Alex LangeLSU, Baseball, 2014-15 Corbett Award Winner
In the proud history of LSU baseball, Alex Lange may have compiled the best season ever by a freshman pitcher.
“Kevin Gausman, Aaron Nola, Anthony Renaudo. None came close to him as a freshman,” said head coach Paul Mainieri.
“What Alex did was nothing short of amazing,” added Mainieri.
Lange won 12, lost none. He crafted a 1.97 earned run average. Lange limited opponents to a .212 batting average. He struck out 131 in 114 innings.
Lange was named National Freshman Pitcher of the Year by the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), and Freshman of the Year in the Southeastern Conference. He was a First-Team All-American according to Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, NCBWA and Perfect Game.
And, Lange was voted the male winner of the 2015 James J. Corbett award. The award, voted on by the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s media selection committee, is given to the best amateur athlete in the state of Louisiana.
“I hoped to get some mound time as a freshman,” said Lange. “Getting into the starting rotation was my ultimate goal.”
Lange quickly became the staff ace. In his collegiate debut, he allowed just two hits and no runs while striking out seven. As he established himself, he picked up key SEC wins over Ole Miss, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State, Missouri and South Carolina.
But he saved his best for post season play.
In a 2-0 win in the Baton Rouge Regional, Lange tossed a complete game six hitter against UNC-Wilmington. He struck out 12. In a 4-3 super regional win over UL-Lafayette, Lange tossed eight innings of three run baseball.
He struck out 11.
In Omaha, Lange picked up LSU’s lone victory in the College World Series. Lange allowed three runs in the first inning, then held Cal State Fullerton to two hits and no runs over the final eight innings. LSU won 5-3.
“After they scored three, I told myself they weren’t going to score four,” said Lange. “I was going to make it tough on them. I just had to trust my stuff.”
Head coach Paul Mainieri said Lange’s performance in Omaha was a testament to his mental toughness.
“He was not intimidated,” said Mainieri. “He showed poise and toughness.”
Lange, who hails from Missouri, is no stranger to winning. As a senior at Lee’s Summit West High School, he posted a perfect 12-0 record with a 0.82 ERA on his way to Gatorade Player of the Year honors for Missouri. With his win streak still going, the ace said he’s already looking forward to next year.
“I came to LSU to win a national championship.”
And, at LSU it all started with a 95 mile an hour fastball on February 14th, 2015 against the University of Kansas.
“After Alex threw that pitch, a buzz went through the entire crowd,” said Mainieri.
For the 2015 male Corbett Award winner, it was the beginning of a special season.
Story submitted by Ed Daniels of the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee.