McNeese State baseball head coach Justin Hill announced the addition of nine new players on who will take to the diamond for the Cowboys for the 2015-16 season on Tuesday.
"We are very excited about these young men joining our program," said Hill. "Winning over kids and their families is not easy to do. Coach Barton and Coach Vaz do a great job of building relationships, and their hard work has paid off with one of the best recruiting classes in our area. I am very fortunate to get to work along side them on a daily basis."
Among those who chose to play for McNeese after high school are eight who will come from the high school ranks while one other will make the transition from junior college play.
"When we started here as a staff one thing that was immediately evident to us was that we did not have to look very far to find some of the best talent in the country," said recruiting coordinator Cory Barton. "We are very fortunate to have great high school programs with great coaches in our own backyard and even down to the youth levels with the same thing. In addition to adding some of the top talents in the southern region, the Cowboys welcome five athletes who hail from Southwest Louisiana."
Four of the new additions will come from nearby Sam Houston High School and Kinder High School while one makes the jump up from traditional powerhouse Barbe High School.
"Every one of these guys are from within a two and a half hour radius," said Barton "One of the advantages to that is that most of these guys know each other and have played with or against one another. The great thing is that all of these guys wanted to be here. They all had opportunities to go and play somewhere else but they chose McNeese. I think if you ask any coach in any sport, the guys you win with are the ones that wanted to be a part of your program."
Aidan Anderson – RHP/INF – Orange, Texas – West Orange Stark HS
Listed by Perfect Game as one of the top 1000 prospects nationally, 186th in Texas… Four-year varsity starter for West Orange Stark… Batted .341 with 29 hits, 22 runs and 17 RBI as a senior… Collected a 6-4 record on the mound tossing 61 innings and allowing only 10 earned runs on 34 hits and 93 strikeouts for a 1.15 ERA… 21-3A All-District first team pitcher as a freshman and a senior… second team all-district as a sophomore… member of the TASO All-Star team for three years… All-Orange County team and All-Beaumont honoree for three seasons… Golden Triangle Super Gold Team member in 2014… First team Penny Record All-Star and County Record All-Star team member for three years… Participant in the PG 18U BCS Metal Bat World Finals… Made the Georgia All Tournament team at 16 years old… Earned a 1.23 ERA for Texas Sun Devils summer team… West Orange Stark principals AB Honor Roll in 2012, 2013, 2014. Barton on Anderson: "Aidan is another guy that has a very high ceiling of what he can be as he continues to mature. He has a good feel for pitching and knows what he needs to do to get outs. He can also add depth in the INF where he has good hands and a good arm."
Grant Anderson – RHP/C – Orange, Texas – West Orange Stark HS
Listed by Perfect Game as one of the top 1000 prospects nationally, 160th in Texas… Started all four years for West Orange Stark HS… Batted .357 as a senior with 27 hits, 17 runs, 27 RBI, six doubles and two home runs… Tossed 72 innings and allowed only 15 earned runs on 38 hits for a 1.78 ERA… Compiled a 7-2 record on the mound… selected team captain in 2013… 21-3A honorable mention catcher in 2012, first team utility player in 2013 and second team pitcher in 2014… Chosen as the 2014 MVP Defensive Player of the Year for Orange-County as well as All-KOGT for catcher… member of the Perfect Game 17U summer team where he helped lead the Texas Sun Devils to the 2014 BCS National Championship… Earned a 3.17 GPA in high school. Barton on Anderson: "Grant is just scratching the surface of what he can be. On the mound he has a quick arm and fills up the strike zone. As he continues to grow and get stronger he will only get better. He is also a good defender behind the plate."
Jake Cochran – OF/IF – Moss Bluff, LA – Sam Houston HS
Barton on Cochran: "Jake is an offensive minded left handed hitter that will see time in the Outfield or the Infield. He has a great swing and as he matures and gets stronger we feel like he could really flourish offensively."
Dustin Duhon – C – Moss Bluff, LA – Sam Houston HS
Barton on Duhon: "Dustin is a great athlete. He was the starting QB on his HS football team and has the mental makeup that you look for in a guy behind the plate. Once he is able to focus all of his time on baseball he has a chance to really take off. It's rare to find a guy with his athletic ability behind the plate."
Nate Fisbeck – SS – The Woodlands, Texas – College Park HS
Listed by Perfect Game as one of the top 500 prospects nationally, 114th in Texas and the 11th best SS in Texas… member of the Marucci Elite Houston summer team and finished with a .498 batting average along with two home runs… Recorded 12 extra base hits and two home runs for a .516 batting average during fall action… unanimously chosen to first-team all-district as well as All-Montgomery County first team. Barton on Fisbeck: "Nate is a very good middle of the field defender. He has the hands and arm that should allow him to be a great SS at this level. He was a guy that as soon as we saw him play we knew that he would be a great asset to our program."
Hayden Guidry – RHP – Orange, Texas – Bridge City HS/LSU-Eunice
Barton on Guidry: "Hayden is the lone transfer that we will sign early. He will come to us after spending 1 year at LSUE. He is a guy that can start or pitch out of the bullpen with quality stuff. He fills up the zone and has the stuff to make guys swing and miss."
Zach Rider – OF/RHP – Kinder, LA – Kinder HS
2012 All District UT, Junior All District Pitcher, LHSAA 2A MVP, 2A Sports Writer's MVP, All Southwest MVP, 2014 Max Preps All-American Baseball Team, 2A State Baseball Champs 2014, 4-year Letterman in Football, 2013 All District Linebacker, Class 2A State Football Champs; (this season 12 and 0…still battling)Academic Accolades: 4 year Honor Student, Gold K Recipient 2 years, District and State Finalist in Current Events 3 years, Active Member of BETA, FBLA, and 4-H 4 years, nominated for Student of the Year as a senior… cousin of former New York Yankees star Ron Guidry and LSU-E player Mark Fontenot Barton on Rider: "Zach just wins. He won two state championships last year, one in Baseball and one in Football, and was named the player of the year for the state of Louisiana in his classification for baseball. He will see time in the OF and on the mound for us."
Shane Selman – OF – Lake Charles, LA – Barbe HS
Key member of 2014 5A State and National championship team at Barbe HS… Listed by Perfect Game as one of the top 500 prospects nationally and 17th in Louisiana as well as the 3rd best OF in Louisiana… finished junior season with a .393 batting average and five homers, 13 doubles, three triples and a perfect fielding percentage… named to All-Tournament in Emerson… participant in Georgia World Wood Bat Tournament while also a member of the National Championship Perfect Game 17U BCS Finals in Fort Myers, Florida… named BCS Finals All Tournament and All Tournament in World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Florida… batted .400 during the summer with the Texas Sundevils along with seven home runs, 10 doubles, four triples and a 1.000 fielding percentage. Barton on Selman: "Shane has a combination of speed and power that is hard to find. He can hit the ball out of the park and can also steal bases and run balls down in the outfield. He comes from Barbe HS here in Lake Charles which is one of the best High School baseball programs in the country under head coach Glenn Cecchini."
Jacob Stracner – OF – Moss Bluff, LA – Sam Houston HS
Barton on Stracner: "Jacob is a guy that the more you watch him play the more you appreciate the way that he plays the game. He plays with an edge and when you combine that with his skill set it makes him a very good player."