The LaGrange baseball team placed three players on the USA South All-Conference teams as announced by the conference office April 11, 2018. Freshman Jack Layrisson is the USA South Rookie of the Year and an honorable mention selection at first base. Senior outfielder James Poropatic is on the first team and freshman relief pitcher Gibson Bittner was a second team selection.
Layrisson is the third Panther to earn USA South Rookie of the Year honors in baseball. He is currently batting .328, with a .412 on-base percentage and a .515 slugging percentage. Layrisson has scored 27 runs , has 33 RBIs, four doubles, three home runs and tied for the conference lead with six triples. In USA South games, Layrisson ranked in the top-10 in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, hits, RBIs, triples, home runs, walks and sacrifice flies. He was named NCBWA National Division III Rookie of the Week once and USA South Rookie of the Week twice this spring.
Poropatic is on the all-conference team for the second year in a row. He is second on the team with a .327 batting average and leads the team with four home runs and 35 RBIs. Poropatic batted .377 with two home runs and 19 RBIs in USA South games. He has at least one hit in 31 of the 37 games this season. Poropatic hit his first collegiate grand slam on April 3 in a 9-4 win at Oglethorpe. He recorded his 100th career on March 10 in a 11-8 win over Brevard. Poropatic was the USA South Player of the Week for the week ending March 18.
Bittner is 5-1 this season with a 1.51 ERA and tied for the team lead in wins. He is second on the team with 17 appearances, while making one start and recording a save. Bittner has struck out 44 batters in 41-2/3 innings pitched. He struck out a season-high seven batters in four innings in a 17-3 win over Oglethorpe on March 27. Bittner pitched a season-high 4-2/3 innings of relief to get the win in a 12-7 victory over Piedmont on March 31. He was the USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Week for the week ending April 1.