2006 Preseason All-American
2005 NCBWA All-American
Returns to claim his position as the team's closing pitcher ... Last year as a junior, he completely changed his delivery style from over the top to an underneath delivery and had an All-American season ... Named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's All-American Third Team as well as a finalist for the Stopper of the Year Award ... Conference USA First-Team All-Conference ... NCBWA Preseason First-Team All-American ... Louisville Slugger Third-Team Preseason All-American ... SEBaseball.com's Conference USA's Pitcher of the Year ... Has good sink to his fast ball ... Throws three pitches for strikes, fastball, curve and change-up ... Locates pitches well.
2005 (Jr.): Made 30 appearances ... Finished with a 3-0 record with 0.46 ERA and collected 11 saves in 39.0 innings pitched ... Struck out 37, walked only seven and opponents hit .229 against him ... His 11 saves were the second-best single-season amount in the school's history ... Ranked No. 23 in the nation in saves ... Gave up only four extra-base hits for the season ... Struck out a season-high four batters in 1.2 innings against Arkansas State, picking up save (3/11) ... His longest outing was 5.0 innings against Louisiana-Monroe (5/3) where he gave up one hit and struck out two ... Earned his first win of the season at TCU, pitching two innings, giving up one hit, one walk and striking out three (3/20) ... Picked up a save against UAB (5/6), pitching two innings and striking out two ... His second win came at Memphis (4/3), where he gave up one hit, one walk and struck out one in 1.2 innings ... Pitched 1.2 innings at Houston (5/21), giving up one hit and striking out three ... Third win of the season came against USF (5/15), when he gave up a run on four hits and struck out one in two innings.
2004 (So.): Made 18 appearances and 10 starts ... Finished with a 4-3 record with a 7.05 ERA in 67.2 innings pitched ... Struck out 50, fourth most on the team and walked 19 ... Struck out five or more batters three times and four batters seven times ... Pitched six innings against Southeastern Louisiana (3/16), giving up three runs on two hits, walking one and striking out a career-high nine batters ... Pitched 6.2 innings against Louisiana- Monroe (3/2), giving up two runs, walking four and striking out three for his first win of the season ... Earned his second win of the season against Mississippi Valley State (3/31), giving up one earned run on five hits and striking out seven ... Pitched 6.2 innings against Ole Miss (3/23), giving up three runs, two earned, on nine hits and struck out four, receiving a no-decision in a game that Southern Miss won 8-7 ... Earned his third win of the season, pitching 5.2 innings of relief against Memphis (4/17), giving up one run on four hits and striking out four batters ... Pitched three innings of relief at Charlotte (5/15), giving up one run on two hits, walking one and striking out three, earning his fourth win of the season ... Pitched an inning of relief against LSU (6/5) in the NCAA Regionals and three innings against the College of Charleston (6/5) .
2003 (Fr.): Made 16 appearances, starting one ... Only start was a six-hit victory over Mississippi State (4/23), his second win of the season ... Recorded two earned runs, two walks and three strikeouts in 6.1 innings against the Bulldogs ... First win of the season collected against Temple (3/11) ... Pitched four innings with seven hits, three runs, one walk and four strikeouts against Temple (3/11) ... Did not surrender more than two hits in any of his last seven outings ... Didn't give up more than two runs in last 12 appearances ... Four innings is the most pitched in relief (vs. Temple on 4/11; vs. Southeastern Louisiana on 4/30) ... Recorded a season- and career-high five strikeouts against Southeastern Louisiana ... Pitched an inning of relief in the NCAA Tournament against Southern (5/30), giving up two hits, walking one and striking out one.
Prep: Four-year letterwinner for Coach Tim O'Neal at Ruston High School ... Posted a 7-3 record with a 1.56 ERA in 49.1 innings pitched as a senior ... Struck out 56 batters and walked only 19 ... Named first-team all-district ... As a junior, he was 5-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 51.1 innings on the mound ... He gave up 40 hits, 13 walks and struck out 44.
Personal: Son of Jeff and Ruth Best ... Father played baseball at Louisiana Tech ... Majoring in coaching and sport administration with a minor in business administration ... Enjoys fishing in his spare time ... Born March 30, 1984.
Best's Career Statistics
Year ERA W-L G-GS CG SV IP H R ER BB SO
2005 (Jr.) 0.46 3-0 30-0 0 11 39.0 32 3 2 7 37
2004 (So.) 7.05 4-3 18-10 0 0 67.2 97 63 53 19 50
2003 (Fr.) 4.01 2-0 16-1 0 0 33.2 41 21 15 13 24
Totals 4.49 9-3 64-11 0 11 140.1 170 87 70 39 111