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McNeese, Southeastern renew rivalry in Southland Championship Series

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 7:59 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s the end of the road in the Southland Conference this year and the top two pre-season teams, McNeese and Southeastern, will face off this week in the Conference Championship Series. It’s a fitting end to the season for the in-state rivals.

“They are definitely the rivalry, not just the team honestly,” said Senior Outfielder Julian Gonzales. “I think anytime we play them whether it’s at their place or at home, their fan base is pretty good and they kind of chat a lot so it always makes it fun I’d say yeah, it’s probably our biggest rival.”

While the rivalry has been dominated by the Cowboys recently, winning five straight dating back to last year’s Southland Tournament, it’s a series that always seems to be close. Only two of the previous 10 matchups have been decided by more than four runs.

“I know there is mutual respect on both sides, between players and coaches,” said Head Coach Justin Hill. “So, it has a chance to be honestly one of the most interesting highlights of college baseball this weekend, just because everyone knows what’s on the line and you’ve got the teams that finished first and second so it’ll be pretty neat.”

What’s at stake is a Southland Conference Tournament title and a spot in an NCAA Regional. With the Pokes already having swept the Lions in Lake Charles this year, they feel as if home-field advantage could be a deciding factor.

“They are going to want their revenge,” said Senior Pitcher Cameron Foster. “It was really cool that one weekend, it felt like a tournament itself. I think it would be really cool to win it here against them. I know they want it really bad and we can’t let them win it here so the momentum is going to be on our side and being at home is just a lot better.”

McNeese and Southeastern will play a best of three series starting at 6:00 Thursday night.

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