Nola and Bregman named preseason All-Americans

Bill Franques
LSU's Alex Bregman. Photo by

LSU junior pitcher Aaron Nola and sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman were named 2014 first-team preseason All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

LSU, Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine were the only schools to place more than one player on the NCBWA first team.

LSU begins preseason practice on Jan. 24, and the Tigers play host to New Orleans on Feb. 14 in the 2014 season opener in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

Nola, a right-hander from Baton Rouge, was 12-1 in 2013 with a 1.57 ERA, and he recorded 122 strikeouts in 126 innings. He was voted SEC Pitcher of the Year by the league coaches, and he also earned first-team All-America recognition from Collegiate Baseball newspaper and the NCBWA.

Nola, the winner of the 2013 Corbett Award as Louisiana's top male amateur athlete, was also a finalist for the National Pitcher of the Year Award presented by the College Baseball Hall of Fame Foundation.

He was No. 1 in the SEC in strikeouts with 122; No. 3 in the league in wins (12), No. 2 in opponent batting average (.188) and No. 1 in innings pitched (126.0)

Nola fired a brilliant two-hit shutout versus Oklahoma in the NCAA Super Regional on June 7, allowing no walks with six strikeouts and becoming just the fourth pitcher in LSU history to fire three shutouts in one season.

He was named to the 2013 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament Team after defeating Sam Houston State on June 1, limiting SHSU to no earned runs on six hits in seven innings with three walks and six strikeouts.

Nola earned his fourth straight complete-game victory when he blanked No. 19 Florida 5-0 on May 3, becoming the first LSU pitcher to record four consecutive complete-game victories since Mike Sirotka accomplished the feat in 1993.

Bregman, a native of Albuquerque, N.M., was named 2013 National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball magazine and by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

He also received the Brooks Wallace Award as the National Shortstop of the Year, and he was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America and by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

He batted .369 last season with 18 doubles, seven triples, six homers, 52 RBI, 59 runs and 16 stolen bases. He finished No. 2 in the nation with 104 base hits on the year.

Bregman earned the Most Outstanding Player award in leading LSU to the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional title, hitting .545 (6-for-11) in three games with one double, one homer, three RBI and five runs.

Bregman was voted in May as the 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year by the league coaches, and he was also named first-team All-SEC at shortstop.

He finished No. 1 in the SEC in triples (7); No. 2 in base hits (104); No. 3 in total bases (154); No. 3 in doubles (18); No. 4 in runs scored (59); No. 4 in slugging percentage (.546); No. 5 in batting average (.369); and No. 5 in RBI (52).