FRISCO, Texas – Sam Houston State led all Southland baseball programs with four student-athletes named to the 2018 Preseason All-Conference Teams, the league announced Tuesday.
Central Arkansas, McNeese, New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana all earned a trio of selections while Houston Baptist and Lamar each earned two picks. Abilene Christian, UIW, Nicholls, Northwestern State, Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi all garnered one spot.
All first team honorees are automatic selections as returners from last season’s all-conference teams.
The Lions lead the first team with all three of their selections being named to top list, headlined by senior third baseman Taylor Schwaner. The reigning Southland Player of the Year notched a .330 batting average against league foes last season in 112 at-bats, including 41 RBIs and nine home runs with a .670 slugging percentage.
The 2017 Southland Hitter of the Year also returns in McNeese junior Shane Selman. Selman hit .362 last season against conference opponents in 127 at-bats, tallying 10 home runs.
Last season’s Relief Pitcher of the Year JT Newton of Houston Baptist and Freshman of the Year Hayden Wesneski of Sam Houston State also return, along with Newcomer of the Year Josh Evans returning for Stephen F. Austin.
The 2018 Southland Baseball Preseason Poll will be announced Thursday. The season begins Friday, Feb. 16 with 13 games, starting when Houston Baptist welcomes Western Michigan at 2 p.m. CT.
Southland preseason all-conference teams are nominated and voted upon by the league’s head coaches. Voting for one’s own athletes is not permitted. Returning all-conference selections from the previous season are automatically named to the preseason teams and may be elevated to higher teams based on available positions.
2018 Southland Conference Preseason All-Conference Baseball Teams
Name School Pos. Class Hometown
Hunter Strong Central Arkansas 1B Jr. Sheridan, Ark.
Joe Provenzano McNeese 2B Sr. Downers Grove, Ill.
Taylor Schwaner Southeastern Louisiana 3B Sr. Slidell, La.
Tyler Depreta-Johnson Houston Baptist SS Sr. Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
John Cable New Orleans C Sr. Roswell, Ga.
Josh Evans Stephen F. Austin DH Sr. Ponca City, Okla.
Shane Selman McNeese OF Jr. Lake Charles, La.
Clayton Harp Sam Houston State OF Jr. El Campo, Texas
Orynn Veillon New Orleans OF Jr. Lafayette, La.
Bryan Warzek New Orleans P Jr. Clifton Park, N.Y.
JT Newton Houston Baptist P Jr. Bangs, Texas
Corey Gaconi Southeastern Louisiana P Jr. Metaire, La.
Drew Avans Southeastern Louisiana U Sr. Alabaster, Ala.
Name School Pos. Class Hometown
David Fry Northwestern State 1B Sr. Colleyville, Texas
Ethan Valdez Nicholls 2B Jr. San Antonio, Texas
Andrew Fregia Sam Houston State 3B Jr. Liberty, Texas
Ryan Gonzales UIW SS Jr. Corpus Christi, Texas
Luis Trevino Abilene Christian C Jr. Mission, Texas
Robin Adames Lamar DH Jr. The Bronx, N.Y.
Hunter Hearn Sam Houston State OF Jr. Crosby, Texas
Dalton Stark Texas A&M-Corpus Christi OF Sr. Cypress, Texas
Keaton Presley Central Arkansas OF Sr. Springfield, Mo.
Grant Anderson McNeese P Jr. Beaumont, Texas
Tyler Gray Central Arkansas P Sr. Fort Smith, Ark.
Hayden Wesneski Sam Houston State P So. Cypress, Texas
Grant Devore Lamar U Sr. Dallas, Texas