McNeese’s Dion named National Pitcher of Week

Jim Gazzolo, Special to the American Press

Will Dion knew from his very first pitch Friday night he was on his game.

He wasn’t the only one who noticed.

The redshirt sophomore lefty from Sulphur went on to tie a McNeese record that night, striking out 19 Prairie View hitters. For his performance, Collegiate Baseball named him their National Pitcher of the Week.

Dion tied the record set by Terry Burrows back in 1990, when he mowed down Louisiana-Lafayette.

“He was really on his game,” McNeese head coach Justin Hill said afterward. “He got ahead of hitters and never really had a stressful inning.”

It caused a headache for the head coach of sorts, who usually would limit a pitcher early in the season.

“I kept watching him and he was throwing so well,” Hill said. “He was throwing clean innings.”

Until the ninth when the Panthers touched Dion for two of their three hits. With just one out and runners at the corners, he was in danger of losing the shutout. However, he responded by striking out the last two hitters, giving him five over the final two innings.

“No way I was coming out,” Dion said.

The victory, Dion’s first in two decisions this year, started the Cowboys on a weekend sweep of Prairie View and a 4-3 record.

Dion allowed just the one runner to reach third and walked only one, as well. He threw 83 strikes in 103 pitches, good for 81 percent. Of his first 39 pitches, 34 went for strikes.

“I was able to get ahead and that was big,” said Dion. “I just tried to go after them, throw strikes and stay ahead in the counts.”

Three times he struck out the side and retired the first 13 batters he faced. Dion’s first six innings took just 24 minutes. He currently leads the nation in strikeouts with 24.

McNeese will be at home Wednesday night when they take on Louisiana-Lafayette. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.McNeese’s Will Dion, a redshirt sophomore from Sulphur, was named the National Pitcher of the Week after tying a school record with 19 strikeouts in a win over Prairie View on Friday night.

Kirk Meche / American Press Archives

SportsPlus

Local News

Higgins, Carter introduce legislation to combat contaminated foreign seafood

Crime

Former Elton mayor pleads not guilty to battery charge

Crime

7/1: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

McNeese Sports

Southland welcomes two new members

Local News

Supreme Court rules ex-presidents have broad immunity, dimming chance of a pre-election Trump trial

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

life

On Campus: SW La. students recognized for achievements

Local News

How will Louisiana’s new Ten Commandments classroom requirement be funded and enforced?

Local News

Biden meets with his family amid pressures to step down after debate

Local News

Donation celebrated by Second Harvest, but volunteers are still needed

Local News

Grand Avenue Gym: DeQuincy landmark fading fast, group fighting to save it says

Local News

Beryl becomes major hurricane forecast to bring life-threatening conditions to Caribbean

life

Fourth of July festivities in Jennings will kick off with Stars and Stripes Festival

Local News

Ceremony held at Fort Johnson for deploying troops

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Don’t expect new candidates

life

SW La. nightlife calendar: There’s always something to do

life

USAF Band of the West making Lake Charles stop

high-school Sports

Upgrades planned for Jerry Simmons football stadium in Jennings

Crime

Lafayette teen charged in Ernest Street fatal shooting

Crime

6/28: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Longhorns make quite a statement to the SEC

Local News

Bicyclist fatally struck after allegedly running stop sign

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Stitch Guillory sworn in as sheriff

Local News

Sheriff Guillory: ‘I am living MLK’s dream’