Louis ColemanLSU Baseball - 2009-10 Corbett Award Winner
Louis Coleman, a right-handed hurler from Schlater, Miss., bypassed an offer from the Washington Nationals to return to LSU, and proved to be an integral part of the Tigers' run to the 2009 National Championship -- from start to finish. The victory at the College World Series was the sixth all-time for LSU.
Coleman was the starting pitcher on Opening Day in the new Alex Box Stadium on February 20; Coleman also recorded the final six outs in the Tigers' 11-4 victory over Texas in the championship game of the College World Series. The senior started and pitched six innings in LSU's game one victory over Texas in the championship series on a Monday, then after the Tigers lost game two, Coleman came back to the mound in relief on two days rest to close out the championship in fine fashion - he struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth inning in the clincher.
Coleman recorded four appearances in the NCAA tournament, pitching 15 innings, finishing with a 4.20 ERA, four walks and 18 strikeouts. He also was the winning pitcher in LSU's Super Regional triumph over Rice.
"As a coach, it's very important that you don't play favorites with kids, but I have to admit after what this kid has gone through in his career, you see why the kid is great," said LSU head coach Paul Manieri. "First of all he has a lot of talent, but he is such a passionate person. I love passionate people. I love people that feel alive and want to do great things. I'll remember these conversations I had with him last summer until the day I die. When he decided he was going to come back, I said, ‘Louis, you will make all the difference in the world with our team. You are the final piece of our puzzle for next year's team. We're going to go back to Omaha because of you.' Every time he's given the ball he gives the greatest effort that any human being could possibly give for his school. He's certainly going to go down in history with me and my coaching career as one of my all-time favorite kids."
In 25 appearances in 2009, which included 16 starts, Coleman recorded a 2.93 earned run average. In 129 innings he allowed 23 walks and struck out 142 - the eighth-highest single-season strikeout total in LSU history and the fourth highest total in the nation that year. He was second in the nation in wins with 14 and fourth in strikeouts.
He was a consensus first-team All-America selection and the Southeastern Conference and Louisiana Sports Writers Association Pitcher of the Year.
For his career, the 6-4, 190-pounder registered 29 wins (eighth all-time in the LSU annals) and 303 strikeouts (No. 9 all-time for the Tigers).
Coleman earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural business. Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fifth round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, Coleman is now pitching for the Royals' AA team in Springdale, Ark.
Story submitted by Lori Lyons of the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee.