By Tiger Rag News Services
BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU outfielder Antoine Duplantis will wear jersey No. 8 for the 2018 season, coach Paul Mainieri announced on Monday. The No. 8 jersey is given each season to the upperclassman who exemplifies the spirit of LSU Baseball through his leadership and dedication to the program.
The No. 8 tradition was started by outfielder Mikie Mahtook (2009-11) and has since been continued by first baseman Mason Katz (2012-13), shortstop Alex Bregman (2014-15), outfielder Jake Fraley (2016) and second baseman Cole Freeman (2017).
“Antoine Duplantis embodies all of the characteristics that we value in our program,” Mainieri said. “He’s an outstanding ballplayer, an excellent student, and a young man who cares deeply about LSU and the impact our program can make upon the lives of others. It’s an honor he has worked very hard to earn, and we’re thrilled that our 2018 team has Antoine in a significant position of leadership.”
“It will be an absolute honor to continue the tradition of the No. 8 jersey,” said Duplantis, who will be a junior in 2018. “The previous players that have worn this number epitomize what it means to be an LSU baseball player. I will do everything I can to represent the number and the university in the same way that they have.”
Duplantis, a member of the 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll as a sports administration major, has a .321 (179-for-557) cumulative batting average in his first two seasons at LSU with 23 doubles, seven triples, four homers, 100 RBI, 95 runs and 32 stolen bases. LSU’s starting rightfielder in 2016 and its starting leftfielder in 2017, he has a career .989 fielding percentage with 11 outfield assists.
He helped lead the Tigers to the 2017 College World Series Finals, batting .316 (90-for-285) on the year with 14 doubles, two triples, two homers, 61 RBI, 50 runs and 19 steals. Duplantis finished No. 2 in the SEC in stolen bases, No. 4 in the league in base hits and No. 8 in the league in RBI.
Duplantis batted .400 (4-for-10) in the NCAA Super Regional vs. Mississippi State (June 10-11) with three RBI and one run scored, and he was named to the 2017 SEC All-Tournament team after hitting .563 (9-for-16) with three doubles, four RBI, three runs and two steals.
Duplantis was named National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week on March 20 after batting .615 (8-for-13) in LSU’s three-game sweep of Georgia with one double, one homer, 10 RBI, six runs and a .688 on-base percentage. He set the LSU single-game record for hits on March 17 versus Georgia when he went 6-for-6 at the plate with one double and a career-high seven RBI.