Texas and LSU have been ranked near the top in most College baseball polls all year. Now the two powerhouse programs will go head to head in the nationally televised NCAA DI Championship in Omaha. Former Aflac All American’s have played key roles for both teams.
LSU was led in hitting by former Aflac player DJ LeMahieu who hit .347 for the Tigers this year. LeMahieu was selected in the second round by the Chicago Cubs earlier this month.
Aflac player Jared Mitchell has come up with some big hits in the college World Series and hit .329 with 10 HRs and 45 RBI this year. He also led the team in stolen bases with 35. Mitchell also starred for the LSU football team and was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round this year.
LSU would be stronger yet had other former Aflac players attended college. Signed by MLB clubs out of high school were former LSU recruits Ryan Adams, Beau Jones, Jeremy Hellickson, and next year’s prized recruit, Slade Heathcott, who was drafted in the first round this year by the Yankees.
Texas features four former Aflac All Americans, all of which played critical roles in the success of the Longhorns this year. Former Aflac homerun derby winner, Cameron Rupp leads the Longhorns with 11 round trippers and 45 RBI. Kevin Keyes is second to Rupp in RBIs with 43. College veteran Preston Clark is one of the top catchers in college baseball. Aflac All American Taylor Jungmann has fast become one of college baseballs top pitchers. For the year Jungmann is 10-3 with a 2.10 ERA. He’s pitched 86 innings while giving up only 60 hits while striking out 92 batters. Opponents are hitting only .197 against him.
Several former Aflac All Americans have played for the Longhorns while several others Texas recruits signed MLB contracts out of high school. Outfielder Jordan Danks, took home the home run trophy in his Aflac appearance and played three years for the longhorns before starting his pro career. Right hand pitcher Kenn Kasparek likewise pitched for three years in a Longhorn uniform before going to pro ball. Outfielder Greg Golson, outfielder Robbie Grossman, LHP Troy Patton, and RHP Jordan Walden had all committed to Texas, but signed out of high school. Patton and Golson have already seen Big League time. All four of the above signed for a million or more.
Next year’s recruiting class features 2008 Aflac players Jonathan Walsh and Everett Williams. The Longhorns should see walsh in uniform next season, but Williams was selected in the second round by the San Diego Padres.
These two teams playing for the NCAA championship feature a total of six former Aflac All Americans. It’s no wonder they are the last two college teams standing.