 runs scored, 13 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs.

The outfielder saved his best for last, driving in the game tying run in the ninth with two outs to force extra innings and help deliver the Bengals their National Championship in a deciding game versus Western Oklahoma. McDonald went 8-for-20 (.400) during the LSUE World Series run, driving in six RBIs and making two highlight reel worthy putouts from his left field position.

McDonald is the first field player from LSUE to receive first-team All-American status since Steven Sensley in 2015 and the sixth all-time.

Jack Merrifield paced the Bengals in virtually all offensive categories this season, placing tops in batting average (.396), hits (76), RBI (68) and total bases (109). Merrifield leaves as one of the most consistent batters in program history, capping off his career as a .395 (159-for-402) batter in two full years plus the COVID-19 shortened 2020 campaign, making it the top career batting average all-time at LSUE. Merrifield will be the next in line of LSUE alums to stay in purple and gold with LSU next season.

The offensive duo of McDonald and Merrifield were the lynchpins behind a Bengal offense that finished near the top in virtually every offensive category nationally including tops in runs (614).

Jerry Couch became the steadying force on the hill for the Bengals, going 12-1 with a 3.82 earned run average. Couch was dominate in postseason play, going 3-0 in four starts including a pair of wins in the World Series. The NJCAA World Series Most Outstanding Pitcher and Charleston Southern signee was crucial in LSUE’s Regional Championship victory as well as forcing the deciding Game 3 in the Championship Series.

LSU Eunice is home to 25 NJCAA All-American selections, all coming under head coach Jeff Willis since 2003.

The Bengals recently capped off the program’s seventh NJCAA National Championship with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Western Oklahoma State in 14 innings in the deciding game of their Championship Series at the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Oklahoma. LSUE finished the season with a 51-7 overall record.

2021 NJCAA Baseball Division II All-American Team

FIRST TEAM

INF

Chandler Blackwelder

Catawba Valley

So.

INF

Jacob Curtis

Lincoln Land

Fr.

INF

Dawson Parry

Miles

So.

INF

Alex Pendergast

Kirkwood

Fr.

OF

Nick Cupp-Allen

Chandler-Gilbert

So.

OF

Greg Delgado

Mercer County

So.

OF

Tate Parker

Pearl River

Fr.

C

Brandon Ernst

Lackawanna

So.

DH

Jarrett McDonald

LSU Eunice

So.

P

Magnus Ellerts

Patrick Henry

Fr.

P

George Ferguson

Lansing

Fr.

P

Landon Gartman

Pearl River

Fr.

SECOND TEAM

INF

Arturo Disla

Southeastern

So.

INF

Jack Hines

McHenry County

Fr.

INF

Jack Merrifield

LSU Eunice

So.

INF

Ambren Voitik

Northern Oklahoma-Enid

Fr.

OF

AJ Henkle

McHenry County

Fr.

OF

Gage Little

Mississippi Delta

Fr.

OF

Nick Newnam

Chesapeake

Fr.

C

Will Samuelson

Catawba Valley

Fr.

DH

Jared Evans

Muskegon

Fr.

P

CJ Backer

Danville Area

Fr.

P

Payton Lawrence

Black Hawk-Moline

Fr.

P

Caleb Thomason

Glendale

Fr.

THIRD TEAM

INF

James Hinson

Catawba Valley

Fr.

INF

Owen Jackson

Kankakee

Fr.

INF

Kyle Leapaldt

Bismarck State

So.

INF

Raymond Vorhees

Lackawanna

So.

OF

Cole Evans

Parkland

So.

OF

Colin Lynam

Northeast

Fr.

OF

Tate Peterson

Kellogg

Fr.

C

Graham Crawford

Pearl River

Fr.

DH

Cam Jackson

Pitt

Fr.

P

Jerry Couch

LSU Eunice

So.

P

Reagan Klawiter

Madison

Fr.

P

Juan Pimental

Western Oklahoma State

Fr.

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