Abilene Christian’s Luis Trevino named Southland Conference Baseball Player of the Year

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Wildcats’ slugger garners top honor; Incarnate Word earns league-high eight picks

FRISCO, Texas – Abilene Christian’s Luis Trevino is the 2019 Southland Conference Baseball Player of the Year, the league announced Monday along with all-conference selections. Southland yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition.

The near Triple Crown winner for the league led the Southland in batting average (.408) and RBI (63) but finished one shy of UIW’s Taylor Smith in home runs (15). Trevino finished ninth in Division I in batting average and also placed in the top-25 nationally in RBI, on-base percentage (.504), slugging percentage (.743) and total bases (142). The Mission, Texas, native drew a conference-best 39 walks and was a .509 hitter with runners in scoring position.

Smith, the Southland’s Freshman of the Year, slugged a league-high 16 home runs and posted four multi-home run games in his rookie campaign, resulting in the conference’s third-highest slugging percentage (.629). The Georgetown, Texas, native finished second to Trevino with 56 RBI and occupied the second-team catcher spot on the all-conference squads.

Sam Houston State freshman Colton Cowser earns Hitter of the Year honors after an impressive rookie season, posting the Southland’s best batting average in conference play (.388). The Cypress, Texas, native tied for the league lead in extra-base hits in both overall and conference-only games, roping seven triples and 17 doubles in 2019. Cowser tallied conference-high figures in both runs scored (32) and hits (47).

Corey Gaconi of Southeastern Louisiana is the Pitcher of the Year and picked up his third career all-conference honor after being voted to the first team. The Metairie, La. Native ranked fifth in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.67) and walks allowed per nine innings (0.84). In starts against Southland foes, Gaconi was undefeated (6-0) with a league-low 1.82 ERA with 63 punchouts, opposite of seven walks.

Named one of 15 semifinalists for National Pitcher of the Year by the College Baseball Foundation, New Orleans’ Reeves Martin is the Relief Pitcher of the Year. The Tampa, Fla., native converted all 14 of his save opportunities in 2019, good for third-most in Division I. Martin sat down 55 batters on strikes in 35 innings while only allowing four earned runs in his 29 appearances.

Stephen F. Austin’s Alex Palmer is the league’s Newcomer of the Year for 2019 after setting the program record for single-season strikeouts (99) and tossing a trio of complete games as the Lumberjacks’ ace. The Cisco College transfer led the conference in fewest hits per nine innings (6.15) and held conference opponents to the lowest batting average (.191) among Southland hurlers.

Patrick Hallmark garners the 2019 Clay Gould Coach of the Year accolade after leading an impressive turnaround season for Incarnate Word in just his second season at the helm. In his inaugural season last year, the Demons finished 13-17 in league play, good for just 10th in the conference. Hallmark engineered a five-game turnaround in 2019 as the Cardinals qualified for their first Southland Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed with an 18-12 mark.

Incarnate Word leads the way with eight all-conference picks, followed by Sam Houston State with seven and McNeese with four. Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist, Lamar, Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana each earned three spots, while Abilene Christian, New Orleans and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi had a pair named all-conference. Nicholls and Stephen F. Austin each had one honoree.

Central Arkansas, UIW and Southeastern Louisiana each accounted for two spots on the all-defensive team, and student-athletes from McNeese, Sam Houston State and A&M-Corpus Christi rounded out the squad.

The All-Southland Conference teams are nominated and voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Voting for oneself or one’s own athletes is not permitted. To receive honorable mention, a player must appear on 25 percent of ballots.

Player of the Year: Luis Trevino, Abilene Christian
Hitter of the Year: Colton Cowser, Sam Houston State
Pitcher of the Year: Corey Gaconi, Southeastern Louisiana
Relief Pitcher of the Year: Reeves Martin, New Orleans
Freshman of the Year: Taylor Smith, UIW
Newcomer of the Year: Alex Palmer, Stephen F. Austin
Clay Gould Coach of the Year: Patrick Hallmark, Incarnate Word

First Team
Pos. Name School
1B Hunter Hearn Sam Houston State
2B Riley McKnight Sam Houston State
3B Enrique Sanchez Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
SS Ryan Gonzalez Incarnate Word
C Luis Trevino Abilene Christian
DH Clayton Rasbeary McNeese
OF Colton Cowser Sam Houston State
OF Eddy Gonzalez Incarnate Word
OF Sean Arnold Incarnate Word
SP Corey Gaconi Southeastern Louisiana
SP Hayden Wesneski Sam Houston State
SP Alex Palmer Stephen F. Austin
RP Reeves Martin New Orleans
U Itchy Burts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Second Team
Pos. Name School
1B Ryan Flores Incarnate Word
2B Nate Fisbeck McNeese
3B Antonio Valdez Incarnate Word
SS JC Correa Lamar
C Taylor Smith Incarnate Word
DH Lee Thomas Incarnate Word
OF Clayton Harp Sam Houston State
OF Dalon Farkas Abilene Christian
OF Brandon Bena Houston Baptist
SP Cody Davenport Central Arkansas
SP Nathan Jones Northwestern State
SP Noah Cameron Central Arkansas
RP Bernie Martinez Incarnate Word
U Jordan Cannon Sam Houston State

Third Team
Pos. Name School
1B Kyle Schimpf Southeastern Louisiana
2B Logan Berlof Lamar
3B Carson Maxwell McNeese
SS Caleb Ricca Northwestern State
C Erik Voller Houston Baptist
DH Gaige Howard New Orleans
OF Jack Rogers Sam Houston State
OF Tyler Smith Northwestern State
OF Josh Ragan Central Arkansas
SP Jason Blanchard Lamar
SP Kyle Gruller Houston Baptist
SP Jacob Bedevian Nicholls
RP Jared Biddy Southeastern Louisiana
U Jake Dickerson McNeese

Honorable Mention: 1B: Collin Morrill, New Orleans. 2B: Brennan Breaud, Southeastern Louisiana. 3B: Robin Adames, Lamar; Sam Taylor, Northwestern State.SS: Cody Grosse, Southeastern Louisiana. C: Gavin Johnson, Sam Houston State. DH: Preston Faulkner, Southeastern Louisiana. OF: Jeffrey Elkins, Northwestern State; Avery George, Lamar, Cole Girouard, Lamar. SP: Spencer Chirpich, Abilene Christian; Mason Knopp, Southeastern Louisiana. RP: Will Dion, McNeese; Brennan Lewis, Abilene Christian; Nick Mikolajchak, Sam Houston State; Gavin Stone, Central Arkansas. U: Champ Davison, Nicholls.

2019 ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Pos. Name School
1B Tyler Smith Central Arkansas
2B Riley McKnight Sam Houston State
3B Carson Maxwell McNeese
SS Cody Grosse Southeastern Louisiana
C Taylor Smith Incarnate Word
LF Nick Ray Southeastern Louisiana
CF Josh Ragan Central Arkansas
RF Sean Arnold Incarnate Word
P Dustin Lacaze Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

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