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2011 CBD Season Preview: Southland Conference

2010 saw three Southland teams with a chance to make the postseason, but tournament champion Lamar was the only team in, as Texas State and Southeastern Louisiana were left to think about next year. This year, the league belongs to the Bobcats and Lions, as both teams return a wealth of talent. Texas State is led by All-American candidate P Carson Smith, the league’s top prospect. Southeastern Louisiana returns most of their team, minus closer Chris Franklin.

Lamar pitcher Eric Harrington has won 16 of his 20 career decisions, putting the Cardinals in sight of the postseason once again. McNeese State boasts one of the top hitters in the league, SS Jace Peterson. Peterson led the Southland Conference with 35 stolen bases, while teammate OF Lee Orr finished with 17 home runs, tied for first with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Trey Hernandez, and UTSA’s Ryan Dalton.

UT-Arlington no longer has OF Michael Choice, a first round draft pick, and also lost their top three pitchers, including 2009 Texas Collegiate League Pitcher of the Year Rett Varner. Stephen F. Austin is hoping to finish strong after a 2-7 finish knocked them out of the conference tournament early. Central Arkansas will be breaking in a new coach after a dismal season with minimum success. Northwestern State was picked to finish third by the league’s SIDs after a strong showing in conference play. Nicholls is trying to rebound from a tough season, while Sam Houston State returns a bulk of experience in their lineup.

Central Arkansas (19-35-1 overall, 10-22-1 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
1B Blake Roberts (.341, 6 HR, 38 RBI)
C Michael Pair (.304, 5 HR, 42 RBI)
P Dustin Ward (2-6, 5.84)

Key Losses
DH Clay Washington (.333, 5 HR, 27 RBI)
P Bobby Pritchett (5-2, 3.94)
P Michael Wild (7-8, 4.23)

Lamar (35-26 overall, 16-27 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
P Eric Harrington (8-3, 5.02)
2B Andy Mena (.347, 11 2B, 41 RBI)
P Jonathan Dziedzic (5-6, 4.88, 114 K)
SS Aaron Buchanan (.349, 37 RBI, 14-17 SB)

Key Losses
P Matison Smith (10-4, 4.68)
P Cory Holley (1-1, 3.53, 4 SV)
OF Quentin Luquette (.310, 5 HR, 52 RBI, 18-22 SB)

McNeese State (31-27 overall, 16-17 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
SS Jace Peterson (.353, 4 HR, 49 RBI, 35-40 SB)
OF Lee Orr (.286, 17 HR, 56 RBI, 23-28 SB)
P Jaden Dillon (8-0, 4.61)
P Matt Click (2-5, 6.66, 9 SV)

Key Losses
3B Steve Irvine (.350, 12 HR, 64 RBI)
OF Blake Ellender (.300, 8 HR, 35 RBI)
P Tyler Davis (4-6, 7.61)

Nicholls (27-29 overall, 15-18 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
OF Bear Comer (.372, 30 RBI, 16-23 SB)
3B Beau Faulk (.358, 5 HR, 49 RBI)
P Brad Delatte (4-2, 4.13)

Key Losses
P Clint Dempster (6-6, 3.92)
P Tyler Minto (5-4, 3.94)
SS Keith Kulbeth (.332, 7 HR, 29 RBI)

Northwestern State (36-21 overall, 22-10 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
C Aaron Munoz (.242, 24 RBI, 26 CSB)
P Luke Irvine (7-4, 2.91)
P Mathias Simmons (3-0, 3.18)

Key Losses
3B Chase Lyles (.350, 7 HR, 56 RBI)
OF Oscar Garcia (.375, 6 HR, 48 RBI)
OF Eric DeBlanc (.382, 6 HR, 39 RBI)
P Ryan Zimmerman (6-5, 3.74)

Sam Houston State (19-36, 11-22 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
DH Chris Andreas (.376, 7 HR, 41 RBI)
2B Braeden Riley (.361, 18 2B, 36 RBI)
OF Mark Hudson (.311, 9 HR, 36 RBI)
SS Ryan Mooney (.357, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 11-16 SB)

Key Losses
P Dallas Gallant (3-8, 4.82)

Southeastern Louisiana (40-19 overall, 21-12 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
OF Jeff Harkensee (.325, 6 HR, 47 RBI)
SS Justin Boudreaux (.313, 13 HR, 66 RBI)
P Josh Janway (4-2, 3.07, 6 SV)
P Tyler Watkins (6-3, 3.80)

Key Losses
P Chris Franklin (8-7, 3.87, 7 SV)

Stephen F. Austin (34-20 overall, 20-12 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
P Tyler Herriage (8-4, 2.89)
OF Garrett Smith (.368, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 14-20 SB)
1B Darren Crabtree (.309, 10 HR, 49 RBI)
P Jason West (4-4, 3.69, 9 SV)

Key Losses
OF Bo Coffman (.327, 6 HR, 39 RBI)
2B/OF Ryan Priest (.335, 8 HR, 40 RBI)

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (20-33-1 overall, 11-22 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
1B Trey Hernandez (.361, 17 HR, 63 RBI)
P Adam Hoelscher (2-3, 4.47)
SS Jeramie Marek (.283, 1 HR, 23 RBI)

Key Losses
P Jake Liedka (3-3, 6.19)
P Brandon Orr (2-5, 7.71)

Texas State (38-22 overall, 23-10 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
P Carson Smith (10-4, 3.10, 94 K)
3B Kyle Kubitza (.354, 11 HR, 58 RBI)
OF Bret Atwood (.346, 36 RBI, 12-15 SB)
P Jeff McVaney (2-0, 1.75)

Key Losses
1B Kyle Livingstone (.369, 11 HR, 63 RBI, 10-13 SB)
SS Jason Martinson (.321, 4 HR, 55 RBI)

UT-Arlington (29-31 overall, 19-14 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
OF Preston Beck (.352, 2 HR, 44 RBI)
C Chad Comer (.289, 5 HR, 48 RBI)
1B Jordan Vaughn (.314, 3 HR, 30 RBI)
SS Jesse Payne (.306, 6 HR, 33 RBI)

Key Losses
OF Michael Choice (.383, 16 HR, 59 RBI)
P Rett Varner (8-5, 3.56, 95 K)
P Logan Bawcom (5-4, 3.87, 87 K)
P Jason Mitchell (7-6, 4.66, 113 K)

UT-San Antonio (22-28 overall, 13-20 Southland Conference)
Key Returnees
2B Ryan Hutson (.348, 14 HR, 43 RBI)
3B Ryan Dalton (.305, 17 HR, 51 RBI)
P Tyler Walton (6-2, 5.38)
UT Casey Selsor (5-6, 4.71, .292 BA)

Key Losses
DH/OF Ryan Rummel (.331, 7 HR, 31 RBI)
SS Lance Brown (.323, 1 HR, 21 RBI)

Predicted Finish:
1. Texas State
2. SE Louisiana
3. Lamar
4. Northwestern State
5. McNeese State
6. SFA
7. SHSU
8. UTSA
9. UTA
10. Nicholls
11. Texas A&M-CC
12. Central Arkansas