Cowboys moving up SLC batting order

{{tncms-inline alignment=”left” content=”<p><em>Fourth in a weekly series selecting 2010-19 all-decade teams of McNeese State sports.</em></p>” id=”fa5d03fd-60be-4cab-a016-5c3acbabaed2″ style-type=”highlights” title=”Editor’s Note” type=”relcontent”}}

The McNeese State baseball program has seen an uptick in success in recent years, earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2019 after winning the Southland Conference Tournament as well as winning the 2017 SLC regular-season title. There were also plenty of great players to go through the program over the last decade.

First Team

Connor Crane, infielder (2015-16): Crane spent two seasons at McNeese after transferring from the junior college level, he made those two years memorable, earning second-team all-SLC honors in 2015 and 2016. He finished with a .305 batting average, 17 home runs, 84 runs batted in, and he started all 113 games in which he played.sprh_0301_cowboys_vs_nicholls-1In this file photo, Cowboy’s Rhett Deaton pitches during their game at Joe Miller Ballpark in Lake Charles, La., Friday, March 1, 2019. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

Rick Hickman

Rhett Deaton, starting pitcher (2017-19): Deaton is one of three players on the firs -team, along with Dustin Duhon and Shane Selman, who played on the SLC regular season (2017) and tournament (2019) championship teams. In the two seasons he pitched (Deaton missed the 2018 season due to injury), Deaton compiled a 16-7 record with a 3.87 earned run average, 106 strikeouts and a .255 opponents batting average.

Dustin Duhon, catcher (2016-19): In his final three seasons, Duhon played in 47 games in each season, starting at least 43 of them. In his career, Duhon hit .260 with 151 hits, 30 doubles and 82 RBIs.

Kaleb Fontenot, starting pitcher (2013-16): One of the best pitchers to come through McNeese, Fontenot is second in program history in strikeouts (252) and lowest ERA (2.55); both of those statistics are the best from a pitcher over the last decade. He earned second-team all-conference honors in 2016 after going 6-5 with a 2.02 ERA, 108 strikeouts and a .209 opponents batting average.

Andrew Guillotte, outfielder (2012-15): Guillotte earned all-conference honors in 2014 (first team) and 2015 (second team), as well as earning SLC all-tournament honors in 2014. The Sam Houston High graduate is second in program history in stolen bases (77) and hits (247).msu-baseball-advanceMcNeese State outfielder (2010-12) Seth Granger 

Brad Puckett/American Press

Seth Granger, outfielder (2010-12): Granger was a second- and first-team all-SLC selection in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The Iowa native is seventh all-time in program history with 211 hits. He finished his career with a .323 batting average, 37 doubles, 12 triples and 113 RBIs.

Collin Kober, relief pitcher (2014-17): Arguably the best relief pitcher in McNeese history, Kober is the program’s all-time leader in saves (27) and fourth in ERA (2.69). The Sam Houston grad owns the single-season record for lowest ERA (1.03) and he earned third-team all-conference honors in 2015 and 2016.

Connor Lloyd, infielder (2012-15): Lloyd finished his career eighth all-time in hits (208) and his 70 career walks puts him just outside of the all-time top 10. He earned a first-team all-conference selection for the 2015 season, when he hit .321 with 71 hits, 10 doubles and 29 RBIs.

Lee Orr, outfielder (2008-11): One of the best power bats in program history, Orr is second all-time in home runs (40), third in RBIs (166) and fifth in slugging percentage (.575). Orr was a three-time all-conference selection from 2009-11, earning first-team honors in 2011. But he wasn’t just power, finishing sixth in program history with 60 stolen bases and seventh with 87 walks.

Jace Peterson, infielder (2009-11): Peterson was the lone player over the last decade to earn multiple firstteam all-conference honors, doing so in 2010 and 2011. The Hamilton Christian Academy product finished his career with a .347 batting average, 183 hits, 92 RBIs, 26 doubles and 12 triples. He finished his career as McNeese’s all-time stolen bases leader (78), which still stands, and is tied for second in triples and seventh in runs scored (149)

Joe Provenzano, infielder (2015-18): The Illinois native started his career with a bang, earning SLC Freshman of the Year and all-conference first-team honors. Provenzano was also a key part of the 2017 team that won the SLC regular-season title. He finished as the all-time hits leader (254). He’s also tied for second all-time in walks (113), sixth in doubles (47) and seventh in RBIs (134).sprh_0302_msu_vs_holly_cross-4Cowboy’s Shane Selman drives in a run in the 2nd inning during their game at Joe Miller Ballpark in Lake Charles, La., Saturday, March 2, 2019. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

Rick Hickman

Shane Selman, outfielder (2016-19): Selman is the lone player on the list to have won SLC Player of the Year (2017), along with earning first-team all-conference honors, thanks to a .333 batting average, .615 slugging percentage, 16 doubles, 14 home runs and 59 RBIs. The Barbe product left McNeese tied for the most total bases with 417. He finished third all-time in home runs (38), fifth in hits (232) and RBIs (150) and tied for ninth in walks (72).

Second Team

Jake Dickerson, INF (2018-present), Nate Fisbeck, INF (2016-present), Trent Fontenot, RP (2015-17), Matt Gallier, OF (2014-17), Jackson Gooch, OF (2013-14), Lewis Guilbeau, OF (2015-16), Bryan Kingsley, SP (2013-16), Chayse Marion, INF (2013-14), Carson Maxwell, INF (2018-19), Clayton Rasbeary, OF (2019-present) and Blake Ware, SP (2012-13).

Superlatives

PLAYER OF THE DECADE — Selman Provenzano achieved great team accomplishments (2017 conference regular-season title and 2019 SLC tournament championships) in addition to his individual accomplishments. Also, winning the 2017 SLC Player of the Year helps his cause. Provenzano and Peterson made great cases, but Selman sneaks this one out.

PITCHER OF THE DECADE — Kaleb Fontenot. He threw the most strikeouts and had the lowest ERA of any pitcher, and those numbers are up there with the best in program history. There were good candidates, but Fontenot stood out.Justin HillJustin Hill, McNeese State head baseball coach

RickHickmanPhotographer
https://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/6/d3/ea1/6d3ea1c8-3a6c-11e7-a1c2-0f91a5883b36.b31acdd1ef972ec0a2acb8ea5b28d153.png

COACH OF THE DECADE — Justin Hill. This one wasn’t close as Hill turned around the program and won the SLC regular-season title in 2017 and the tournament championship in 2019. There were two head baseball coaches in the decade, and Hill was easily the better of the two.

TEAM OF THE DECADE — 2017. Tough to choose because the 2019 went to the NCAA Tournament, but the 2017 team was more consistent and fell to the May madness of the conference tournament, while the 2019 got hot in the middle of conference play and rode that through the conference tournament.Fourth in a weekly series selecting 2010-19 all-decade teams of McNeese State sports.

TOP OF THE LINEUP

Shane Selman, Hitter of the Decade; Kaleb Fontenot, Pitcher of the Decade; Justin Hill, Coach of the Decade

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