LSU Eunice freshman Connor Benge has been named to the 2023 NJCAA Division II Baseball All-American team, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced on Monday. Benge, a pitcher, was tabbed to the third team of the 36-man squad.
The All-American selections were made by the NJCAA Division II Baseball Committee.
Benge is the first LSUE true freshman to earn NJCAA All-American honors since Trey Watkins and Chance Mistric both accomplished the feat in 2009. He is the 26th student-athlete in the history of the LSUE Baseball program to receive All-American distinction.
“We are incredibly proud of Connor and the hard work he and his teammates put into the season,” LSU Eunice Baseball head coach Jeff Willis said. “He attacks every day with a competitive drive and wants to achieve excellence in everything he does, from the classroom to the field. He is very deserving of this honor.”
The Montgomery, Texas native established himself as one of the frontline arms on a very deep Bengal pitching staff. Benge posted a team best 11-1 record with a 2.82 earned run average. He also led the team in innings pitched (70.1) and strikeouts (86).
His 11 wins were ranked second in NJCAA Division II while his 86 strikeouts places him in the Top 20 nationally.
The freshman was electric to start the season, not allowing a run in his first five appearances. He would be named the national NJCAA Pitcher of the Week after a 14-strikeout performance against Southeastern Iowa in a March 10 win.
Benge was named the lone Bengal representative on the 2023 All-Region 23 Team earlier this month.
LSU Eunice finished the 2023 season with a 53-5 record, playing in the Region 23 Championship game for a fifth consecutive campaign.
2023 NJCAA Division II Baseball All-American Team
|P||Hunter Shaw||Lansing (MI)||Fr.|
|P||Cole Boswell||Meridian (MS)||So.|
|P||Jared Berkenpas||Grand Rapids (MI)||So.|
|C||Mason Schwalbach||McHenry County (IL)||So.|
|INF||Brylan West||South Florida State||So.|
|INF||Hunter Lay||Lansing (MI)||So.|
|INF||Sam Antonacci||Heartland (IL)||So.|
|INF||Austin Gomm||Parkland (IL)||So.|
|OF||Preston Curtis||Carl Albert State (OK)||So.|
|OF||Garrett Gruell||Murray State (OK)||So.|
|OF||Payton Mansfield||John Wood (IL)||Fr.|
|DH||Josh Heyder||Illinois Central||So.|
|P||Colby Langford||Murray State (OK)||So.|
|P||Casey Perrenoud||Southeastern (IA)||So.|
|P||Cooper Cooksey||Pearl River (MS)||Fr.|
|C||Ben Hartl||Heartland (IL)||So.|
|INF||Dariel Osoria||Western Oklahoma State||Fr.|
|INF||Kaleb Freeman||St. Johns River State (FL)||So.|
|INF||Dylan Coleman||Hinds (MS)||So.|
|INF||Will Verdung||Itawamba (MS)||So.|
|OF||Angel Cano||Western Oklahoma State||Fr.|
|OF||Jack Stevens||Catawba Valley (NC)||So.|
|OF||Cole Yearsley||Southeastern (IA)||So.|
|DH||Mo Little||East Central (MS)||Fr.|
|P||Connor McBride||St. Johns River State (FL)||So.|
|P||Ryan Devanney||County College of Morris (NJ)||So.|
|P||Connor Benge||LSU Eunice||Fr.|
|C||Jose Valentin||Ellsworth (IA)||So.|
|INF||Miguel Cantu||Morton (IL)||Fr.|
|INF||Devin Hicks||Bryant & Stratton (VA)||So.|
|INF||Evan Borst||Iowa Central||So.|
|INF||Shane Juday||Lansing (MI)||So.|
|OF||Aiden Corn||Pasco-Hernando State (FL)||Fr.|
|OF||Jonathan McMath||Montgomery (MD)||So.|
|OF||Sean Smith||Mississippi Gulf Coast||So.|
|DH||Adam Berghult||North Iowa Area||Fr.|
Press Release by LSUE Bengals Athletics