College baseball: BPCC notches 30-plus win season, earns postseason berth

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Staff Reports, newsroom@bossierpress.com

Bossier Parish Community College has won more than 30 games in a season for the first time in more than a decade.

The Cavaliers (31-16) have also clinched a berth in the Region IV Tournament to be held in Beaumont, Texas, beginning Saturday, May 11.

“We are competing in one of the toughest conferences in the country and are the only Louisiana team with all other conference members being Texas institutions,” BPCC coach Bobby Gilliam said. “Our players have come together as a group, worked extremely hard in the offseason and have overcome injuries and other challenges so as to compete and excel at the highest level.  I’m very proud of our players and we have some important work to finish.”

Gilliam said he is also particularly pleased his players are being noticed by colleges and scouts throughout the country and that “working with his players to succeed and get the opportunity to keep playing” is something he most enjoys.

The players come primarily from north and south Louisiana as well as Texas and a few other states. 

The starting pitching rotation has remained healthy for much of the year and includes 6-foot-5 sophomore left-hander Will Hine. The former Benton star has 49 strikeouts in 42 innings.

Jose Cabrera, whose father pitched for the Astros, has been a stalwart with six wins. Freshman left-hander Dylan Collins is 5-3 with 58 strikeouts.  Freshman Branon Pope of Lafayette has also notched five wins.

Gilliam said the bullpen is much improved. It includes sophomore Casey Todd, a 6-5 right-hander with a 1.7 ERA, and freshman Zach Morehouse, who has developed an excellent slider and has outstanding velocity. 

Hunter Shaw, formally of Evangel Christian, has four saves with an ERA of 3.27 and has shown much value as a utility player. Also, Ty O’Neal of Monroe has been a top-notch reliever. He has given up only four walks while recording 20 strikeouts.

Jacob Gilcrease, another former Evangel player, has also provided some quality and much needed innings.

Gilliam said the defense and hitters have also shown a lot of improvement.

Senior Kyle Jones, a former Calvary Baptist standout, has signed with LSUS. He is an excellent center fielder with an outstanding arm and speed and with 18 stolen bases this season.

Freshman second baseman Kanin Dodge and shortstop Bobby Lada are a stong tandem holding down the middle. They are batting .353 and .346, respectively.

Sophomore first baseman Hudson Laborde has 10 home runs. He is batting .343 and is being recruited by Division I colleges. 

Senior catcher Ty Dragos, who has 18 RBI, is being recruited by several schools.  Freshman Adrian Minijares, batting .401, is a catcher and valuable utility player.

Freshman and south Louisiana product Will Doughty is playing a tough third base and batting .346 while playing through some injuries.

There are many others contributing including sophomore Gavin Pellitier, who has been out with a broken hand but is returning to the team after recording four home runs in only 20 games.

“I’ve really enjoyed coaching this group and look forward to working with them to continue to compete,” Gilliam. “I’m also very pleased to see BPCC baseball take this step forward and look to continue to improve and offer our student athletes a great experience going forward.”