Three Tigers named to All American baseball list
BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU senior outfielder Raph Rhymes, senior first baseman Mason Katz and sophomore pitcher Aaron Nola were named Friday to the 2013 Collegiate Baseball preseason all-America teams.
Rhymes was named to the first-team squad, and Katz and Nola were voted to the second team.
Rhymes, a 2012 first-team all-American and the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, hit an NCAA-leading .431 (100-for-232) last season, establishing an LSU record for single-season batting average. The Monroe, La. native recorded 11 doubles, four homers, 53 RBI, a .530 slugging percentage and a .489 on-base percentage.
Rhymes, a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, led the conference in hits (100) and on-base percentage (.489), and he was No. 5 in the league in RBI (53), No. 6 in slugging percentage (.530) and No. 8 in total bases (123).
Katz, a 2012 second-team all-SEC selection, hit .320 last season with 15 doubles, one triple, a team-high 13 homers and 52 RBI. Katz, a product of Harahan, La., led the SEC in runs scored (65), and he was No. 3 in the league in home runs, No. 4 in slugging percentage (.552), No. 4 in total bases (133) and No. 6 in RBI.
Katz, a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, is the leading returning home run hitter in the league for the 2013 season.
Nola, a right-hander from Baton Rouge, earned 2012 Freshman all-America recognition and he was voted to the Freshman all-SEC team by the league's coaches. He was 7-4 last season with a 3.61 ERA in 89.2 innings, recording 89 strikeouts and only seven walks.
Nola finished No. 1 in the SEC in fewest walks allowed and in batters struck out looking (40), and he was No. 9 in the league in overall strikeouts. He was named to the 2012 NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team after defeating UL-Monroe in the Tigers' opening game of the regional on June 1. Nola limited the Warhawks to one run on four hits in a career-high eight innings with a career-best 10 strikeouts.
LSU opens the 2013 season at 7 p.m. on February 15, when the Tigers play host to Maryland in Alex Box Stadium.