McNeese baseball’s Grant Rogers, Brad Burckel recognized by Southland

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 6:35 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Southland Conference awards were announced on Monday afternoon for the 2023 baseball season, and two Pokes were recognized. Starting pitcher Grant Rogers was named the conference’s Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive year, while second baseman Brad Burckel was named to the Second-Team All-Southland Conference for the second consecutive year as well.

With Monday’s announcement, Rogers is now just the second pitcher in Southland Conference history to be named the conference’s Pitcher of the Year twice, joining Texas State’s Carson Smith, who won the award in 2010 and 2011.

The Cowboys are an impressive 12-2 when Grant Rogers starts games thanks to his impressive ERA of 2.00 with 83 strikeouts in 94.2 innings pitched, and a record of 11-1.

“He was the pitcher of the year last year, but you know, he didn’t want to rest on that, and you could ask Grant this, I think if you got down to the human side of it, I think we all had a little bit of fear of failure,” said head coach Justin Hill on Monday. “There’s just a subtle pressure that you have when you succeed, you want to replicate that, and just to go out and do it with a target on his back, I think that’s really impressive.”

Rogers was also named to the All-Southland Conference First-Team following his impressive 2023 season.

In addition to Rogers winning the Pitcher of the Year award, and being named to the first team, McNeese second baseman Brad Burckel was recognized as well, as he was named to the Second-Team All-Southland Conference for the second consecutive year.

Burckel held a batting average of .287 with 33 RBIs, eight home runs, and 19 extra-base hits, plus a combined 54 walks, and hit by pitches.

“Just a great college baseball player and it’s a great honor, anytime you get a chance to... you know, you’re voted on by your peers to do that, and so that’s one of those players that like, when it’s over, whenever that is, middle of June, end of the week, whatever it is, that’s one of those guys that you’re going to miss because his will to win is incredibly high. You know, he’s one of the guys that came through the transfer portal, but he’s one of our guys,” said head coach Justin Hill.

Additionally, DeQuincy High School graduate, and McNeese left fielder Cooper Hext was named to the All-Defensive team, as was Grant Rogers.