Story courtesy: Cooper Welch, Lamar Associate Director of Media Relations
With the recent unrestricted free agent signings of Austin Faith and JC Correa, Lamar University baseball had its 99th and 100th student-athletes extend their careers and join the ranks of professional baseball players.
Faith, who signed with Lamar in the 2019 class and pitched for Big Red in the 2020 season shortened by COVID-19, finished his Cardinal career with four appearances, all starts. He went 0-1 through 14.1 innings of work, striking out 10 while walking nine and allowing 15 hits and 14 earned runs. He pitched a career-best 5.0 innings against Rhode Island on Feb. 16, and struck out a career-best four batters against Stephen F. Austin on March 8. In his junior college career Faith had a 15-4 career record through 29 appearances including 28 starts, and holds a career ERA of 3.84 through 138.1 innings of work. He struck out 143 batters while allowing just 86 walks, a 1.66 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and led his team to a third place finish in the NJCAA World Series in 2019 with a 41-18 record. Faith signed with the New York Mets.
Correa came to Lamar in the 2018 signing class after being drafted by the Houston Astros in the 33rd round of the 2018 MLB Draft. In 2019 he was Second Team All-Southland Conference Shortstop after starting 53 games at either shortstop or designated hitter. He led the team in batting average (.332), hits (74), doubles (14), home runs (10), and RBIs (44) his junior season while slugging at a .529 clip with a .381 OBP. Correa drew 17 walks while striking out just 26 times in 223 at-bats (an average of 9.31 plate appearances per strikeout), and was 11th in the SLC in batting average against conference opponents, hitting .359. He ended the 2019 campaign with one of the hottest bats in the NCAA, hitting .410 in his final 10 games with 16 hits, including three doubles and three homers, slugging at a .718 clip with a .455 OBP. He scored seven runs and drove in 10 RBIs in that time, and was drafted by the Astros again in 2019 in the 38th round. In the 2020 season he was a 2020 Preseason First Team All-Southland Conference shortstop and a 2020 Preseason First Team Perfect Game All-SLC member, and picked as a D1Baseball Top 150 Hitter. He was projected as a 15th-round draft pick before the season began, and started all 14 games he played in with appearances at second and third base. Correa hit .245 for the Cards with a .321 SLUG and a .317 OBP in 2020 with 13 hits including four doubles, nine runs scored, and five RBIs. Correa signed with the Astros.
With the additions of Faith and Correa to the pro ball community, 100 Cardinals have now gone on from Lamar University to sign a professional baseball contract. Of those 100 signees, 11 went on to play in the Majors including World Series champions Kevin Millar (2004, Boston Red Sox) and Clay Hensley (2012, San Francisco Giants).