Southland Conference announces 2023 Baseball awards, All-Conference and All-Defensive teams

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Tristan Moore

FRISCO, Texas – After the tightest race in Southland Conference baseball history with only three games separating first through seventh places, a wide range of schools are represented in the annual superlative awards, all-conference, and all-defensive teams, released Monday by the Southland office.

The awards are announced ahead of the 2023 Southland Conference Baseball Championship, which will be played Tuesday-Saturday, May 23-27 in Lake Charles, La., at McNeese’s Joe Miller Ballpark.

Lamar’s Ryan Snell is the Player of the Year, New Orleans’ Tristan Moore is the Hitter of the Year, McNeese’s Grant Rogers is the Pitcher of the Year, UIW’s Steve Hayward is the Relief Pitcher of the Year, Nicholls’ Jacob Mayers is the Freshman of the Year, and UIW’s Rey Mendoza is the Newcomer of the Year.

Nicholls head coach Mike Silva won the Clay Gould Coach of the Year award after leading the Colonels to their first-ever Jim Gilligan Trophy as regular season champions, claiming the title outright with a 15-9 conference record. The Colonels also had a road upset of then-No. 1 LSU late in the season. Silva is the second Colonel head coach to win SLC Coach of the Year, joining Seth Thibodeaux in 2014.

Snell was an all-around star for Lamar to win Player of the Year, earning first team all-conference honors at catcher and also earning all-defensive honors. He hit .318 on the year with a .657 slugging percentage and 1.070 OPS. He ranked second in the conference in homeruns (17), RBIs (58), and total bases (132) and seventh in doubles (15), with his 64 total hits ranking ninth in the conference. Behind the plate, he caught 20 of 34 attempted base stealers and committed only three errors in 429 chances for a .993 fielding percentage. Snell is the second Lamar Cardinal to win SLC Player of the Year, joining Collin Delome in 2006.

Moore led the conference with 19 homeruns and 140 total bases. He ranked ninth in the league with a .345 batting average, second in the SLC with a .711 slugging percentage and a 1.131 OPS. His 68 hits ranked sixth in the conference and his 60 runs scored ranked second. He is the second consecutive Privateer to win Hitter of the Year after Pearce Howard did so in 2022.

Grant Rogers

Rogers was a mid-season All-American and carries an 11-1 record into the conference tournament to repeat as Pitcher of the Year. He leads the conference in wins (11) and his .917 win percentage ranks third nationally. He led the conference with a 2.00 earned run average in a conference-high 94.2 innings pitched and ranked third in strikeouts with 83. He was also named to the all-defensive team with a perfect fielding percentage. Opponents hit only .210 off of Rogers in his 14 starts. This is McNeese’s seventh Pitcher of the Year award.

Rogers is only the fourth pitcher in Southland history to repeat as Pitcher of the Year, joining Lamar’s Tony Mack (1981-82), Louisiana Tech’s Richie LeBlanc (1986-87), and Texas State’s Carson Smith (2011-12). A McNeese Cowboy has won Pitcher of the Year three consecutive seasons, which has only happened twice previously in Southland history – Louisiana Tech (1985-87) and Texas State (four times, 2009-12).

Hayward tied for the conference lead with seven saves and led the league with 19 games finished. He had a 7-3 record in 21 relief appearances with a 2.56 ERA in 45.2 innings pitched, conceding 30 hits and 15 walks while striking out 68 with an opponents’ batting average of .185. Hayward is UIW’s first honoree as Relief Pitcher of the Year.

Jacob Mayers

Mayers’ performance helped lead Nicholls to the regular season title thanks to a .169 opponents’ batting average and 92 strikeouts, which led the conference. He finished second in ERA at 2.15. He had an 8-1 record in 13 starts and allowed only 12 extra base hits in 62.2 innings. Mayers is the first Nicholls Colonel to win Freshman of the Year.

Mendoza transferred to UIW from the University of Houston and led the conference with 60 RBIs this season. He ranked fifth in the conference with 11 homeruns and seventh with 48 runs scored. He had a .305 batting average, .411 on-base percentage, .508 slugging percentage for a .919 OPS. Mendoza is the first UIW player to win Newcomer of the Year.

Player of the Year: Ryan Snell, Lamar
Hitter of the Year: Tristan Moore, New Orleans
Pitcher of the Year: Grant Rogers, McNeese
Relief Pitcher of the Year: Steve Hayward, UIW
Freshman of the Year: Jacob Mayers, Nicholls
Newcomer of the Year: Rey Mendoza, UIW
Clay Gould Coach of the Year: Mike Silva, Nicholls

2023 All-Southland Conference First Team

Pos. Name School Class Hometown
1B Edgar Alvarez Nicholls Jr. Orlando, Fla.
2B Tyler Bischke New Orleans Jr. Pittsburgh, Pa.
3B Michael Dattalo Northwestern State Fr. Keller, Texas
SS Parker Coddou Nicholls Jr. Thibodaux, La.
C Ryan Snell Lamar Sr. Hardin, Texas
DH Rey Mendoza UIW Gr. Eagle Pass, Texas
OF Xane Washington Nicholls R-Sr. Houma, La.
OF Tristan Moore New Orleans Jr. St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
OF Brendan Ryan A&M-Corpus Christi Sr. Leawood, Kan.
SP Grant Rogers McNeese Jr. Groves, Texas
SP Jacob Mayers Nicholls Fr. Gonzales, La.
SP Brandon Mitchell New Orleans Sr. Houston, Texas
RP Steve Hayward UIW R-Sr. Flower Mound, Texas
U Alec Carr UIW Sr. Sugar Land, Texas

2023 All-Southland Conference Second Team

Pos. Name School Class Hometown
1B Anthony Herron, Jr. New Orleans Sr. Chicago, Ill.
2B Brad Burckel McNeese Sr. Lindale, Texas
3B Reed Chumley HCU Jr. Cypress, Texas
SS Jake Haze Northwestern State Jr. Highlands Ranch, Colo.
C Hernan Yanez UIW Sr. San Luis, Ariz.
DH Tre Jones A&M-Corpus Christi Jr. Houston, Texas
OF Mitchell Sanford New Orleans R-So. Berwick, La.
OF Jeffrey Elkins Northwestern State Sr. Lafayette, La.
OF Samuel Benjamin HCU Jr. Katy, Texas
SP Brooks Caple Lamar Jr. Gunter, Texas
SP Hunter Hesseltine Lamar So. Topeka, Kan.
SP Alex Makarewich Northwestern State Jr. Keller, Texas
RP Gavin Galy Nicholls R-So. Orlando, Fla.
U Max Puls A&M-Corpus Christi Sr. Palm Desert, Calif.

2023 Southland Conference All-Defensive Team

Pos. Name School Class Hometown
1B Edgar Alvarez Nicholls Jr. Orlando, Fla.
2B Jimmy DeLeon UIW Sr. El Paso, Texas
3B Alec Carr UIW Sr. Sugar Land, Texas
SS Parker Coddou Nicholls Jr. Thibodaux, La.
C Ryan Snell Lamar Sr. Hardin, Texas
LF Cooper Hext McNeese Jr. DeQuincy, La.
CF Tyler Finke Southeastern Gr. Columbus, Ind.
RF Xane Washington Nicholls R-Sr. Houma, La.
P Grant Rogers McNeese Jr. Groves, Texas

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