It seems over the past four years, the Cowboys' arc to Southland prominence, has coincided with the development of third baseman Matt Gallier. McNeese has won 30 or more games in three straight seasons for just the second time in program history.
Gallier meanwhile has upped his average in each of those seasons. He's now hitting over .400 this year.
"My success isn't my success alone, it has to do with the coaches and Coach [Nick] Zaleski has a great philosophy with our hitters right now and everyone is buying in," said Gallier. "I'm seeing the ball well right now and when that happens, I can really stick to my approach that I have always had."
Gallier feels like his years playing at the Jeaux have been a major factor in why he's leading the Cowboys in nearly every offensive category.
"I think it comes with experience. I'd like to think that," Gallier admitted. "All the work you put into it, it starts paying off."
But for Gallier, the hard work started well before McNeese. Putting on a Cowboy uniform was always his goal, just like his father James-- a member of the Southland's 1970s All-Decade Team.
"It's always been my dream to come play here honestly, because growing up I knew he played here and he would tell me stories. He was always my coach and to follow in his footsteps has been a great thing," said Gallier. "All of my success is really attributed to him, his experience and his hard work with me growing up."
The St. Louis Catholic product won a state championship in 2011 and Gallier has used that experience to help McNeese continue its pursuit of a conference title. The Cowboys believe this can be the year.
"You can't look too far ahead because it will mess things up. But if you know where you were going, it's a lot easier to put the work in and get there. This team just has something about it. The entire lineup can do its job and everybody has a chemistry that you won't find anywhere else. I'm just excited for the rest of the season."
And for Gallier, this baseball season may be his last. Medical school will be his next destination if his name isn't called in June's MLB Draft.
For now, he's enjoying his last few months as a Poke.
"Everyone comes to that realization sooner or later, even the pros. They will be done playing baseball at some point," Gallier admitted. "Every game I think about stuff like that and it just makes me want to play with more fun and energy, and with the guys that I love and make every moment count."
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