FRISCO- The reigning Southland Conference Tournament champions McNeese has been selected to finish third as voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors, the league office on announced Thursday.
McNeese finished fifth in the 2019 league standings with a 16-14 record and enters the 2020 season tied with Central Arkansas for a conference-best five preseason all-conference selections – senior second baseman Nate Fisbeck, senior outfielders Clayton Rasbeary and Jake Dickerson, junior shortstop Reid Bourque, and sophomore pitcher Will Dion.
Sam Houston State, last year’s regular-season champion, has been picked to three-peat, notching 276 total votes and 17 of the possible 26 first-place votes. Central Arkansas earned only three more total votes than the Cowboys with 247 and five first-place votes placing them to finish second in 2020.
The McNeese Cowboys were picked to finish third, receiving 244 total votes and one first-place vote, followed by Southeastern La. (243), who received three first-place votes, and Northwestern State (193) were picked fourth and fifth to round out the top five.
Picked to finish sixth is Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (146) followed by UIW (144), Nicholls (108), New Orleans (101), and Abilene Christian (98) to round out the top 10. Stephen F. Austin is picked to finish 11th with 92 votes, Lamar 12th with 87, and Houston Baptist 13th with 49.
The Cowboys continue to prepare for their regular-season opener February 14 against Mississippi Valley State at Joe Miller Ballpark.
Southland preseason polls are voted on by each program’s head coach and sports information director. Individuals rank the conference’s other 12 teams in predicted order of regular-season finish, with first-place votes worth 12 points, second-place votes worth 11 points and so on to one point for 12th place.
2020 Southland Conference Preseason Poll
School (First-place votes) Total
1. Sam Houston State (17) 276
2. Central Arkansas (5) 247
3. McNeese (1) 244
4. Southeastern Louisiana (3) 243
5. Northwestern State 193
6. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 146
7. UIW 144
8. Nicholls 108
9. New Orleans 101
10. Abilene Christian 98
11. Stephen F. Austin 92
12. Lamar 87
13. Houston Baptist 49