BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU coach Paul Mainieri honored on Monday two of his players – senior outfielder Sean McMullen and junior pitcher Aaron Nola – during the Tigers’ postseason gathering at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The team met to watch the NCAA Tournament bracket announcement on ESPNU.
“These young men epitomize everything student-athletes should be, and they represent LSU at a very high level,” Mainieri said. “They are great players, but they are even greater human beings who demonstrate the merits of leadership and a strong work ethic.”
Just after the tournament field was revealed, McMullen received the Wally Pontiff Jr. Scholar Athlete Award. Pontiff was an all-SEC third baseman at LSU who played for the Tigers from 2000-02 and died tragically in 2002 due to a heart abnormality. The award was presented to McMullen by Pontiff’s father, Wally Pontiff Sr.
McMullen, a native of Metairie, La., is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, and he earned his LSU degree in kinesiology earlier this month with a 3.71 grade point average.
McMullen was named the 2014 Tiger Athletic Foundation Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and he was the LSU athletic department nominee for the Boyd McWhorter SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. His two-run homer in the eighth inning Sunday lifted the Tigers to a 2-0 victory over Florida in the SEC Tournament championship game.
Legendary former LSU coach Skip Bertman then presented Nola with the Skip Bertman Award, which goes to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of the LSU Baseball program. Bertman directed LSU to five national championships during his coaching tenure (1984-2001), and he served a highly successful seven-year term as athletics director.
Nola, a native of Baton Rouge, is an candidate for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award and the National Pitcher of the Year Award. A 2013 first-team all-American, he is 10-1 this season with a 1.49 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 109 innings.
Nola, the 2013 SEC Pitcher of the Year and a first-team all-American, is No. 3 in the nation this season in strikeouts, and he leads the SEC in strikeouts, innings pitched and opponent batting average (.173).