McNeese coaches salute during the national anthem (From left to right, Nick Zaleski, Cory Barton, Justin Hill). (Source: KPLC)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Coming off one of the best season's in McNeese history, head baseball coach Justin Hill must now replace his top assistant. Associate head coach Cory Barton was hired by Louisiana Tech to fill the same role. Barton will also serve as the Bulldogs' pitching coach. The Bulldogs have yet to announce the hire officially.
During his time with McNeese, Barton has been a key cog in the Cowboys' success. Barton’s 2015-16 recruiting class was recognized as one of the best in the nation according to College Baseball Magazine. The Pokes were also one of three Southland Conference teams to be ranked on the list.
As a pitching coach, McNeese made history in 2015, posting a sub 4.00 ERA for the first time since the 1993 (3.66 ERA). It was just the fifth time since 1990 that a McNeese baseball squad posted an ERA lower than 4.00. This past season, the Pokes finished third in the SLC with a 4.19 ERA. The McNeese bullpen however, was regarded as the conference's best.
Prior to his arrival at McNeese, Barton spent five seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at ULM, where he helped lead the Warhawks to a Sun Belt Conference championship in 2012. Barton joined the ULM staff in September 2008 after two seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis and a two-year playing career with the Tigers.