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Sam Houston’s Colton Cowser Tabbed Southland Baseball Player of the Year

Abilene Christian, New Orleans, Southeastern Louisiana lead with six all-conference selections each
Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 2:01 PM CDT
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FRISCO, Texas – Sam Houston’s Colton Cowser is the 2021 Southland Conference Baseball Player of the Year, the league announced Monday along with all-conference selections. Southland yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition.

In conference play, Cowser tied for the league lead with 11 home runs and ranked second in slugging percentage (.667), on-base percentage (.470) and runs scored (37). He registered 13 multi-hit performances in 33 games against Southland foes, including a four-hit effort against New Orleans on April 10. In addition to earning his second career first-team All-Southland honor, Cowser was voted to the all-defensive squad at center field.

Abilene Christian outfielder Colton Eager earns Hitter of the Year recognition after pacing the league in slugging percentage (.669), hits (56) and total bases (99) and finishing third in batting average (.378) and RBI (39) in conference action. A fixture in the Wildcat lineup, he appeared in all but one of the team’s 53 contests and tallied 18 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games.

Pitcher of the Year goes to McNeese redshirt sophomore Will Dion, who tied for the league lead with seven wins and ranked third in ERA (2.25) and strikeouts (68) against Southland opponents. Seven of his nine starts in league play went down as quality starts, including picking up wins in each of his last four starts to close out the year. In that span, Dion had a 1.38 ERA with 32 strikeouts and just four walks. He also landed on the all-defensive team with a perfect fielding percentage and 12 assists.

Relief Pitcher of the Year Tyler Cleveland of Central Arkansas had a hand in 15 of the team’s 23 wins with six wins and nine saves on the year, with all six wins and five saves in conference play. He tied for the league lead with 14 games finished and ranked fourth in strikeouts (66) against conference opponents. Cleveland was named the Southland Pitcher of the Week on April 26 after picking up two wins and a save and totaling 18 strikeouts over 12 innings of work in three appearances.

Dazzling in his first year on the bump for Southeastern Louisiana, Brennan Stuprich garners Freshman of the Year honors after going 6-2 with a league-best 2.17 ERA and three complete games in 11 starts. He led the conference in innings pitched (68) and ranked second in ERA (2.12) against league competition. Stuprich picked up Southland Pitcher of the Week laurels on April 12 following eight scoreless innings against conference champion Abilene Christian.

Abilene Christian’s Grayson Tatrow is the league’s Newcomer of the Year after ranking second in runs scored (36) and posting the conference’s third-best marks in slugging percentage (.610) and total bases (83). The Paris College transfer totaled 14 multi-hit games in league play and rattled off an 11-game hit streak from April 25-May 16. In Southland games, Tatrow tied for fifth with eight home runs.

Rick McCarty is tabbed the 2021 Clay Gould Coach of the Year after leading an Abilene Christian squad that won just five games in 2018 to the program’s first conference title with a 25-13 mark and the first Southland Conference Baseball Tournament appearance since 1968. The Wildcats paced the league in nearly every offensive category against conference foes, including a .305 team batting average.

Abilene Christian, New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana lead the way with six all-conference selections each, followed by Lamar and McNeese with five and four, respectively. Northwestern State and Sam Houston each earned three spots, while Central Arkansas, UIW, Nicholls and Stephen F. Austin each had one honoree.

McNeese accounted for a league-leading three spots on the all-defensive team, and Lamar placed two on the squad. Representatives from New Orleans, Sam Houston, Southeastern Louisiana and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

The all-conference teams are nominated and voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Voting for oneself or one’s own athletes is not permitted.

Player of the Year: Colton Cowser, Sam Houston

Hitter of the Year: Colton Eager, Abilene Christian

Pitcher of the Year: Will Dion, McNeese

Relief Pitcher of the Year: Tyler Cleveland, Central Arkansas

Freshman of the Year: Brennan Stuprich, Southeastern Louisiana

Newcomer of the Year: Grayson Tatrow, Abilene Christian

Clay Gould Coach of the Year: Rick McCarty, Abilene Christian

2021 All-Southland Conference First Team

Pos.NameSchoolCl.Hometown
1BChase KempLamarJr.Nederland, Texas
2BNate Fisbeck2McNeeseR-Sr.The Woodlands, Texas
3BItchy Burts3Texas A&M-Corpus ChristiSr.League City, Texas
SSBash RandleAbilene ChristianFr.Rockwall, Texas
CMitchell DicksonAbilene ChristianSo.Flower Mound, Texas
DHLee Thomas2UIWGr.Katy, Texas
OFColton Cowser2Sam HoustonSo.Cypress, Texas
OFColton EagerAbilene ChristianJr.North Richland Hills, Texas
OFClayton Rasbeary2McNeeseR-Sr.Rockwall, Texas
SPWill DionMcNeeseR-So.Sulphur, La.
SPBrennan StuprichSoutheastern LouisianaFr.Kenner, La.
SPWill WarrenSoutheastern LouisianaJr.Brandon, Miss.
RPTyler ClevelandCentral ArkansasR-Fr.East End, Ark.
UAnthony QuirionLamarSr.Dixville, Quebec

2021 All-Southland Conference Second Team

Pos.NameSchoolCl.Hometown
1BPreston FaulknerSoutheastern LouisianaJr.Denham Springs, La.
2BDaunte StuartNorthwestern StateFr.The Woodlands, Texas
3BKasten FurrNew OrleansFr.Ruston, La.
SSEvan KellerSoutheastern LouisianaJr.Destrehan, La.
CSkylar BlackStephen F. AustinSr.Paradise, Texas
DHTre Obregon IIIMcNeeseR-Jr.Sallisaw, Okla.
OFJack Rogers2Sam HoustonJr.Spring, Texas
OFPearce HowardNew OrleansJr.Silver Spring, Md.
OFGrayson TatrowAbilene ChristianSo.Mansfield, Texas
SPChris TurpinNew OrleansSr.Belle Chasse, La.
SPJohn GaddisTexas A&M-Corpus ChristiJr.Corpus Christi, Texas
SPTrevin MichaelLamarJr.Piedmont, Okla.
RPCaleb SeroskiNew OrleansFr.New Iberia, La.
UJacob BurkeSoutheastern LouisianaFr.St. Francisville, La.

2021 All-Southland Conference Third Team

Pos.NameSchoolCl.Hometown
1BLuke MarbachTexas A&M-Corpus ChristiSr.New Braunfels, Texas
2BSalo IzaNew OrleansSr.Key Biscayne, Fla.
3BAustin CainNichollsSo.St. Joseph, Ill.
SSDarren WillisNew OrleansSr.Metairie, La.
CRyan SnellLamarSo.Hardin, Texas
DHTommy CruzAbilene ChristianJr.Guayama, Puerto Rico
OFTyler FinkeSoutheastern LouisianaSo.Columbus, Ind.
OFPayton HardenMcNeeseR-So.Atascocita, Texas
OFMike WilliamsTexas A&M-Corpus ChristiSr.Rowlett, Texas
SPCal CarverNorthwestern StateSo.San Antonio, Texas
SPLevi DavidNorthwestern StateSo.Waxahachie, Texas
SPDominic RobinsonSam HoustonSr.Tomball, Texas
RPJack DallasLamarJr.Orange, Texas
UBrett HammitAbilene ChristianFr.Nixa, Mo.

2021 Southland Conference All-Defensive Team

Pos.NameSchoolCl.Hometown
1BLuke MarbachTexas A&M-Corpus ChristiSr.New Braunfels, Texas
2BNate FisbeckMcNeeseR-Sr.The Woodlands, Texas
3BAnthony QuirionLamarSr.Dixville, Quebec
SSDarren WillisNew OrleansSr.Metairie, La.
CGaby CruzSoutheastern LouisianaSr.Miami, Fla.
LFJulian GonzalesMcNeeseR-Jr.Sulphur, La.
CFColton CowserSam HoustonSo.Cypress, Texas
RFAvery GeorgeLamarJr.Humble, Texas
PWill DionMcNeeseR-So.Sulphur, La.

2 Two-time all-conference selection

3 Three-time all-conference selection