Lions see exciting end to season with regionals, MLB draft

This season the Lions baseball team traveled to Baton Rouge for their first trip to the NCAA Regionals since 1994. In No. 4 seed for the regional, the Lions took to Skip Bertman Field at Alex Box Stadium to play three days in a row, squeezing in their first regional win since 1992 in between two tough losses.

The Lions faced off against the Louisiana State University Tigers on Friday, May 30, holding their own until the seventh inning. The Tigers rallied, earning six runs in the last two innings and defeating the Lions 8-4. 

The following day the Lions bounced back to action against Bryant Bulldogs. The game was fairly uneventful with each team only scoring one run, causing the teams to fight it out in a 10th inning. 

The Lions managed a run in the 10th inning, but the deciding moment came when Andrew Godbold caught a pop fly to right field for the Bulldogs’ second out and then threw a shoulder-high strike to catcher Jameson Fisher, who tagged out Bulldog Dan Celluci at home plate, sealing the first NCAA regional win for the Lions since 1992.

The Lions’ 10th-inning win eliminated their opponent Bryant from the tournament. 

On Sunday, June 1, the University of Houston Cougars took on the Lions. The game was off to a rough start when five Lion errors allowed the Cougars to score seven unearned runs within the first two innings. The Lions were unable to come back from their mistakes, although the team rallied for three runs between the eighth and ninth innings. 

The Cougars defeated the Lions, 9-5, knocking them out of the tournament and ending the 2014 Lion baseball season. 

The Lions ended the 2014 baseball season with a 38-25 overall record and an 18-12 conference record. 

Junior pitcher Andro Cutura from Pearl River, Louisiana, was a Southland Conference leader with a 10-2 record and a 1.95 ERA. Cutura had fanned 99 batters in the 106 innings that he pitched this season while limiting hitters to a .219 batting average and issuing 21 walks. He led the conference in wins and strikeouts. 

Cutura was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the seventh round of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft as the 200th overall pick. Cutura is the highest Lion draft choice since Wade Miley was picked in the first round of the 2008 MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he is the first Lion to be drafted since Brock Hebert and Stefan Lopez were picked in 2012. 

Following behind Cutura was his teammate Godbold, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 23rd round of the 2014 MLB draft. 

Godbold, a transfer from Oak Park, Ill., was named the 2014 Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year. He led the Lions with nine home runs and was second with a .349 batting average.

Cutura pitches

Junior Andro Cutura (above) was the starting pitcher against the Louisiana State University Tigers for the first game in the 2014 NCAA Regionals in Baton Rouge. Cutura pitched 16 games this season, fanned 99 batters and led the Southland Conference in wins and strikeouts. The Lion’s Roar / Sara Patrick