Defending SLC champion Cowboys kick off fall baseball workouts on Thursday

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LAKE CHARLES – The defending Southland Conference champion McNeese Cowboys baseball team will kick off its fall workout season on Thursday for roughly a month of practices and intrasquad games that will lead up to the November 2-4 Fall World Series.

The team will hold its first intrasquad game this Saturday, Sept. 23, at 11:30 a.m. at Joe Miller Ballpark. That will be the first of four scrimmages before reaching the fall world series.

“Our guys are excited to get out on the field as a team,” said head coach Justin Hill, the 2017 SLC Coach of the Year. “Group work, team lifts and speed school have gone well but there’s nothing quite like being on the field together.”

Beginning next week, practices will be held Monday-Friday at 3 p.m. while Saturday practice times will be worked around home football games. The team will not practice on Sundays.

McNeese returns eight position players that saw starting time last year, including league hitter of the year Shane Selman (.333, 14 home runs, 59 RBI), and four pitchers with starting experience including weekend starters Rhett Deaton (8-3, 3.78 ERA) and Bryan King (3-4, 6.35).

Offensively, the Cowboys return three of the top four home run hitters who combined to slug 29 of the team’s 60 home runs – Selman (14), Mitchell Rogers (9), and Joe Provenzano (6).

Provenzano is the top returning hitter on the team after he ranked second last season with a .336 average. Selman batted .333 while Rogers hit .302 on the season.

On the mound, McNeese will return bullpen aces Grant Anderson (8-0, 2.30) and his brother Aidan (3-2, 7.78) along with Peyton McLemore (1-1, 2.90) and Tyler Wesley (2-2, 5.82) along with a handful of others that saw significant action last season.

Hill also added a slew of talent with his signing class that includes 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher John Boushelle out of Cowley College who was drafted in the 20th round of the MLB Draft out of high school before initially signing with Kansas State.

Another new name that should be fun to watch is RHP Cayne Ueckert who transferred in from Panola Junior College and played this past summer in the prestigious Alaska League.

The Cowboys’ fall roster also includes nine freshmen from the Lake Charles area.

“It’s always enjoyable seeing a group of individuals go through the process of becoming a team,” said Hill.

In addition to Saturday’s intrasquad game, other dates for scrimmages are as follows: Thursday, Sept. 28, TBA; Friday, Sept. 29, TBA; Wednesday, Oct. 4, 8 p.m.; then a scrimmage to be determined following fall break.

Times for the Nov. 2-4 world series will be announced at a later time.

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