McNeese picked to win 2023 Southland baseball crown as preseason All-Conference teams announced

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FRISCO, Texas – The top two teams in last year’s Southland Conference baseball standings are predicted to finish at the top of the league standings again in 2023, with the McNeese Cowboys at the top, followed closely by the Southeastern Lions. The preseason poll and preseason all-conference teams were released Friday by the conference office.

McNeese led the preseason poll with 118 points and seven first place votes. The Cowboys have a conference-high eight preseason all-conference selections with five on the first team.

Southeastern had 10 first place votes and 115 points, just three points out of first in the poll. The Lions advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season as SLC Tournament champions, and have three second team preseason all-conference selections.

Lamar (88 points) in third and New Orleans (87 points) in fourth were separated by one point in the poll. The Cardinals have one preseason all-conference pick in their return to the Southland, and the Privateers have four players on the second team.

Northwestern State received one first place vote and 65 points overall to rank fifth in the poll. The Demons have one first team selection and two second team picks on the preseason all-conference team.

Nicholls is picked sixth in the poll, followed by A&M-Corpus Christi in seventh. Both the Colonels and Islanders have four overall picks on the preseason all-conference teams. HCU in eighth and UIW in ninth round out the poll, with one preseason all-conference selection for the Cardinals.

The preseason poll is voted on by head coaches and sports information directors in the conference, with coaches selecting the preseason all-conference team.

The 2023 baseball season begins two weeks from today on Friday, February 17, with all nine conference teams in action. New Orleans will pick up the bats first to start the season at Kennesaw State with a 3 p.m. CST start that day. Lamar, Nicholls, Southeastern, McNeese, A&M-Corpus Christi, and UIW all host home series on the opening weekend.

The 2023 Southland Conference Baseball Championship tournament will be held on May 24-27 at McNeese’s Joe Miller Ballpark in Lake Charles, La., with the tournament champion claiming the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

All nine teams will play a 24-game round robin conference schedule against the other eight teams, with the top seven teams in the conference qualifying for the double-elimination conference tournament.

2023 Southland Conference Baseball Preseason Poll

Pl School 1st Pts
1 McNeese 7 118
2 Southeastern 10 115
3 Lamar 88
4 New Orleans 87
5 Northwestern State 1 65
6 Nicholls 59
7 A&M-Corpus Christi 55
8 HCU 41
9 UIW 20

2023 Southland Conference Baseball Preseason All-Conference Teams

First Team

Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown
1B Edgar Alvarez * Nicholls Jr. Orlando, Fla.
2B Brad Burckel * McNeese Sr. Lindale, Texas
3B Josh Leslie * McNeese Sr. Kenosha, Wis.
SS Parker Coddou * Nicholls Jr. Thibodaux, La.
C Bo Willis * Northwestern State Jr. Magnolia, Texas
DH Tre Jones * Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Jr. Houston, Texas
OF Payton Harden * McNeese Sr. Atascocita, Texas
OF Brendan Ryan * Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Sr. Leawood, Kan.
OF Xane Washington * Nicholls R-Sr. Houma, La.
SP Zach Garcia * Texas A&M-Corpus Christi So. New Braunfels, Texas
SP Grant Rogers * McNeese Jr. Groves, Texas
SP Tyler Theriot * Nicholls Sr. Brusly, La.
RP Burrell Jones McNeese Sr. Holt, Mich.
U Alec Carr * UIW Sr. Sugar Land, Texas

Second Team

Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown
1B Josh Blankenship Lamar Sr. Santa Fe, Texas
2B Daunte Stuart * Northwestern State Jr. The Woodlands, Texas
3B Kasten Furr * New Orleans Jr. Ruston, La.
SS Tyler Bischke New Orleans Jr. Pittsburgh, Pa.
C Bryce Grizzaffi * Southeastern Sr. Morgan City, La.
DH Kade Hunter * McNeese Sr. Comfort, Texas
OF Josh Caraway * Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Jr. Roanoke, Texas
OF Braden Duhon * McNeese Jr. Moss Bluff, La.
OF Issac Williams * New Orleans Jr. Alexandria, La.
SP Cal Carver * Northwestern State Sr. San Antonio, Texas
SP Tyler LeBlanc * New Orleans Jr. Lafayette, La.
SP Will Kinzeler * Southeastern Jr. Covington, La.
RP Dalton Aspholm Southeastern Sr. Baton Rouge, La.
U Tre’ Obregon III McNeese Sr. Sallisaw, Okla.

*-2022 Southland All-Conference Selection

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