Baseball Stars Earn Athlete of the Month Honors
NEW ORLEANS (August 18, 2017) – Jared Poché from LSU and Cyle Clayton from the Pedal Valves Cardinals emerged from a star-studded group of champions to earn Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month honors for June and July, respectively. Monthly award-winners are chosen in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Award Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Poché pitched LSU to the semifinals of the College World Series with an impressive outing in the Tigers’ 7-4 victory over Florida State on June 21. He pitched eight innings, allowed seven hits and three earned runs as he improved to 12-3 on the season. The victory was the 39th of the senior’s career, breaking LSU’s all-time wins-record which had been held by Scott Schultz. A product of Lutcher High School, Poché also picked up a College World Series victory when he pitched two and two-thirds scoreless innings out of the bullpen in a critical 5-4 win against Florida State in the opening round of the World Series. During the month of June, he tallied 23 innings of work, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.13 ERA and 19 strikeouts.
Clayton, meanwhile, was instrumental in the Pedal Valves Cardinals run to a second consecutive Louisiana American Legion State Championship. In the state tournament, Clayton pitched two complete game shutouts, defeating Jesuit-based Retif Oil 1-0, striking out 15 batters. He also tossed a complete game in a 1-0 victory over St. Charles Catholic-based Townsend Homes, striking out nine. He allowed just three hits in the two games. For the summer, Clayton was 3-0 with a perfect ERA, striking out 40 in just 21.3 innings.
The summer months featured multiple state and national champions.
Tulane rising sophomore Raymond Kibet became the first Tulane track & field athlete to qualify for the World Championships while still in school. He won the Kenyan National Championship in the 400-meter dash in June to earn a spot at the World Championships held earlier this month. Also in June, Southeastern Louisiana’s Alex Young finished second in the hammer throw at the NCAA Championships with a school-record throw of 241 feet, 8 inches. Following the NCAA performance, he captured the outdoor national championship with a career-best mark of 241 feet, 11 inches at the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships in California on June 22.
The runner-up for the July athlete honor was the youngest nominee in recent years. Luke Brandau was the top player for the Eastbank Little League squad that won the Louisiana state championship and advanced to the Little League Southwest Regional. In the state championship game against South Lake Charles with the score tied at three in the last inning with two outs and a runner on second, he hit a line-drive home run to centerfield to lift his team to victory. He went on to belt a pair of home runs at the Little League Southwest Regional. Brandau graduated from Christian Brothers School in May and he is going into eighth grade at Jesuit High School.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1957. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. Each of the monthly award winners will be honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.