EUNICE, La. – After one of the most dominating single seasons on the mound in LSU Eunice history, Zach Hester has earned All-American honors. Hester was given first-team honors by the NJCAA, the association announced on Monday.
The sophomore is the tenth Bengal to earn a first-team nomination and just the second pitcher, joining LSU Eunice Hall of Fame member Kenny Plaisance. Hester joins the 18 other former Bengals to be named a NJCAA All-American and first since Nick Coomes and Zach LaFleur in 2016.
Hester served as the Bengals’ opening night starter and was the "Game One" arm throughout the season. The Samford signee went 13-1 on the season with a 2.34 earned run average, striking out 133 batters. His wins and strikeout total both were tops in NJCAA Division II.
In LSU Eunice’s postseason run to the National Championship, Hester’s light shined brightest. The World Series Pitcher of the Tournament, Hester went 3-0 in four starts during the Region and National Tournaments combined. The sophomore tossed 27 innings, giving up just four runs off 12 hits and six walks while striking out 36 batters in that span.
The Bengals won all four times Hester took the hill, including capturing the Region 23 and National Championships. Hester threw eight innings in LSUE’s title clinching win, receiving a no-decision after giving up three runs off three hits and three walks while striking out nine batters.
Hester etched his name all over the Bengal single-season record books. The Vidor, Texas product finished second in strikeouts (133), tied for fifth in wins (13) and seventh in innings pitched (100.0). The LSUE pitching unit also set the program record for strikeouts in a season (576) and opponent batting average (.215).
Hester is one of four Region 23 representatives on the NJCAA All-American team, joined by Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Brandon Parker (first team), Meridan’s Trace Jordan (first team) and Pearl River’s Simon Landry (second team).
The NJCAA honored 36 student-athletes in the three-team All-American squad.
2018 NJCAA Division II Baseball All-American Team
P Blake Flint Paradise Valley (AZ) So.
P Zach Hester LSU Eunice (LA) So.
P Chas Sagedahl Southeastern (IA) Fr.
C Jacob Padilla Murray State (OK) So.
INF Josh Bristyan Paradise Valley (AZ) So.
INF Izaya Fullard Kirkwood (IA) Fr.
INF Kelani Luke Lackawanna (PA) So.
INF Juan Paulino Western Oklahoma St. So.
OF Aaron Palensky Southeast (NE) Fr.
OF Brandon Parker Miss. Gulf Coast Fr.
OF Joe Quinones-Mason Pitt (NC) So.
DH Trace Jordan Meridian (MS) So.
P Joey Baran Lackawanna (PA) So.
P Tyler Buchanan Pasco-Hernando (FL) So.
P Wyatt Rush Lansing (MI) Fr.
C Martin Muzik Wake Tech (NC) So.
INF Alex Cimaroli McHenry (IL) So.
INF Gavin Homer Kellogg (MI) So.
INF Simon Landry Pearl River (MS) So.
INF Trystin Raikes Parkland (IL) So.
OF Bryce Butler Kankakee (IL) So.
OF Dan Fry Allegany (MD) So.
OF Tyler Paulsen Parkland (IL) So.
DH EJ Taylor Northern OK-Enid Fr.
P Ryan Anderson McHenry (IL) So.
P Brock Begue Cuyahoga (OH) Fr.
P Julian Smith Catawba Valley (NC) So.
C Ryan Parquette McHenry (IL) Fr.
INF Luke Baranchak Mercyhurst NE (PA) So.
INF Conner Denning Mesa (AZ) Fr.
INF Scott McKeon Brunswick (NC) So.
INF Handy Rodriguez CCBC Catonsville (MD) So.
OF Scott Giordano Westchester (NY) So.
OF Griffin Keller Northern OK-Enid So.
OF Hunter Ruhstorfer Lansing (MI) So.
DH Phil Ferranti Monroe CC (NY) Fr.