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2019 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament Begins Wednesday

first_imgFirst game: vs. No. 2 Central Arkansas, 12 p.m. First game: vs. No. 8 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 4 p.m. Home of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball’s Sugar Land Skeeters, Constellation Field is hosting the Southland tournament for the sixth time in seven years. No. 7 Northwestern State – Record: 30-23, 15-15 SLCThe defending Southland Conference tournament champions enter their fifth tournament in the last six years looking to repeat their 2018 performance at Constellation Field. The matchup of Northwestern State and Central Arkansas is the only matchup of teams that didn’t play in the regular season, so the Demons and Bears will get their first look at one another in the noon game on Wednesday. Northwestern State had three named to the Southland’s all-conference teams in second-team pitcher Nathan Jones and third-teamers Caleb Ricca and Tyler Smith, who also garnered all-defensive honors. The winner of the Southland Conference Tournament earns the league’s automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The bracket will be announced Monday, May 27 on ESPNU at 11 a.m. CT.  First game: vs. No. 4 Incarnate Word, 7 p.m. First game: vs. No. 7 Northwestern State, 12 p.m. The 2019 NCAA Men’s College World Series (CWS) will be held at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., from June 15-25/26. First game: vs. No. 1 Sam Houston State, 4 p.m. The double-elimination tournament will broadcast exclusively on ESPN+, available through ESPN.com and the ESPN app. First game: vs. No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana, 9 a.m. No. 5 McNeese – Record: 31-24, 16-14 SLCThe Cowboys closed out the season 9-2 in conference play, including a sweep of No. 6 seed Stephen F. Austin, to earn a spot in their eighth-consecutive Southland Conference tournament. McNeese is seeking its first tournament title since 2003. The Pokes finished as the league leader in stolen bases with 85, led by 18 from Reid Bourque. McNeese earned four all-conference picks in first-team designated hitter Clayton Rasbeary, second-team second-baseman Nate Fisbeck and third-teamers Carson Maxwell and Jake Dickerson. Maxwell also appeared on the all-defensive squad. First game: vs. No. 5 McNeese, 7 p.m. No. 6 Stephen F. Austin – Record: 24-31, 16-14 SLCThe only tournament team with a losing record, the Lumberjacks opened the year 7-0 in Southland Conference play and ended the year with a series win over 2018 Southland Conference tournament runner-up New Orleans to slide in to the No. 6 spot. Alex Palmer, a junior transfer from Cisco College, stepped in as Stephen F. Austin’s ace in 2019 and set a program record for single-season strikeouts (99) en route to Newcomer of the Year honors. “The Mane Event” allowed the fewest hits per nine innings (6.15) and held Southland hitters to a .191 batting average. The NCAA Division I Baseball Championship consists of a 64-team field – 31 automatic qualifiers and 33 at-large selections. Sixteen teams will be seeded and each of the seeded teams will be placed at one of the regional sites. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship are scheduled for May 31-June 3 on 16 campus sites. At each campus site, a four-team, double-elimination tournament will be conducted and the 16 winning teams advance to the Super Regionals, held June 7-9 or June 8-10 on eight campus sites. At each site, two teams play in a best-of-three tournament format. The winners from each site advance to the NCAA Men’s College World Series. No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana – Record: 30-25, 19-11 SLCSouthland Conference Pitcher of the Year Corey Gaconi leads the Lions into their 12th-straight Southland Conference tournament appearance after a dazzling line in conference play, in which he went 6-0 with a league-low 1.82 ERA and 63 strikeouts. Southeastern Louisiana ended the year on a high note with a road series win at Incarnate Word. The Lions also picked up road series wins over tournament qualifiers Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Stephen F. Austin. SLU garnered three all-conference nods as Gaconi was joined by third-teamers Kyle Schimpf and Jared Biddy. The Lions also placed two on the all-defensive squad in shortstop Cody Grosse and left-fielder Nick Ray. No. 8 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – Record: 30-24, 14-16 SLCThe Islanders are making their first appearance at the Southland Conference tournament since 2015, when their Cinderella run was cut short one game shy of the championship contest. A&M-Corpus Christi once again looks to best Sam Houston in a matchup of aces after the Islanders hassled Hayden Wesneski for six runs on eight hits on May 4. The Islanders feature two first-team all-conference players in third baseman Enrique Sanchez Jr. and infielder Itchy Burts, and pitcher Dustin Lacaze was named to the all-defensive team. SUGAR LAND, Texas – The top eight teams in the league descend on Constellation Field for the 2019 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament, beginning Wednesday at 9 a.m. CT. Top seed Sam Houston State enters as the regular season title holder for the seventh time in the last nine seasons. No. 2 Central Arkansas – Record: 29-25, 19-11 SLCThe Bears made a late run for the No. 2 seed, winning five of their last six league games to catch Southeastern Louisiana in the standings. Central Arkansas was awarded the No. 2 seed by virtue of taking two of three from the Lions in the opening weekend of conference play March 8-9. Skipper Allen Gum went in to the final weekend of play having secured his 500th career win with a sweep of Abilene Christian, and added two more to his tally with a series win at Lamar. The Bears accounted for three all-conference spots in second-team pitchers Cody Davenport and Noah Cameron, and Tyler Smith, a third-team all-league selection and a member of the all-defensive team. No. 4 Incarnate Word – Record: 35-20, 18-12 SLCLed by this year’s Southland Conference Clay Gould Coach of the Year, Patrick Hallmark, the Cardinals manufactured a five-game turnaround from 2018 to qualify for their first-ever Southland Conference tournament. UIW led all Southland institutions with a .311 team batting average, and the Cardinals’ pitching staff owned the third-best ERA (4.20), led by all-conference reliever Bernie Martinez (2.12). UIW collected a league-high eight all-conference selections, headlined by Freshman of the Year Taylor Smith, who also appeared on the conference’s all-defensive team. First game: vs. No. 6 Stephen F. Austin, 9 a.m. No. 1 Sam Houston State – Record: 31-23, 20-10 SLCThe Bearkats secured their seventh regular season title in nine years and are seeking a third Southland tournament title in the last four seasons this week. Sam Houston State took two out of three over the defending tournament champion Northwestern State in the final weekend of the regular season. Freshman Colton Cowser, the 2019 Southland Conference Hitter of the Year, capped the weekend with a walkoff single in the season finale to clinch the regular-season crown and the No. 1 seed. Cowser was one of seven all-conference picks and one of four first-teamers, joining first baseman Hunter Hearn, second baseman Riley McKnight and ace Hayden Wesneski.last_img read more

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