Three Cowboys named to preseason all-SLC baseball team

LAKE CHARLES, LA - By McNeese Assistant SID Hunter Bower:

FRISCO, Texas - The Southland Conference announced its annual preseason all-conference teams and polls on Wednesday with McNeese State picked to finish eighth in the SID poll and 10th in the coaches' poll. Meanwhile seniors Jackson Gooch and Chayse Marion, along with Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Bryce Kingsley were selected to the preseason all-conference teams.

The Cowboys were chosen to finish eighth in the Sports Information Directors poll while the league coaches; selected McNeese to finish 10th.  In 2013, the Cowboys compiled a record of 23-31, including a 10-17 Southland record, earning them a spot in the SLC Tournament.

Sam Houston State was picked to repeat as regular season champions in both polls, garnering 10 first place votes in the coaches' poll and eight in the SID poll.  Southeastern Louisiana was selected to finish second in both polls and gathered a first-place vote from the coaches' and two from the SIDs. Lamar, Oral Roberts and A&M-Corpus Christi round out the top five in the coaches' poll while Oral Roberts, A&M-Corpus Christi and Central Arkansas make up the rest of the top five in the SID poll.

Gooch, a native of Delta, British Columbia, received first-team preseason honors after earning second-team honors after the 2012 season.  He led the Cowboys in 15 different offensive categories last season including batting average (.301), runs scored (40), hits (65), RBI (34), doubles (15), home runs (5) and at-bats (216).  The senior outfielder posted 16 multiple-hit games and a team leading nine multiple-RBI games.  He also posted a career-high 20-game hitting streak March 3-April 9.

Marion also received an automatic selection after being named third-team all-conference last season.  The Reed Deer, Alberta native appeared in 52 games in 2013, starting 50 games primarily at first base.  Marion hit .289 with three home runs, 21 RBI and 30 runs scored.  He drew a team-high 25 walks and posted 17 mulitple-hit games.  He proved to be one of the top infielders after committing a team-low five errors along with a .988 fielding percentage. He also drove in a season-high six RBI in the series finale at Lamar.

Rounding out the trio is Kingsley who is tabbed as one of the top returning pitchers in the league after earning conference Newcomer of the Year and freshman all-American honors last season.  The Lake Charles native, who was voted a first-team preseason selection by the league coaches', became a part of the weekend rotation last season making 15 starts for the Cowboys.  He posted an 8-6 record along with 3.11 ERA as he allowed 42 runs – 34 earned – on 85 hits in 98.1 innings of work.  Kingsley finished the season in the top 10 in the Southland Conference in ERA, wins, innings pitched, games started, complete games and opponent batting average. The sophomore fanned 64 batters and walked 42 while holding opponents to a .237 batting average against.

McNeese will open up its 2014 campaign on Feb. 14 when the Cowboys welcome Chicago State for a three-game home weekend series.

Coaches Poll          

Rk.   University (First-Place Votes)      Points

1.    Sam Houston State (10)          120

T2.   Lamar (1)                   95

T2.   Southeastern Louisiana (1)    95

4.    Oral Roberts                      93

5.    Texas A&M-Corpus Christi      91

6.    Central Arkansas          82

7.    Stephen F. Austin         61

8.    Nicholls                    43

9.    Northwestern State              37

10.   McNeese State                     35

11.   Houston Baptist                   27

12.   New Orleans                 13

Sports Information Directors Poll        

Rk.   University (First-Place Votes)      Points

1.    Sam Houston State (8)           117

2.    Southeastern Louisiana (2)    100

3.    Oral Roberts                      95

4.    Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (1)  94

5.    Central Arkansas (1)            83

6.    Lamar                         78

7.    Stephen F. Austin         65

8.    McNeese State                     46

9.    Nicholls                    41

10.   Northwestern State              34

11.   Houston Baptist                   26

12.   New Orleans                 13

Preseason All-SLC Baseball Team

First Team

Pos.  Name          University      Class Hometown

1B    Chayse Marion*    McNeese State     Sr.   Red Deer, Alberta

2B    Cody Stephens*    A&M-Corpus Christi Sr.  Concord, Calif.

3B    Jesse Buratt*     Southeastern La.Sr.     Prairieville, La.

SS    Sam Bumpers*      Lamar         Jr. Bourbornnais, Ill.

C     Anthony Azar*     Sam Houston State Sr.   The Woodlands, Texas

OF    Luke Plucheck*    Sam Houston State Sr.   Tomball, Texas

OF    Ricardo Sanchez*Stephen F. Austin Sr.     Houston, Texas

OF    Jackson Gooch*    McNeese State     Sr.   Delta, British Columbia

DH    Tyler Boss* Oral Roberts      Sr.   Spring, Texas

P     Trevor Belicek*   A&M-Corpus Christi Jr.  Uvalde, Texas

P     Bryce BiggerstaffCentral Arkansas Sr.     Sherwood, Ark.

P     Bryce Kingsley    McNeese State     So.   Lake Charles, La.

Second Team

Pos.  Name          University              Class     Hometown

1B    Jameson Fisher    Southeastern La.  So.   Zachary, La.

2B    Ryan Farney Sam Houston State Jr.   Houston, Texas

3B    Carter Burgess    Sam Houston State Jr.   Houston, Texas

SS    Corey Toups Sam Houston State So.   The Woodlands, Texas

C     Jose Trevino*     Oral Roberts              Jr. Corpus Christi, Texas

OF    Jude Vidrine      Lamar                 Sr.     Nederland, Texas

OF    Colt Atwood Sam Houston State Jr.   Katy, Texas

OF    Jordan Lee  A&M-Corpus Christi      Jr.   Houston, Texas

DH    Brandon Jackson   Nicholls            Sr. Fort Gibson, Okla.

P     Tate Scioneaux    Southeastern La.  So.   Reserve, La.

P     Conner Gilmore    Central Arkansas  Sr.   Little Rock, Ark.

P     Jacob Dorris      A&M-Corpus Christi      Jr.   Weatherford, Texas

*Returning all-conference selection.