Selman top hitter; Hill Coach of the Year
After one of the most successful seasons in program history, the McNeese State baseball team reaped the benefits on Tuesday afternoon as a number of Cowboys were named to the all-Southland Conference team.
Head coach Justin Hill was named Coach of the Year after leading the Cowboys to their first SLC regular-season championship since 2006.
“I’ve been in the league for a while now, both as an assistant and a head coach,” Hill said. “To know the other coaches around the league feel that way, it’s a huge honor.”
Along with earning a spot on the first all-SLC team, McNeese outfielder Shane Selman earned the conference’s Hitter of the Year award.
Selman — a product of Barbe High School — had a breakout sophomore season in which he hit a league-high 14 home runs and a .347 batting average.
“Selman is a guy that’s improved a lot over the past year,” Hill said. “He’s become a vital part of our team, and that’s really impressive as a sophomore.”
Other first-team members included second baseman Joe Provenzano and outfielder Ricky Ramirez, who earned a spot as a utility player.
Hill said the utility spot is the perfect spot for Ramirez, who began the season at third base before moving into a permanent role in right field after an injury to Nate Fisbeck.
“That’s honestly the most appropriate place you could put him,” Hill said. “He plays whatever role you need him to play on our team.”
Ramirez finished the season with a .332 batting average while Provenzano, in addition to being a solid infielder, matched Selman’s team-high average of .347, adding six home runs with a .508 slugging percentage.
The Cowboys also had two members on the second team in Robbie Podorsky and Matt Gallier.
Hill said the duo represented two kinds of threats for the Cowboys, and both were vital to McNeese’s success.
“Podorsky can hit them out of the park or he can frustrate teams with his speed,” Hill said. “Gallier is the guy who will drop one in for your. He’s become part of the heart of this team.”
Senior relief pitcher Trent Fontenot earned a spot on the third team. Hill said he viewed that as an award for the entire pitching staff, especially the bullpen.
“I think our pitching largely got overlooked because of how good we were offensively,” Hill said. “But it’s good to see those guys get recognition.”
Justin Hill, McNeese State head baseball coach