Last year, Stuart Turner helped lead the Bengals to their fourth NCJAA Divsion II title and was named the Easton Defensive Player of the Year
Turner was also selected as a Rawlings Gold Glove winner and an Academic All-America selection with a 4.0 GPA.
Turner hit .332 with 16 doubles, seven home runs and 49 RBI during his sophomore season with the Bengals before moving on to Ole Miss.
Before Turner, present Southeastern Louisiana University senior Jacob Fisher left his mark on the Bengal program.
Starting catcher for 2010 NJCAA National Champion LSU-Eunice as a sophomore, Fisher threw out 21 of 35 would-be base stealers.
He hit .316 for the season and was second on the club in home runs (9) and RBI (71). Fisher was named Easton NJCAA Division II Defensive Player of the Year and he also earned earn All-Region 23 honors in addition to being named to the NJCAA DII Rawlings Gold Glove Team.
Stepping into the shadow of the two All-Americans are three talented catchers, according to Willis.
Evan Powell (Sam Houston) transferred from LSU and Willis said he is excited to see what Powell will accomplish as a Bengal.
“I think he is going to bring a lot to the table,” Willis said. “He didn’t get as many at bats as he would had liked last year at LSU as a true freshman.
Willis said Powell’s time as a bull pen catcher at LSU should help when he sees action with the Bengals.
“He is extremely intelligent on the field,” the coach said. “He plays the game hard, likes to get dirty and could become one of the better hitting catchers we have had.”
“We have had a history of having really good catchers back there,” Willis said. “It is great to see him make the transition of coming over here to be a part of our program.”
Former Eunice High star Trent Vidrine was a redshirt last year and spent the championship season as a bull pen catcher but had a good fall season as he began to see game time action.
“He swung the bat extremely well in the fall,” Willis said. “It was good to see him be one of our leading hitters and he provides a left-handed hitting guy on a team that we don’t have very many.
Willis said Vidrine will play in the mix some where on the team this season.
“Trent caught every one of our pitchers in the bull pen last season, “ the coach said. He has a strong bond with those guys.”
Dalton DeLeon (Burleson, Texas) transferred from Howard College/Big Spring and could also see action as a catcher during the regular season.
“Dalton was hurt most of the fall so we didn’t get to see what he can do,” the coach said. “But he did have a good Fall World Series and the had the least amount of strikeouts during the fall season.”
“They all have tremendous character and are team players that understand their role and will help us win in what ever facet they need to help us in.”