Southland announces 2020 Preseason All-Conference Baseball teams

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Eleven schools represented on preseason teams; Central Arkansas, McNeese lead with five picks each

FRISCO, Texas – Reigning Hitter of the Year and Sam Houston State outfielder Colton Cowser headlines the 2020 Southland Conference Preseason All-Conference baseball teams, announced by the league Tuesday.

The sophomore from Cypress, Texas, posted the Southland’s top batting average in conference play (.388) in his rookie season, leading the Bearkats to their seventh conference championship in nine years. He tied for the league lead in extra-base hits in both overall and conference-only games, roping seven triples and 17 doubles, and tallied conference-high figures in both runs scored (32) and hits (47).

Named Third-Team Preseason All-America by D1 Baseball and Collegiate Baseball, Cowser represented the league on the Team USA Collegiate National Team. In 13 games on the summer tour, he made eight starts in right field and led the team in runs (9). He was named MVP of the Cuba series after leading the team in batting (.438) and runs (6) and tying for the team-lead in hits (7) during the five-game series.

After meeting in the 2019 Southland Baseball Tournament championship, Central Arkansas and McNeese led the way with five selections each, followed by UIW with four. Lamar and Sam Houston State each garnered a trio of picks, while Houston Baptist and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi picked up a pair of honorees. Nicholls, Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin each had one individual selected to the second team.

The squads feature 16 returning all-conference honorees and three members of the 2019 Southland Conference All-Tournament Team in Nate Fisbeck and Jake Dickerson of McNeese and Central Arkansas’ Beau Orlando.

Fisbeck, who was also named Third-Team All-America by Collegiate Baseball, started all 61 games for the Cowboys’ run to a Southland tournament title and their first regional appearance since 2003. He led the league in runs (53) and doubles (21) and finished with the third-most home runs (12). Fisbeck scored seven runs in four games at the conference tournament and hit a pair of homers in a 5-3 win over UIW that sent McNeese to the title game.

While the conference had 12 pitchers drafted last summer, there are still several worthy arms in the ranks, including returning all-conference pitchers Kyle Gruller of Houston Baptist and Noah Cameron of Central Arkansas. Gruller finished third in the conference in ERA (2.18) and opposing batting average (.207). In his rookie campaign, Cameron went 6-1 and tallied a league-best 77 strikeouts in conference play.

The 2020 Southland Baseball Preseason Poll will be announced at 11 a.m. Thursday. The season begins Friday, Feb. 14, with 15 games, starting when Houston Baptist visits Texas Tech at 1 p.m.

Southland preseason all-conference teams are nominated and voted upon by the league’s head coaches. Voting for one’s own athletes is not permitted. Returning all-conference selections from the previous season are automatically named to the preseason teams and may be elevated to higher teams based on available positions.

2020 Southland Conference Preseason All-Conference Baseball Teams

First Team
Name School Pos. Class Hometown
Ryan Flores* UIW 1B Jr. Corpus Christi, Texas
Nate Fisbeck*^ McNeese 2B Sr. The Woodlands, Texas
Beau Orlando^ Central Arkansas 3B Sr. Houston, Texas
JC Correa* Lamar SS Sr. Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico
Gavin Johnson Sam Houston State C R-Sr. San Antonio, Texas
Clayton Rasbeary* McNeese DH Sr. Rockwall, Texas
Sean Arnold* UIW OF Sr. Bryan, Texas
Brandon Bena* Houston Baptist OF Sr. Omaha, Neb.
Colton Cowser* Sam Houston State OF So. Cypress, Texas
Noah Cameron* Central Arkansas SP So. St. Joseph, Mo.
Will Dion McNeese SP So. Sulphur, La.
Kyle Gruller* Houston Baptist SP Sr. Cypress, Texas
Conner Williams Central Arkansas RP Sr. Conway, Ark.
Itchy Burts* Texas A&M-Corpus Christi U Sr. League City, Texas

Second Team
Name School Pos. Class Hometown
Preston Faulkner Southeastern Louisiana 1B Jr. Denham Springs, La.
Logan Berlof* Lamar 2B Sr. McKinney, Texas
Anthony Quirion Lamar 3B Sr. Dixville, Quebec, Canada
Reid Bourque McNeese SS Jr. Moss Bluff, La.
Chris Sandberg Nicholls C Sr. Los Angeles, Calif.
Lee Thomas* UIW DH Sr. Katy, Texas
Josh Ragan* Central Arkansas OF Sr. Irving, Texas
Jack Rogers* Sam Houston State OF Jr. Spring, Texas
Tyler Smith* Northwestern State OF Sr. Franklinton, La.
John Gaddis Texas A&M-Corpus Christi SP Jr. Corpus Christi, Texas
Gavin Stone Central Arkansas SP Jr. Lake City, Ark.
Luke Taggart UIW SP Sr. Portland, Texas
Jeremy Rodriguez Stephen F. Austin RP Sr. Cypress, Texas
Jake Dickerson*^ McNeese U Sr. Beaumont, Texas

* – Member of 2019 All-Southland Conference teams
^ – Member of 2019 Southland Conference All-Tournament team

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