Photos: Early Signing Day _lowres

Mason Templet - LSU Baseball

A pair of local baseball stars signed national letters of intent Wednesday with state schools.

St. Thomas More infielder Mason Templet made it official when he signed with LSU, and pitcher Josh Taylor from Teurlings Catholic did the same with Louisiana-Lafayette.

Templet follows a long line of Cougars that have gone on to play for LSU recently. He’s the fifth to sign with the Tigers since Mikie Mahtook in the 2008 class. Also on that list are Andrew Stevenson (2012), O’Neal Lochridge and Brennan Breaux (2015).

“He grew up with the dream of playing there and watching other STM kids the last few years sign on to play for LSU,” STM coach Gary Perkins said.

Templet missed most of his junior season after undergoing shoulder surgery in the previous fall, but Perkins expects him to be ready for 2016.

“It does your heart good to know this kid’s going to meet his goals,” Perkins said.

Taylor’s the reigning 4A Pitcher of the Year, according to the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association.

He helped lead the Rebels to a state championship in 2015 with an 11-1 record, picking up a win in the semifinals.

Teurlings coach Mike Thibodeaux said the recruiting process was “short and sweet” for Taylor. The Cajuns were the only school to offer the right-handed pitcher with a fastball that touches 86-87 mph. He accepted it and committed last summer.

“He’s a bulldog on the mound, fearless,” Thibodeaux said. “He’s not afraid to pound the strike zone.”

Thibodeaux said it’s even more exciting to see Taylor continue his career near his hometown of Breaux Bridge.

“That’s his place, Thibodeaux said. “He’s a Cajun.”

Hemphill signs with Tide

STM’s Bailey Hemphill, considered one of the nation’s top high school softball players, signed with Alabama on Wednesday.

Hemphill, a catcher, committed to the Crimson Tide as a freshman. She’s a two-time state MVP and the reigning Acadiana Advocate Girl Athlete of the Year.

She hit .630 with 17 home runs as a sophomore and .489 as a junior.

Hemphill was also a first-team All-American, according to FLOsoftball.com

Other signings

Grace Morgan (Notre Dame) signed with Rice volleyball … Erin Trahan (Notre Dame) signed with SMU swimming … Morgan Vincent (St. Thomas More) signed with Millsaps volleyball…Drew Gonzales (STM) signed with LSU golf.