LAKE CHARLES-After sweeping through Lake Charles Bracket, the best-of-three Southland Conference Championship Series against No. NCAA Tournament. Games are scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and, if necessary, Saturday 6 p.m. at Joe Miller Ballpark and will be broadcast on ESPN +.
“You have the opportunity to honestly have one of the most exciting college baseball highlights this weekend, just because everyone knows what’s on the line and you have a team that finished first and second so it’s going to be really good,” he said. head coach Justin Hill.
enemy: Singa Tenggara
Date: May 26, 27, 28*
Site: Lake Charles, Louisiana | Joe Miller Ballpark
Time: 6 pm CT
ticket / ESPN + / Live Stats
Pitching Match Possible:
Thursday: (McN) RHP Grant Rogers (7-4, 4.09) vs. (SLU) LHP Adam Guth (4-1, 5.17)
If Necessary *
History of the Southland Championships:
In the midst of Poke’s 20th appearance at the Southland Conference Tournament, 10th straight overall and 9th in a row under head coach. Justin Hill, McNeese sits 4-1 historically in the SLC tournament championship game. McNeese will compete for the title for the third consecutive season after beating Central Arkansas in 2019 and Sam Houston in 2021. This is the first time McNeese has hosted the tournament.
This was the first meeting between McNeese and Southeastern in the tournament finals and the eighth (’10, ’15, ’16, ’21) overall in the SLC Tournament. McNeese led the postseason series 4-3 after Pokes defeated the Lions twice in a tournament last year. The Lions led the series overall 97-89-1. McNeese is sweeping the regular season series with the Lions using a home run Kade Morris and Brad Burkelrespectively, in the first two games.
The Cowboys hit .330 as a team in the opening round of the tournament and pitched for a 3.33 ERA in two games against UIW and one against Nicholls. Julian Gonzales (.667), Brad Burkel (.538), lan Payton Harden (.385) leads the offensive power on the plate with Kade Hunter and Kade Morris each homering twice.
The Cowboys finished SLC play 12-3 down to win their fifth straight program Southland Conference Regular Season title.
Southland Conference player of the year Payton HardenPitcher of the Year Grant Rogersand Relief Pitcher of the Year Cameron Foster led McNeese to the tournament while six other Pokes earned postseason awards including Josh Leslie who joined the three on the All-Southland Conference First Team.
Reid Bourque, Brad Burkel, Braden Duhonand Kade Morris they were each named for the second All-Southland Team Conference, when Kade Hunter earned a third team award.
Bourque, Burckel, Morris, and Rogers are also on the SLC All-Defensive Team. Overall, McNeese earned the 17th -highest postseason award in the league.
McNeese carries a batting average of .305 which is tied for the 14. highest mark in the nation.
Cowboy’s 134 steals are the fourth highest in the country. McNeese pulled off his only three steals in college baseball this season on March 25 against HBU.
Pokes has doubled his 24 times this season which is good for four national times and five embarrassing state leaders.
McNeese ranks in the top three of each major category on both sides of the plate across the Southland Conference including league lead in batting average and ERA. Full conference statistics can be found here.
The Cowboys led at the plate by Brad Burkel (.371) and Payton Harden (.371), Southland’s Player of the Year. Julian Gonzales the team paces with 27 extra-base hits and 44 RBIs and Kade Morris led the team with 10 home runs. Harden (25), Reid Bourque (23) and Gonzales (20) are three of the top five base thieves in the league.
History for Hill:
head coach Justin Hill became the winningest coach in McNeese Cowboy history last Friday night against Nicholls. won was a career No. 264 victory for Justin Hill, passed by the late Tony Robichaux. Hill was also named 2022 Clay Gould SLC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career (2017).
About the Lion:
Southeastern won four straight after dropping the first game of the SLC tournament out of Hammond Bracket. He was led by All-Conference 1B players Preston Faulkner (team 1), C Bryce Grizzaffi (team 2), SP Will Kinzeler (team 2), and RP Gage Trahan (team 3). Southeastern leads the league with 71 home runs overall. Faulkner led SLC with 17 long balls and ranked second with 67 RBI. Evan Keller and Tristian Welch have each added 10 homers and Shea Thomas has led in 43 runs. The Lions carry a team average of .256 and an ERA of 5.79 when playing in the league.
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