Three Tigers named to ESPN’s all-time 12-man college baseball team

Second baseman Todd Walker was one of three former LSU baseball stars voted to ESPN's 12-man all-time college baseball team. PHOTO by LSU sports information

Three former LSU stars were selected in a worldwide vote of fans to ESPN’s 12-member all-time college baseball team released Tuesday night.

Right-handed pitcher Ben McDonald, second baseman Todd Walker and shortstop Alex Bregman were three of four SEC players (joining Mississippi State first baseman Will Clark) named to the elite team.

Despite going 0-4 in ‘87 and ’89 College World Series, McDonald got 29.97 percent of the votes and was a comfortable winner over second-place finisher former Texas star Roger Clemons, who gathered 22.89 percent.

A Denham Springs native, McDonald was a two-time All-America choice and a 1988 Olympic gold medalist. He was 29-14 with 18 complete games for the Tigers from 1987-89.

In 1989 when he set SEC single-season records for strikeouts (202), innings pitched (152.1) and consecutive scoreless innings (44.2), McDonald was named National Player of the Year by the USBF, Baseball America, The Sporting News and Collegiate Baseball.

He was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, and the next year LSU retired his No. 19 jersey.

Bossier City native Walker, who recently was named the Tiger Rag High 5 winner as the school’s greatest-ever baseball player ahead of McDonald, edged Oregon State’s Nick Madigral (17.75 percent to 16.28 percent) for the best second baseman.

While Walker hit .396 with 246 RBIs, 52 homers and 51 stolen bases in LSU career from 1992-94, his ’93 College World Series performance for the Tigers’ national championship team may have gotten him a spot on ESPN’s all-time college team. He was named the CWS Most Outstanding Player after hitting .390 with three homers and 12 RBI.

Walker was named first-team All-SEC three times, and was voted the SEC Player of the Year in 1993. He was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. LSU retired his No. 12 jersey in 2017.

Bregman got 18.62 percent of the vote, winning over Michigan’s Barry Larkin at 18.39 percent.

From 2013 to 2015 when LSU was 1-4 in two CWS appearances, Bregman was a two-time first-team all-American and was the recipient of the ’13 Brooks Wallace Award as the nation’s best shortstop.

He was a finalist for the ’15 Golden Spikes Award, and he was named the ’13 National Freshman of the Year. He started all 196 games of his LSU career at shortstop, batting .337 (265-for-786) with 56 doubles, 10 triples, 21 homers, 148 RBI, 153 runs and 66 stolen bases.

The rest of ESPN’s all-time college team included Florida State catcher Buster Posey, Oklahoma State third baseman Robin Ventura, Arizona State left fielder Barry Bonds, Florida State center fielder J.D. Drew, Wichita State right fielder Joe Carter, Washington State two-way player John Olerud, Texas left-hand pitcher Greg Swindell and Texas reliever Huston Street.

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Ron Higgins

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