The McNeese baseball team received 17 Southland Conference postseason awards, highlighted by the selection of Payton Harden as SLC Player of the Year, Grant Rogers as SLC Pitcher of the Year, Cameron Foster as Relief Pitcher of the Year, and head coach Justin Hill as the SLC Clay Gould Coach of the Year.
It is the first time in conference history a school has taken home all four awards.
In addition to the major award winners, Josh Leslie garnered All-Southland Conference First Team honors joining teammates Harden, Foster, and Rogers.
Reid Bourque, Brad Burckel, Braden Duhon, and Kade Morris were each named to the All-SLC Second Team, while Kade Hunter earned third team honors. Bourque, Burckel, Morris, and Rogers were also tabbed to the SLC All-Defensive Team.
Hill, in his ninth season with the Cowboys, led McNeese to the fifth outright Southland Conference Championship in program history on the back of a 30-21 overall record and a 15-9 mark in conference play. Hill has won over thirty games in seven of his eight years (excluding the 17-game 2020 season).
Harden led the entire Southland Conference in batting average (.371) and hits (73). In addition, Harden ranked sixth in OBP (0.436), sixth in runs scored (43), ninth in RBI (38), second in triples (4), and third in stolen bases (22).
Foster posted the lowest ERA (1.75) and opposing batting average (.148) among qualified pitchers in the SLC. Foster, a midseason NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list selection, led the league with 11 saves, good for the fourth-most in the nation.
Leslie who was sidelined until conference play after having wrist surgery, made an immediate impact in his first year with the Cowboys. Overall, Leslie hit .328 with six homers and drove in 28 with an OPS of .916.
Rogers became the Cowboy’s Friday night starter in his first year in the blue and gold. Rogers led McNeese with six wins overall, 71.0 innings pitched, and 66 strikeouts.
Bourque finished the season with a .276 batting average after hitting .448 over the final 17 games of the season. Burckel led the team with 108 total bases and posted a .360 batting average, good for the third-best in the league, and posted the fourth-highest hit total in the league (68).
Duhon finished the regular season ranked sixth in Southland with a .333 batting average, his 60 hits were the ninth most in the league, and he drove in 35 runs – fourth-most on the team.
Morris ranked in the top five of nearly every McNeese offensive category, by hitting .256 during league play and finished with a co-leading team-high eight home runs (fifth-most in SLC), he recorded 32 RBI and scored 36 runs.
Hunter served as the primary DH and caught 14 games behind the plate in his first season with McNeese.